Course Offerings, January 2020

k in bubbleIn January 2020 I will be teaching 2 sections of English 1130: Academic Writing, with the theme of climate justice, and 2 sections of English 1102: Readings in Literature and Culture, on the theme of “Rejecting the System.”  All four sections will be at the Douglas College David Lam campus in Coquitlam, traditional unceded territory of the Kwikwetlem First Nation. Please email me ( if you would like to see the syllabus for either course! 

English 1102: Readings in Literature + Culture
REJECTING THE SYSTEMclimate school strike vancouver

Photo Credit: Vancouver Courier, 3 May 2019

2 sections, January 2019
Douglas College, David Lam Campus

The anarchist scholar Noam Chomsky once observed, “This world is full of suffering, distress, violence and catastrophes. Students must decide: does something concern you or not? I say: look around, analyze the problems, ask yourself what you can do and set out on the work!” We’ll consider various cultural texts which do this work of confronting entrenched systems such as capitalism, the carbon economy, settler colonialism, and patriarchy, while considering ways of resisting or redesigning such systems. Texts we’ll study include Jon Krakauer’s account of the 24 year old Chris McCandless who rejected the conventional trappings of North American life to go “into the wild;” Rita Wong’s undercurrent (2015), and the indie film Captain Fantastic (2016, Dir. Matt Ross). In addition, we’ll read excerpts from texts such as: the Dark Mountain, Desert, and Leap Manifestos, as well as an article on the Tiny House Warriors opposing the Transmountain pipeline extension.

  • Krakauer, Jon. Into the Wild. Anchor, 1997. ISBN: 9780385486804 ($18.)
  • Wong, Wita, undercurrent. 2015. ISBN: 0889713081 ($20.)
  • Ursula K. LeGuin. The Dispossessed. [1974]. Harper Voyager, 1994. ISBN: 0061054887 ($10.)
  • Captain Fantastic. Dir. Matt Ross. Universal, 2016. 118 mins. (Free).
  • small course pack of readings available from the Douglas College bookstore (really cheap)


English 1130: Academic Writing
CLIMATE CHANGE + CLIMATE JUSTICEScreen Shot 2019-08-28 at 8.12.11 AM

Transmountain pipeline expansion protest, June 2019 in Victoria, BC

2 sections, January 2019
Douglas College, David Lam Campus

One of the best ways to learn to write academic prose is to read it. To this end, the academic readings for this section of 1130 will explore the theme of climate change and climate justice. We’ll read popular and academic articles that focus on the impact of climate change on the Iñupiat and Inuit in the north, and tar sands and pipelines in relation to indigenous communities in BC and Alberta.

Along the way we will study the elements of academic writing that make it a distinct genre: appropriate use of citation and summary; placement of sources in conversation with each other; the significant features of introductions and conclusions to academic papers; patterns of development (ways of structuring the argument); thesis statements; abstractions; APA citation style. We will also learn how to effectively search for and evaluate popular and academic (peer-reviewed) sources. By the end of the term you will produce a six-page research paper in appropriate academic style.

  • Maureen Okun and Nora Ruddock. The Broadview Guide to Citation and Documentation. 2nd Broadview Press, 2016. ISBN: 978-1-55481-334-6 (approx. $17.)
  • Mark Maslin. Climate Change: A Very Short Introduction. 3rd Oxford UP, 2014. ISBN: 0198719043 (cost approx.$6)
  • Trainor, K. Course Pack of Selected Readings. (Available in the Douglas College Bookstore; maybe about $10.)
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