Current Teaching

Fall 2021 Courses


Dalhousie is currently planning for a significant increase in in-person teaching and on-campus activities in the fall. These plans remain contingent on the local situation with regard to COVID-19 and especially the progress of the province’s vaccination plans, and on the resulting Public Health directives. The latest updates from the university can always be found at this link:

Both of my Fall 2021 classes will be online (asynchronous). If you have questions about them that aren’t answered here or on the linked websites for each of them, feel free to email me. Contact information for all members of the department can be found here.

English 1015, How Literature Works (Online Asynchronous)

Please visit the English 1015 (Fall 2021) website for updated course information in a mobile-friendly version. This website will be updated over the summer as plans for the course firm up.

conciseBILIn this section of English 1015 we will study a range of literary works that illustrate the power of language, when artfully deployed, to surprise, move, anger, persuade, and entertain us. We will pay close attention to how good writers use literary and rhetorical strategies to further their ideas and achieve their effects–to how literature works, not just how it makes us feel or what it makes us think about. You will be challenged to engage actively and critically with our texts through debate, discussion, and writing of your own. The course objectives are, first, to enhance your love of reading, and second, to provide you with the skills, vocabulary, knowledge and experience to express and support well-informed opinions about what you read, whether in or out of class.

Required Textbook

The Concise Broadview Introduction to Literature, 2nd edition.

    • This textbook has been ordered through the Dalhousie Bookstore as the main text for my section of English 1015. Hard copies can be shipped to students’ home addresses.
    • Students who prefer to use an e-book will be able to order the complete Broadview Introduction to Literature directly from Broadview in time for fall classes, for the same price as the hard copy of the concise edition.
    • The Concise edition is a subset of the full edition. Required readings will be restricted to those available in both editions.

English 3031, The 19th-Century British Novel from Austen to Dickens (Online Asynchronous)

Please visit the English 3031 (Fall 2021) website for updated course information in a mobile-friendly presentation.

oup-persuasionIn this course we will study a selection of British novels from the first half of the nineteenth century. During these decades, authors experimented with both the form and the subject matter of fiction as they transformed the novel from a generic upstart into the century’s dominant literary form. Topics our discussions are likely to engage include the relationship of the present to the past, of the individual to society, and of the individual to modern institutions and systems (such as government, law, religion, or industry); problems of self-discovery and identity; questions of love, marriage, and morality; questions of gender, class, and race; and the role of the artist, especially the novelist, and of literature, especially the novel, in investigating, articulating, and affecting all of these issues.

Our readings are long; you should be prepared to put in enough time to read them attentively. But they are also delightful, so your effort will be heartily repaid in pleasure!

Book List

Jane Austen, Persuasion

Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

Charles Dickens, Bleak House

Elizabeth Gaskell, Cranford

I have ordered Oxford World’s Classics editions for the first three books: they are reliable, scholarly editions, nicely produced and reasonably priced. For Gaskell, I have ordered the Broadview edition, as I would like us to read some of the additional materials included as Appendices. Please use the assigned editions if you can. You will be able to access the OUP editions through the Oxford Classics Online database, which the Dal Library is currently purchasing; the Broadview Cranford is available as an ebook. Good alternatives to the Oxford editions include Penguin Classics, Norton Critical editions, and Broadview editions. I do not recommend free or discount editions that have not been prepared by a scholarly editor: the text may be different or unreliable, and scanning errors may have occurred (something that can really make a mess if the novel includes any dialect).