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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Arts
August 28, 2016
Canadian Excellence



Take a class in community: EN 210 - Literature and Social Change

Apr 3/13

Inside-Out Canada and the Faculty of Arts bring students in the Department of English and Film Studies the opportunity to take EN 210: Literature and Social Change during the Fall 2013 semester as an Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program course offering.

Inside-Out brings together university-enrolled students and incarcerated students as classmates, in seminar courses that emphasize dialogue, critical thinking, problem-solving and collaboration. Over the course of the semester, inside and outside students engage together in serious shared inquiry, transcend limiting stereotypes and build productive learning communities. In the process, people get to work with and learn from people they might otherwise never meet. This is education come alive!

EN 210: Literature and Social Change will attend to how writers and readers, from different nations and periods, have envisioned the role of literature in creating social change. While the course will address texts that deal with a range of social issues through time from slavery to feminism to animal rights emphasis will be placed on how these different writers have shared the belief that the literary (whether fiction, poetry or life writing) is an important forum for social critique. This course, then, will involve a consideration of broader questions about the social value of writing, reading, and studying literature.

This course will meet once a week during the Fall term, on Thursday afternoons from 1:00-3:50, at the Grand Valley Institution for Women, a federal correctional facility in Kitchener. Attendance at each session is mandatory. Students are responsible for their transportation to the Grand Valley Institution (accessible by city bus).

Twelve spots are available for WLU students. Registration in this course requires prior instructor approval, as determined by an interview process (to be scheduled for May by phone or in-person). To apply for the course, please submit a 250 word statement of interest that explicitly addresses why you are interested in taking this course to Dr. Jennifer Esmail at To receive first consideration, English majors must submit their statement of interest by April 30. If spaces are still available, applications will be accepted from all Faculty of Arts majors if submitted by May 30.

To learn more about how the program works, see the short documentaries at the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program website:

If you have any questions, please contact:

Dr. Jennifer Esmail, Department of English and Film Studies, at


Inside-Out Canada (Simone Davis, Coordinator; Dr. Shoshana Pollack, Assistant Coordinator) at

Inside-Out Canada is the new Canadian national program, funded by the Hallman Foundation and headquartered at Wilfrid Laurier's Faculty of Social Work. At Grand Valley Institution, a group of inside and outside alumni, many from Wilfrid Laurier, have formed the Walls to Bridges Collective, a think tank dedicated both to fostering innovative educational opportunities and to raising awareness about the experiences of criminalized women.

Dr. Jennifer Esmail

Assistant Professor

Department of English and Film Studies

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