20 English, Theatre, Film & Media


Literature, the Humanities, and Humanity

This book attempts to demystify the act of reading and to show that these works, whether they are nearly three thousand or less than two hundred years old, still have important things to say to contemporary readers. Reviews are available through the Open Textbook Library.

Prose Fiction: An Introduction to the Semiotics of Narrative

This textbook outlines the principles and techniques of storytelling. It is intended as an introduction to the central concepts of narrative theory that will aid students in developing their competence not only in analyzing and interpreting short stories and novels, but also in writing them. Reviews are available through the Open Textbook Library.

Includes: Summary, glossary

Genre in a Changing World

This book collection of essays provides a wide-ranging sampler of current work. Reviews are available through the Open Textbook Library.

Introduction to Poetry

This book is designed for a first college course in poetry. Assuming no prior knowledge of poetry, it guides the student through the most essential aspects of poetics, the tricky question of interpretation, and the importance of form. It also outlines, in several chapters, the ways that poetry has evolved over time.

Literary Form and Analysis

This is a set of instructional materials, including handouts, exercises, and a sample syllabus for a course emphasizing skills of close reading and formal analysis as well as the scholarly study of genre.

An Introduction to African and Afro-Diasporic Peoples and Influences in British Literature and Culture before the Industrial Revolution

An Introduction to African and Afro-Diasporic Peoples and Influences in British Literature and Culture before the Industrial Revolution corrects, expands, and celebrates the presence of the African Diaspora in the study of British literature.

Includes: Further reading

Becoming America: An Exploration of American Literature from Precolonial to Post-Revolution

Featuring sixty-nine authors and full texts of their works, the selections in this open anthology represent the diverse voices in early American literature. Reviews available from the Open Textbook Library.

Includes: Reading and review questions

Open Anthology of American Literature

This anthology is divided into five major sections, starting with the Colonial period and ending with the publication of Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl on the eve of the Civil War. Each section includes an overview and framework for approaching the readings, as well as overarching questions to help students think about the connections between the texts.

Open Anthology of Earlier American Literature

This textbook takes a distinctly socio-historical approach to introducing Early American literature.

Writing the Nation: A Concise Introduction to American Literature 1865 to Present

Writing the Nation: A Concise Guide to American Literature 1865 to Present is a text that surveys key literary movements and the American authors associated with the movement. Topics include late romanticism, realism, naturalism, modernism, and modern literature. Reviews available from the Open Textbook Library.

Includes: Key terms, glossary

British Literature I: Middle Ages to the Eighteenth Century and Neoclassicism

Featuring over 50 authors and full texts of their works, this anthology follows the shift of monarchic to parliamentarian rule in Britain, and the heroic epic to the more egalitarian novel as genre. Reviews available from the Open Textbook Library.

Includes: Reading and review questions, key terms

British Literature II: Romantic Era to the Twentieth Century and Beyond

Featuring 37 authors and full texts of their works, the selections in this open anthology represent the literature developed within and developing through their respective eras. Reviews available.

Includes: Biographies for each author, reading and review questions

CanLit Guides

CanLit Guides is a flexible learning resource that helps students critically engage with Canadian literature while encouraging and promoting independent study. CanLit Guides provides first- and second-year university students with information, resources, and exercises addressing literary theory, Canadian literary history, and works of Canadian fiction, non-fiction, and drama. Please note that while free to read, most of the website is not licensed for reuse.

World Literature I: Beginnings to 1650

This peer-reviewed World Literature I anthology includes introductory text and images before each series of readings. Sections of the text are divided by time period in three parts: the Ancient World, Middle Ages, and Renaissance, and then divided into chapters by location.

Compact Anthology of World Literature

The introductions in this anthology are meant to provide an overview of foundational literature and their historical background. Reviews available.

Open Anthology of Early World Literature in English Translation

This webpage is a collection of free and open primary texts in digital formats for the study of early world literature in English translation. Multiple English translations are provided for comparison and study, as well as open secondary and supplemental resources.

The Ideologies of Lived Space in Literary Texts, Ancient and Modern

Inspired by the spatial turn in the humanities, this collection presents a number of essays on the ideological role of space in literary texts. The individual articles analyse ancient and modern literary texts from the angle of the most recent theoretical conceptualisations of space. The focus throughout is on how the experience of space is determined by dominant political, philosophical or religious ideologies and how, in turn, the description of spaces in literature is employed to express, broadcast or deconstruct this experience. Reviews available through the Open Textbook Library.


Writing and Literature: Composition as Inquiry, Learning, Thinking, and Communication

This textbook teaches the various writing styles appropriate for analyzing, addressing, and critiquing various genres. The text and its pairing of helpful visual aids throughout emphasizes the importance of critical reading and analysis in producing a successful composition. Reviews are available.

Includes: Glossary, assignment ideas

The Simple Math of Writing Well: Writing for the 21st Century

This text addresses the importance of writing well in the Google age. Reviews are available.

Includes: Exercises with answer keys

Naming the Unnameable: An Approach to Poetry for New Generations

Informed by a writing philosophy that values both spontaneity and discipline, this book offers practical advice and strategies for developing a writing process that is centered on play. Reviews available.

Includes: Key terms, recommended accompanying resources

Brehe’s Grammar Anatomy

This book provides an in-depth look at beginner grammar terms and concepts, providing clear examples with limited technical jargon.

Includes: Exercises, glossary

Bad Ideas About Writing

This collection aims to identify bad ideas about writing and suggest better ones. Reviews available.

Writing Unleashed: Content and Structure

This book is designed for use as a textbook in first-year college composition programs. Reviews available.

Includes: Questions to consider

English Composition: Connect, Collaborate, Communicate

This textbook has been designed for students to learn the foundational concepts for a first year composition course. Reviews available.

Includes: Suggested assignments, videos and readings

College ESL Writers: Applied Grammar and Composing Strategies for Success

This book is designed as a comprehensive grammar and writing text for high intermediate and advanced level non-native speakers of English.

Includes: Integrated examples, exercises, suggested writing topics, grading rubrics

Successful College Composition, 3rd ed.

This textbook and accompanying instructor manual provides an overview of writing skills for an introductory writing course. A modularized version is available for D2L.

Includes: Exercises, key takeaways, instructor manual

How Arguments Work – A Guide to Writing and Analyzing Texts in College

This book takes students through the techniques they will need to respond to readings and make sophisticated arguments in any college class. This is a practical guide to argumentation with strategies and templates for the kinds of assignments students will commonly encounter. It covers rhetorical concepts in everyday language and explores how arguments can build trust and move readers. Reviews available.

Includes: Audio version of text, annotated sample essays

Writing Fabulous Features

This book teaches the art and craft of feature writing to help readers learning to write non-fiction with flair. Reviews available.

Includes: Feature examples, interviews with journalists

Howdy or Hello?: Technical and Business Communications

Technical writing courses introduce you to some of the most important aspects of writing in the worlds of science, technology, and business—in other words, the kind of writing that scientists, nurses, doctors, computer specialists, government officials, engineers, and other professionals do as a part of their regular work. The skills learned in technical writing courses can be useful in other fields as well, including education and social sciences. Reviews available.

Includes: Quick reference for APA and MLA citations

Mindful Technical Writing: An Introduction to the Fundamentals

This is textbook is designed for use in co-requisite course pairings of developmental writing and introductory technical writing, or indeed in other lower-division college writing courses that focus on building study skills alongside effective workplace and academic writing skills. Reviews available.

Includes: Activities

Film Studies

Exploring Movie Construction and Production: What’s so Exciting about Movies?

This open textbook contains eight chapters of the major areas of film construction and production, including: theme; genre; narrative structure’ character portrayal; story; plot; directing style; cinematography; and editing.

Includes: Assignments, vocabulary

Moving Pictures: An Introduction to Cinema

A free and open-source introduction to the art and science of moving pictures, offering in-depth exploration of how cinema communicates, and what, exactly, it is trying to say. Reviews available.

Includes: Embedded film clips as examples

Film and the City: The Urban Imaginary in Canadian Cinema

Examining fourteen Canadian films produced from 1989 to 2007, including Denys Arcand’s Jésus de Montréal (1989), Jean-Claude Lauzon’s Léolo (1992), Mina Shum’s Double Happiness (1994), Clément Virgo’s Rude (1995), and Guy Maddin’s My Winnipeg (2007), Film and the City is the first comprehensive study of Canadian film and “urbanity”—the totality of urban culture and life. Please note that while available for free download, this book is not licensed for edits.

Film Appreciation

This open textbook covers narration, film history, mise-on-scène, cinematography, editing, sound, genre, writing film analysis.

Includes: Embedded video, glossary

The Altering Eye: Contemporary International Cinema

The Altering Eye covers a “golden age” of international cinema from the end of WWII through to the New German Cinema of the 1970s. Combining historical, political, and textual analysis, Kolker develops a pattern of cinematic invention and experimentation from neorealism through the modernist interventions of Jean-Luc Godard and Rainer Werner Fassbinder, focusing along the way on such major figures as Luis Buñuel, Joseph Losey, the Brazilian director Glauber Rocha, and the work of major Cuban filmmakers.


An Introduction to Technical Theatre

This textbook’s accessible format is designed for students at all levels, including those studying technical theatre as an elective part of their education. The text’s modular format is also intended to assist teachers approach the subject at their own pace and structure, a necessity for those who may regularly rearrange their syllabi around productions and space scheduling. Reviews available.

Theatrical Worlds

This introductory text for theatre and theoretical production seeks to give insight into the people and processes that create theater. Reviews available. Please note that this work is licensed for reuse and redistribution, but not editing or remixing.

Includes: Interviews


#TheatreAppreciation is a textbook for introductory level lecture classes such as Theatre Appreciation and Introduction to Theatre. It provides insight about the art and craft of theatre, a brief exploration of theatre history, and discussion about the styles and forms of theatre along with an overview of professions in the field.

Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia

The Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia is an online free database of information about Canadian actors, playwrights, directors, designers, producers, theatre organizations, composers and plays. Note license is CC BY-NC-ND so adaptations are not permitted.

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