Teaching

FALL 2014 / WINTER 2015

English 2M06 — Concepts of Culture
Teaching Assistant
Department of English and Cultural Studies, McMaster University
Course Instructor: Dr. Sarah Brophy

Course description: Human life is literally unthinkable outside of a cultural context, yet attempts to become critically conscious of the historical development of the cultural forces that shape our lifeworlds are often hindered by the very familiarity of these elements. By pursuing a historical understanding of our cultural context, we gain powerful tools for both critique and the creation of future possibilities. In this course, we will analyze the concept of culture from the Western Enlightenment to the present. The course is organized around the following central themes: education, taste, empire, identity, sub-and-counter culture, commodification, citizenship, space, and the human body as a medium, a text, and a metaphor of culture. Theoretical readings combined with the analysis of specific cultural texts, objects, forms, and practices will allow us to trace historical and contemporary debates concerning culture. Our ultimate goal, however, is not simply to understand culture, but to change it! Students are expected to participate actively and thoughtfully in lectures and tutorials as well as to bring creative and critical thinking to the assignments.

TextsNew Keywords: A Revised Vocabulary of Culture and Society, eds. Tony Bennett, Lawrence Grossberg, and Meaghan Morris; Erna Brodber, Myal: A Novel; Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Narrative and Other Writings; Schooling the World, dir. Black; Up in the Air, dir. Reitman; Examined Life, dir. Taylor; Don DeLillo, White Noise; Gord Hill, The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book; Marx Reloaded, dir. Barker; The Parking Lot Movie, dir. Eckman; RIP!: A Remix Manifesto, dir. Gaylor.

WINTER 2014

English 1AA3 — Literature in English: Longer Genres
Teaching Assistant
Department of English and Cultural Studies, McMaster University
Course Instructor: Dr. Roger Hyman

Course Description: We will study a number of longer texts (novels, linked short stories, plays) which deal with such issues as gender, power, class, ethnicity and colonialism. Emphasis will also be placed on the development of writing and reading skills.

Texts: Emily Carr, Klee Wyck; Charles Yale Harrison, Generals Die in Bed; George Orwell, Animal Farm; Samuel Beckett, “Endgame”; Nadine Gordimer, July’s People; Joy Kogawa, Obasan.

Fall 2013

English 1AA3 — Literature in English: Longer Genres
Teaching Assistant
Department of English and Cultural Studies, McMaster University
Course Instructor: Dr. James King

Course description: In this course we will study a selection of fiction and drama from the eighteenth and twentieth centuries. The focus of the lectures will include, in particular, the following subjects: the formal features of each genre, the relationship between gender, authorship and authority, literary appropriation, race, sexual politics, passion, pathos, and humour.

Texts: Dai SijieBalzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress; Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey; E.M. Forster, A Room With A View; Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest; Harold Pinter, The Homecoming; Shakespeare, Othello.

Winter 2012

English 1AA3 — Literature in English: Longer Genres
Teaching Assistant
Department of English and Cultural Studies, McMaster University
Course Instructor: Dr. Roger Hyman

Course Description: We will study a number of longer texts (novels, linked short stories, play) which deal with such issues as gender, power, class, ethnicity and colonialism. Emphasis will also be placed on the development of writing and reading skills.

Texts: Emily Carr, Klee Wyck; Charles Yale Harrison, Generals Die in Bed; George Orwell, Animal Farm; Samuel Beckett, “Endgame”; Nadine Gordimer, July’s People; Joy Kogawa, Obasan.

Fall 2011

English 1A03 — Literature in English: Shorter Genres
Teaching Assistant
Department of English and Cultural Studies, McMaster University
Course Instructor: Dr. Jeffrey Donaldson

Course description: The old adage about tiny hors-d’oeuvres (“take three, they’re small!) applies to this three-unit course in poetry and short fiction. The brevity of the works assigned will provide us with an opportunity on the one hand to intensify our discussion in class of literary particulars, using patient, jeweller’s-eye analyses of textual details, and on the other to provide students with shorter manageable literary forms on which to hone their critical reading and writing skills. A great deal of attention will be paid to these skills in the two major essays for the course. The other nice thing about shorter genres, you have a chance to read each work over and over and over … and over.

Texts: A wide range of poetry (including Hughes, Strand, Larkin, Brooks, Williams, Coleridge, Merrill, Heaney, Wilbur, Burns, Simic, Pound, Arnold, Rilke, Auden), and a selection of short stories (André Alexis, “Maupassant”; Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper”;  Katherine Mansfield, “A Doll’s House”; William Faulkner, “A Rose for Emily”; James Baldwin, “Sonny’s Blues’; Flannery O’Connor, “A Good Man is Hard to Find”; Kate Chopin, “The Story of an Hour”; James Salter, “Last Night”; Raymond Carver, “Cathedral”).