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Undergraduate Studies in English

Our Honours and BA programs are so designed that you can explore English literature and Cultural Studies in greater depth and detail as you progress from level to level, and, in most cases, in progressively smaller classes. We offer a range of courses at Level 1, all of which will help you to become a better writer and will teach you the conventions of writing literary and cultural criticism. English 1A03 (Literature in English: Shorter Genres) and 1AA3 (Literature in English: Longer Genres) provide an introduction to the major literary forms and to some significant approaches to interpretation, while English 1C06 (A History of English Literature) offers a survey of English literature from its origins to the present. English 1B03 (Cultural Studies and Visual Culture) and 1BB3 (Cultural Studies: History, Theory, Practice) will introduce you to the contemporary discipline of Cultural Studies.

Our Level II and III courses foster a broad understanding of major movements and ideas in Cultural Studies and English literary history. Some of these courses offer focussed investigations of particular authors, periods, or national literatures–of Shakespeare, for example, or Canadian literature–while others explore such genres as the novel or investigate the nature of modern countercultures or gender theory.

At Level IV, our Honours students take true seminars, in each of which a group of students works closely with a faculty member. These seminars, designed to encourage in-depth study and open dialogue, distinguish our Honours programs from most other programs at McMaster and from English programs at many other universities. A wide selection of seminars is offered every year. Recent topics have included Women as Public Intellectuals, Canadian Short Stories, The Witchcraft Controversy, European Romanticism, and The “Oprah Effect”.