30:162 Intro to Canadian Literature

Winter 2014 

Colin McAdam, A Beautiful Truth

Instructor:  Dr. Reinhold Kramer                                                           109 Clark Hall                                                                                             727-7344         kramer@brandonu.ca                                           Office hours:  2:40-3:30  (Mon, Wed, Thur.)                                  Home page:  google “Reinhold Kramer” or go  to https://people.brandonu.ca/kramer/

Course Description:  An introduction to English-Canadian prose (short stories and novels), poetry, and drama with emphasis on the twentieth century.  The course may include selections from Native and French-Canadian (in translation) literature.  This course will require 3 essay assignments.  While content is stressed, the letter grade assigned will also reflect the writing ability of the student.  Students will receive special help, wherever needed, in planning, developing, and writing effective essays.


  1. Reading tests (on entire novels)    28 Jan. & 18 Mar.          10%
  2. Class Participation                                                                                    5%
  3. In-class Essay  (5 pages)               23 January                                15%
  4. McAdam Essay (5 pages)                 due 25 February                15%
  5. Poetry Essay (5 pages)                  due 23 March                          15%
  6. Final Exam                                       Apr. 15, 9-11 a.m.                      40%


Note:  There may be penalties for lateness, depending upon circumstances.  Reading tests cannot be postponed, and missed tests cannot be rewritten without a doctor’s note or other documentation.  Cite all your sources – assignments containing plagiarism will be graded “0” and will result in disciplinary action.  See BU General Calendar 4.2.2 “Academic Integrity.”  No cell phones in class.

For the very shy:  in place of “class participation” you may hand in, 5 times during the course, short (1 page, double-spaced, typed) commentaries, not plot summaries, on the text under discussion that day. These commentaries must be handed in before we discuss the text in class, and are worth 1% each.  No commentaries will be accepted after class discussions for any reason.

Students with disabilities who require accommodation should register with the Disability Services Coordinator.  It’s possible that a student may find certain films and/or discussions troubling.  If so, please contact the instructor immediately for alternative films or an alternative course.



Outstanding                Good                      Satisfactory             Weak             Inadequate

A+  90 & up                B+ 77-79                 C+ 67-69                D+ 57-59          F 0-49

A    84-89                    B   74-76                  C   64-66                D   54-56

A-   80-83                   B-  70-73                 C-  60-63                D-  50-53



Bennett, Donna & Russell Brown.  An Anthology of Canadian Literature in English.  3rd ed.

McAdam, Colin.  A Beautiful Truth.

Munro, Alice.  Who Do You Think You Are?

Norman, Colin.  Writing Essays:  A Short Guide2nd ed.

Walker, George F.  East End Plays 2.


Tentative Schedule:   

Jan.      7                      McClung, “The Elusive Vote” (1912)

Jan.     9                      Ross, “The Runaway” (1935)

Jan.     12                    Wilson, “The Window” (1961)

Jan.      14                    Mistry, “Swimming Lessons” (1987)

Jan.      16                    Shields, “Hazel” (1989)

Jan.      19                    Robinson, “Queen of the North” (1996)

Jan.      21                    Redhill, “The Flesh Collectors” (2003)

Jan.      23                    In-class essay

Jan.      26                    Atwood, “The Age of Lead” (1991)

Jan. 28 – Feb. 9       McAdam, A Beautiful Truth (2013)

Feb.     11                    Carman, “Low Tide on Grand Pré” (1893)

Feb.     13                    Crawford, “Said the Canoe” (1884)

Feb.     23                    Lampman, “The Frogs” (1888)

Feb.     25                    D.C. Scott, “Watkwenies” (1898)                                                                                                                                     Campbell, “Jacob” (1995)                                                                                                                                                       McAdam essay due

Feb.    27                    Pickthall, “Made in His Image” (1936)                                                                                                                             Livesay, “Green Rain” (1932)

Mar.     2                      Birney, “Vancouver Lights” (1941)                                                                                                                                    Reaney, “The School Globe” (1949)

Mar.    4                       Wilkinson, “The Great Winds” (1951)

Mar.    6                       Cohen, “In the Eyes of Men” (1984), “Thousand Kisses Deep” (2006)

Mar.   9                        Wallace, “The Woman in This Poem” (1987)                                                                                                              Kroetsch, Seed Catalogue 1, 9 (1977)

Mar.    11                     Atwood, “Tricks with Mirrors” (1974)

Mar.    13                     Mouré, “Blindness” (1985)                                                                                                                                                     Bringhurst, “Conversations with a Toad” I

Mar.    16                                        “Conversations with a Toad” V, VI, IX (1987)

Mar. 18 – 30              Munro, Who Do You Think You Are? (1978)

Mar. 23                        Poetry essay due

Apr. 1-8                       Walker, Love and Anger (1989)      (no class on Good Friday, Apr. 3)

Apr. 10                        Review

Apr. 15                       Final Exam, Wed., 9-11 a.m.