ENG140Y -- Literature for our Time

Instructor: Ann-Barbara Graff
Office: Room 291
Office Hours: MWF 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Class Meeting Times: MWF 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

Site Map
  • Course Description
  • Required Texts
  • Recommended Text
  • Assignments
  • How to write an essay?
  • Miscellaneous including sample exam-type questions
  • English @ Erindale
  • Contact information
  • portrait of James Joyce

    First Essay Topics | Second Essay Topics | Final Essay Topics

    Course Description

    An exploration of how twentieth-century literature responds to our world through major forms of prose and poetry, in texts drawn from a variety of national literatures. At least nine authors such as Faulkner, Gordimer, Joyce, Morrison, Munro, Naipaul, Rushdie, White, Woolf; Beckett, Highway, O'Neill, Shaw, Soyinka, Stoppard; Eliot, Frost, Heaney, Page, Plath, Rich, Wayman, Walcott, Yeats.

    In this section of the course, we will examine a diverse range of literary texts from the twentieth century in roughly chronological order and explore, thorugh close readings and the application of theory, the various ways literature responds to, reflects and shapes human experience. A primary objective of the course is to help students distinguish between impressionistic and critical reading and in so doing to build skills in analytical reading, thinking and writing. The course will attempt to develop students' competency with various methods of analysis, thus enabling students to pursue further studies in English as well as in other subjects.

    Required Texts

    George Bernard Shaw, Arms and the Man (Penguin)
    Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (Penguin)
    Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway (Oxford UP)
    Nella Larsen, Passing (Rutgers UP)
    Albert Camus, The Outsider (Penguin)
    Gunter Grass, The Tin Drum (Vintage)
    Samuel Beckett, Endgame (Grove)
    J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians (Penguin)
    Salman Rushdie, Midnight's Children (Penguin)
    Jeanette Winterson, Written on the Body Vintage)
    Richard Ellman and Robert O'Clair, eds., Modern Poems, Second Edition (Norton)
    Ann-Barbara Graff, ENG140Y: Course Reader (Erindale Custom Publishing)

    Recommended Texts

    M.H. Abrams, A Glossary of Literary Terms (Holt)
    A very good dictionary like Oxford English Dictionary
    Henrik Ibsen, A Doll's House (any, but there is a cheap Dover edition)


    Three tests; three essays; final exam; participation

    How to Write an Essay?

    Go to "Some Thoughts" page.


  • Some sample questions. Great exam prep! And also a helpful source for ways of thinking about the texts, essays.

  • Oxford English Dictionary

  • The Modern English Collection (e-texts available from the University of Virginia)

  • English @ Erindale

    English Department Web Page

    Contact Information

    Last Updated by Ann-Barbara Graff -- August 2000