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ENGLISH 2C03 Contem Can Fiction

Academic Year: Fall 2017

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Roger Hyman

Email: hymanr@mcmaster.ca

Office: Chester New Hall 302

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23732


Office Hours: Tuesdays & Thursdays 12:30-1:30pm

Course Objectives:

Course Description:                                                                                                                               

We will deal with such issues as colonialism, race, ethnicity, gender, family, class and power as reflected in selected Canadian novels and films. These concerns will be dealt with by discussions in class and I hope students will become comfortable discussing and offering their opinions about social and political issues raised and suggested by the course materials.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

List of texts: films on Lecture Schedule will be shown in class:

  • Charles Yale Harrison, Generals Die in Bed
  • Emily Carr, Klee Wyck
  • Marie Claire Blais, Mad Shadows
  • Alice Munro, Lives of Girls and Women.
  • Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale
  • Irene Baird, Waste Heritage
  • Shyam Selvadurai, Funny Boy
  • Richard Wagamese, Indian Horse

Method of Assessment:


There will be two essays and a final examination:

Essay One:      20% due in class October 3

Essay Two:     35% due in class November 11

Exam:              45%

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Late essays will be accepted without penalty if: 1. a Faculty extension has been granted, or there are issues that, in the opinion of the course instructor following discussion with the student (at least a week in advance of the due date), warrant an extension. Otherwise essays will be penalized 10% for each day they are submitted after the due date and will not be accepted after five days. Students’ are responsible to make arrangements with the instructor or marking assistant to submit late essays. Electronic submissions will be accepted only in rare cases after discussion with the course instructor. 

Grading Scale:


Equivalent Grade Point

Equivalent Percentages







































0-49 -- Failure
















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:

2C3 Revised Lecture Schedule:

September 5:               Introduction

September 7:               Generals: Introduction

September 8:               Claude Guilmain’s “Front Lines” at https://www.nfb.ca/film/front_lines/

World War I Poetry and Generals Die in Bed

September 12:             Generals Die in Bed

September 14              Generals Die in Bed

September 15              Generals Die in Bed

September 19              Alanis Obomsawin’s “Cry From the Diary of a Metis Child”:                                                                                  https://www.nfb.ca/film/richard_cardinal/

                                    “Round Up”: https://www.nfb.ca/film/round_up/

September 21:             Gil Cardinal: Totem: Return and Renewal: https://www.nfb.ca/film/totem_return_and_renewal/

September 22              Introduction to Emily Carr; https://www.nfb.ca/film/klee_wyck/

September 26              Klee Wyck

September 28              Klee Wyck

September 29              Klee Wyck

October 3                    Residential Schools: https://vimeo.com/91343733; http://torontostarreplica.newspaperdirect.com/epaper/iphone/showpage.aspx?issue=10382017070900000000001001&page=17&returnUrl=http%253a%252f%252ftorontostarreplica.newspaperdirect.com%252fepaper%252fiphone%252fhomepage.aspx%2523_title10382017070900000000001001%252fwatitle10382017070900000000001001%252f1038%252f10382017070900000000001001%252f17%252ftrue&x=0.4772727272727273&y=0.6217162872154116

October 5:                   http://speakingmytruth.ca/downloads/AHFvol2/13_Wagamese.pdf

Indian Horse

October 6                    Indian Horse

October 17                  Indian Horse

October 19                  Lives of Girls and Women

October 20                  Lives of Girls and Women     

October 24                  Lives of Girls and Women

October 26                  Lives of Girls and Women

October 31                  Waste Heritage

November 2:               Waste Heritage

November 3:               Waste Heritage

November 7:               Mad Shadows

November 9                Mad Shadows

November 10:             Mad Shadows

November 14              http://www.cbc.ca/radio/q/blog/we-re-all-reading-1984-wrong-according-to-margaret-atwood-1.4105314;


November 16              The Handmaid’s Tale            

November 17              The Handmaid’s Tale

November 21              The Handmaid’s Tale

November 23              The Handmaid’s Tale

November 24              Funny Boy

November 28              Funny Boy

November 30              Funny Boy

December 1                 Funny Boy

December 5                 Wrap-up; Review


* there is a free NFB iPhone app at http://www.nfb.ca/free-downloads/nfb-iphone-app/


Other Course Information:


Note 1: In the event of class cancellations, students will be notified on Avenue and the English Department Website.  It is your responsibility to check these sites regularly for any such announcements.

Link: http://www.humanities.mcmaster.ca/~english/  (Department)

Link: http://avenue.mcmaster.ca/  (avenue to learn)

Note 2: E-mail Policy

All e-mail communication sent must originate from the student's McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.

Note 3: Students will be requested to complete an online course evaluation at the end of the course.