Spring 2023 - ENGL 213 D100

Reading Across Media (3)

Class Number: 4746

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 4 – Apr 11, 2023: Thu, 2:30–4:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 24, 2023
    Mon, 3:30–6:30 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    12 units or one 100-division English course.



Explores texts in relation to their different material forms, including oral, manuscript, print, film, and digital media. May be further organized by methodology (e.g. book history, textual scholarship, media studies, adaptation studies, digital humanities), historical period, or genre. Breadth-Humanities.


The Eighteenth Century in Contemporary Cultural Memory: From 'Burns Night' to 'Bridgerton'

This course introduces students to Cultural Memory Studies in order to consider how and why the memory of the eighteenth century continues to live on in the literary and popular culture of the present moment. We will examine several different case studies that provide examples of the ways in which the eighteenth century is currently being re-presented: contemporary “Burns Night” celebrations of the poet Robert Burns, including Vancouver's own Gung Haggis Fat Choy celebration; the 2020 film Emma which director Autumn de Wilde based on Jane Austen’s 1815 novel; and Esi Edugyan’s novel Washington Black, which has many parallels to The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano (1789), the first published account by a black writer who was formerly enslaved. We finish by taking a brief foray into Bridgerton, the successful Netflix series that first aired in 2020 . In each case, we read and analyze the original eighteenth-century texts and contexts behind these works, examining how they are reiterated, reused and/or reinterpreted in the present, often to address questions of gender, class and race. What is it about the eighteenth century—or about how we perceive it—that remains pertinent and compelling to us now? 


-analyze the representation of the eighteenth century in the present, employing Cultural Memory Theory
-analyze a variety of literary and popular texts from the long eighteenth century, paying attention to the cultural contexts in which they were produced
-develop communications skills (written and oral) and critical thinking skills


  • in-class essay 25%
  • analytical essay (7 pp) 30%
  • final exam 30%
  • attendance, preparation and participation in tutorial 15%



Esi Edugyan, Washington Black (paperback available at SFU bookstore or order from another location; also available in Kindle edition).
ISBN: 1846689600

Jane Austen, Emma (Broadview edition is available in paperback from the SFU book store or order from another location; or as e-book from Broadview Press https://broadviewpress.com/product/emma/#tab-description)
ISBN: 9781551113210

Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano (Broadview edition is available from the SFU book store or order from another location; also available as ebook from Broadview Press: https://broadviewpress.com/product/the-interesting-narrative-of-the-life-of-olaudah-equiano/#tab-description)
ISBN: 9781551112626

Other readings for the course will be available to students on the Canvas course site. 


James Ward, Memory and Enlightenment: Cultural Afterlives of the Long Eighteenth Century
ISBN: 978-3319967097

Steven Pinker, Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

IMPORTANT NOTE Re 300 and 400 level courses: 75% of spaces in 300 level English courses, and 100% of spaces in 400 level English courses, are reserved for declared English Major, Minor, Extended Minor, Joint Major, and Honours students only, until open enrollment begins.

For all On-Campus Courses, please note the following:
- To receive credit for the course, students must complete all requirements.
- Tutorials/Seminars WILL be held the first week of classes.
- When choosing your schedule, remember to check "Show lab/tutorial sections" to see all Lecture/Seminar/Tutorial times required.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html