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ENGLISH 1F03 The Written World (C01)

Academic Year: Winter 2020

Term: Winter

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Roger Hyman


Office: Chester New Hall 302

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23732

Office Hours: TBA

Course Objectives:

What does the world look like when it takes a literary form? We will read and write about one or more literary genres or forms from various times and places, and reflect on the shape of literature, its place in the world, and the place of the world in it. The course functions as an introduction to the study of literature, equipping students with conceptual, analytical and writing tools that will help them become informed readers of the many modes and manners of imaginative expression. Considerable emphasis will be placed on the development of critical skills in reading and writing.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:


Short Stories

Eden Robinson, “Traplines”

Alice Munro, “Runaway”



Rita Joe, “I Lost My Talk”

A. M. Klein, “Indian Reservation: Caughnawaga

W. H. Auden. Musée des Beaux Arts

Margaret Atwood, Selection from “Power Politics” – “You take my hand. . .”

Rosanna Deerchild, “the second time”

Peter Horn, “Poems at Bargain Prices”

Mongane Wally Serote, “Heat and Sweat”



Richard Wagamese, Indian Horse

Farley Mowat, Never Cry Wolf

Nadine Gordheimer, July’s People



Samuel Beckett, “Endgame”



Donald Brittain, “Memorandum” (NFB)

Tessa Desnomie, NFB: “It Had to be Done”:


To See/Read/On Your Own for possible discussion in class or seminar:

Gord Downie “The Secret Path” (on Chanie Wenjak)

“Endgame” online – I recommend the Michael Gambon, David Thewlis version (



Method of Assessment:


Diagnostic Writing Assignment– 300-500 words –

(due week of Jan. 20) – how’s your grammar?             10%

Regular reflective writing (weekly)                                 20%

Participation                                                                   20%

Essay – close reading – 1000 words – due TBA           25%

Exam                                                                             25%

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:


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

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 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 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:

Week One:                                          Introduction: Klein, “Indian Reservation, Caughnawaga”; Cartier, “Letter”

Week Two:                                          Munro, “Runaway”; Atwood, Selection from “Power Politics”

Week Three                                       Robinson, “Traplines”; Rita Joe, “I Lost My Talk”
Weeks Four and Five:                       Wagamese, Indian Horse; Rosanna Deerchild, “the second time”; Tessa Desnomie, NFB: “It Had to be Done”:

                                                          Discussion of “The Secret Path”

Weeks Six and Seven:                    Mowat, Never Cry Wolf


Weeks  Eight and Nine:                  Gordheimer, July’s People; Peter Horn, “Poems at Bargain Prices”; Mongane Wally Serote, “Heat and Sweat”

Weeks Ten and Eleven:                  Samuel Beckett, “Endgame”; Auden, “Musée des Beaux Arts”

Week Twelve:                                 Donald Brittain, Memorandum” (NFB)

Week Thirteen:                               Wrap up, review, where do we go from here?