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ENGLISH 4CF3 Contemp. Fiction

Academic Year: Fall 2016

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. James King

Email: jking@mcmaster.ca

Office: Chester New Hall 316

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 24493


Office Hours: Mondays at 2:30

Course Objectives:

English/CSCT 4CF3 – Contemporary Fiction

Winter 2011


Instructor Name: Dr. James King

Chester New Hall Room 316, ext. 24493

Email: jking@mcmaster.ca                                                     

Office Hour: Monday, 2:30-3:20


Seminars: Mondays, 9:30-11:20 CNH 332





This seminar will focus upon recent English, American, and Canadian fiction. In particular, works which are metafictional in nature will be studied, and a great deal of attention will be paid to the relationship between contemporary literary theory and contemporary fiction: has recent fiction been influenced by critical theory, or have theorists responded to recent fiction? Another concern of the course will be ‘genre-blurring,’ especially the relationship between autobiography and fiction.


Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Required Texts:

Nabokov, Pale Fire

D. Sijie, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

Ondaatje, Running in the Family

S. Selvadurai, Funny Boy

R. Mistry, Tales from Firozsha Baag

Barnes, Flaubert's Parrot

Kincaid, Annie John

Barker, Union Street

Auster, Moon Palace

Adija, The White Tiger

Kingston, The Woman Warrior

Method of Assessment:

Evaluation Scheme:


1 short seminar (10 minutes)                           20%                

1 long seminar (15 minutes)                            25%

1 essay (2,500-3,000 words)                          40%                 due date: Monday, November 14

Participation                                                    15%    

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Late work will not be accepted.

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at mcmaster.ca/msaf/. If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail sas@mcmaster.ca. For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:

Topics will be assigned at the first meeting of the seminar.