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ENGLISH 4CS3 Canadian Short Stories (C01)

Academic Year: Winter 2020

Term: Winter

Day/Evening: E

Instructor: Dr. Roger Hyman


Office: Chester New Hall 302

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23732

Office Hours: TBA

Course Objectives:

Course Description:

We will look at issues such as gender, race, class and power in raised in selected Canadian short stories from the early twentieth century to the present.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Reading List: Available at Titles, the university bookstore, as a Coursepack.
Stephen Leacock,  “The Marine Excursion of the Knights Pythias.”

Sinclair Ross, “The Lamp at Noon.”

Emily Carr, “Ucluelet.”

Morely Callaghan, “Ancient Lineage.”

Yves Thériault, “Akua Nuten.”

Mavis Gallant, “Baum, Gabriel, I935- (  ),” “My Heart is Broken.”

Alice Munro. “Open Secrets,” “Runaway.”

André Major, “The Thief of Bonsecours Market.”

Hugh Hood, “Flying a Red Kite.”

Margaret Atwood, “Death by Landscape.”

Thomas King, “The One About Coyote Going West.”

Clarke Blaise, “How I Became A Jew.”

Basil Johnston, “Cowboys and Indians.”

Shyam Selvadurai, “Pigs Can’t Fly.”

Eden Robinson, “Traplines.”

Madeleine Thien, “Simple Recipes.”

Beth Brant, “A Long Story.”

David Bezmogis, “The Second Strongest Man.”


Method of Assessment:


Assignments and Evaluations:  

Presentation:                                        15%

Participation:                                        20%

First Essay:                                          30% (8 pages; due October 21.)

Second essay:                                     35% (12 pages; due November 18.)

Seminars will begin with an informal round-the-table discussion of your impressions of the day’s story; each student is expected to contribute. Participation grades will be based partly on those discussions.

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Late Assignment Policy:

Essays are due in class on the noted due date. In the event of illness or other issues that might necessitate an extension, please consult me.

Class Presentations: Each student is expected to do one class presentation, and to hand in his or her notes for that presentation. The notes may be in point form and should be about two typed pages in length. The presentations may be formal or informal, and should be between 15 and 20 minutes in length. Biographies of authors are not desirable. Close attention should be paid to the specifics of the text, or to the way the text relates to other materials on the course. It is essential that the presentation involve members of the seminar in discussing and questioning the text. To that end, it is expected that room for questions is designed into the presentation, and that a “heads-up” to the key points of the presentation’s subject matter be distributed to all seminar members a couple of days prior to the presentation.  Presentations may be used as the basis for essays. Sign-up sheets for presentations will be posted on my office door on the first day of class.

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:

Schedule of readings and Lectures:

Week 1:                                                 Introduction

Week 2:                                                 “Marine Excursion”; “The Lamp at Noon”

Week 3:                                                 “Ucluelet”; AAkua Nuten @

Week 4:                                                “Ancient Lineage”; “Flying a Red Kite”

Week 5:                                                 “Open Secrets”; “Runaway”

Week 6:                                                 “The Thief of Bonsecours Market”; “Death by Landscape”

Week 7:                                                 “How I Became a Jew”; “Cowboys and Indians”        

Week 8:                                                 Mid-term break

Week 9:                                                 “A Long Story”; “The One About Coyote Going West”

Week 10:                                               “Traplines”; The Second Strongest Man.      

Week 11:                                               “Pigs Can’t Fly”

Week 12:                                               “Simple Recipes”