2000 Level Courses

AP/HUMA 2002 6.00 Questioning Culture EVENING COURSE


Designed to introduce students. to the theoretical study of contemporary culture in past and contemporary society, offering tools for questioning and decoding the social and political contexts of cultural production. Areas of focus include popular media, consumer culture, digital culture, technology, music, subcultures, issues of gender, ideology, race, nationalism, ethnicity and identity.
As a subject area the study of culture defies easy description or encapsulation. While sometimes associated with the particular directions of the Birmingham School in the United Kingdom, the practice and teaching of Cultural Studies around the world is resolutely interdisciplinary and representative of a wide range of interests, issues and concerns. In this course we will map some of the territory of Cultural Studies with the broad aim being to create a critical “toolbox” with which to critically approach the study of culture, especially within the equally broad scope of media and communications studies, technology and artistic expression.

E. Clements

RESERVED SPACES: Some spaces reserved for Humanities and Culture & Expression Majors and Minors.
PRIOR TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusion: AK/CLTR 2100 6.00.

AP/HUMA 2105 6.00 Roman Literature & Culture

An introduction to the major literature of ancient Rome and key aspects of Roman culture. Beginning with the foundation myths of Aeneas, Romulus, and Remus, this course moves forward through the development and destruction of the Roman Republic into the age of the Roman Emperors, from Augustus to Nero and beyond. We read a wide variety of literature from throughout this period in translation, and also examine other sources for learning about the ancient world: archaeology, art, inscriptions, coins, and other material culture.

Some aspects of Roman culture will seem very familiar, but others remain alien. This course will cover much territory, but major themes will be: the Roman family; Roman militarism; the institution of slavery; the role of the arena and gladiatorial games in culture; Roman gender roles; the relationship of literature to politics; pan-Mediterranean cultural interactions.

No previous knowledge of the ancient world is necessary. This course aims to improve students’ ability to comprehend different kinds of texts, to construct arguments based on close engagement with primary texts, to evaluate secondary sources critically and ultimately to communicate ideas clearly both verbally and in writing.


RESERVED SPACES: Some spaces reserved for Humanities & Classical Studies Majors and Minors.

AP/HUMA 2210 6.00 Media, Culture & Technology

Combining historical and theoretical perspectives, the course explores media technologies from the invention of the printing press to networked digital media. Assessing the relationship between technology and culture, and how media technology mediates communication and cultural transformation, will be among the main concerns.

Discussion Paper, Written Editorial Exercise, Oral Discussion Facilitation

Cook, S. (1996). Technological Revolutions and the Gutenberg Myth. In M. Stefnik (Ed.), Internet Dreams: Archetypes, Myths and Metaphors (pp. 67-82). Cambridge: MIT Press.
Winston, B. (2005). The Liberty to Know? Print from 1455. in Messages: Free Expression, media and the West from Gutenberg to Google (pp. 3-30). London; New York: Routledge.
Eisenstein, E. (1980). The Emergence of Print Culture in the West. Journal of Communication, 30(1): 99-106.
Briggs, A. & P. Burke (2009). Printing in its Contexts. In A Social History of the Media: From Gutenberg to the Internet (pp. 13-60). Cambridge: Polity Press.
Gere, C. (2008). Digital Culture: London: Reaktion Books.
Giblet, R. (2008). Sublime Communication Technologies. Houndsmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.
Streeter, T. (2011). The Net Effect: Romanticisim, Capitalism, and the Internet. New York: New York University Press.

B. Hanke

RESERVED SPACES: Some spaces reserved for Humanities and Culture & Expression Majors and Minors.

AP/HUMA 2225 6.00 Popular Technologies

This course offers a technocultural studies approach to popular technologies. We begin with the relation between technology and culture, and an overview of the role of technology in modernity. We then examine an array of media technologies such as email, MP3s, social media, algorithmic culture, search engines, mobile phones, Facebook and personal photography. We will consider some long-standing and topical issues, and conclude with a look at the future of popular communication technologies.

Various discussion papers and a final critical essay.

Slack, J. D., & Wise, J. M. (2015). Meaning. In Culture and technology: A primer (pp. 107-114). New York: Peter Lang.
Slack, J. D., & Wise, J. M. (2015). Space and Time. In Culture and technology: A primer (pp. 179-194). New York: Peter Lang.
Shaw, D. B. (2008). Introduction: Technology and Social Realities. In Technoculture: The key concepts (pp 1-41). Oxford and New York: Berg.
Gillespie, T. (2013). The Politics of “Platforms”. In J. Hartley, J. Burgess, A. Bruns (Eds.), A Companion to New Media Dynamics (pp. 407-416). Chichester and Malden: John Wiley and Sons.
W. Brooker (2010). ‘Now You’re Thinking with Portals’: Media Training for a Digital World. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 13(6):553-573.
Van den Boomen, M. (2009). Interfacing by Material Metaphors. In van den Boomen, M, Lammes, S., Raessens, J., & Schäfer, M. (Eds.), Digital material: Tracing new media in
everyday life and technology (pp. 253-265). Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.
Sterne, J. (2006). The Mp3 as Cultural Artifact. New Media & Society, 8(5): 825-842.
Hillis, K., M. Petit, K. & Jarrett, K. (2013). Introduction. In Hillis, Petit & Jarrett, Google and the culture of search. New York and Milton Park: Routledge (pp. 1-29).
LeBel, S. (2012). Wasting the Future: The Technological Sublime, Communications Technologies, and E-waste. Communication + 1, 1(1): 1-19.

B. Hanke

RESERVED SPACES: Some spaces reserved for Humanities and Culture & Expression Majors and Minors.
PRIOR TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusion: AK/CLTR 2510 6.00.

AP/HUMA 2310 6.00 An Introduction To Caribbean Studies

An introduction to the major cultural characteristics of the Caribbean through study of the scholars, writers, and artists of the region. Themes include colonialism, slavery and indentureship; the quest for national independence; the role of race, ethnicity and gender in the negotiation of individual and collective identities; the tension between elite and popular culture; and the Caribbean diaspora in North America. Course materials include scholarly and literary works, films and music.

Critical skills taught in this course: critical thinking, analysis of texts, effective writing, oral expression, library and internet research.

Writing (short essays, annotated bibliography and research essay) 40%; mid-term and final exams 40%; oral presentations 10%; tutorial participation 10% (subject to change).

M. Silvera, The Heart Does Not Bend (novel); S. Mootoo, Cereus Blooms (novel). Students are expected to purchase a kit of duplicated readings with articles, essays, poems and songs by authors such as P. Bellegarde-Smith, L. Bennett, E.K. Brathwaite, A. Césaire, Chalkdust, C. Cooper, E. Danticat, F. Fanon, M. Garvey, S. Hall, G. K. Lewis, W. Look-Lai, B. Marley, V.S. Naipaul, P. Mohammed, N. Morejon, R. Nettleford, J. Rhys, R. Reddock, S. Selvon, M. Trouillot, D. Walcott, and E. Williams.

M. Wood

RESERVED SPACES: Some spaces reserved for Humanities & Latin American and Caribbean Studies & International Development Studies Majors and Minors.
Course Credit Exclusion: AP/HUMA 2310 9.00 (prior to Fall 2014).
PRIOR TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusion: AS/HUMA 2310 9.00.

AP/HUMA 2600 6.00 Humanities For A Global Age

This course provides students with important contexts for the study of the Humanities, including the place of Humanities in the curriculum of the modern university, key concepts for intellectual debate in the Humanities, and the place of Humanities-type inquiry in globalized world culture.

It is often said that we live in a global age, and without doubt that is in many ways true. But what is a global age? And what does it mean for us to live in one? The answers to these questions commonly involve economic, statistical, historical and geopolitical methods and theories. This course investigates the new global age from the perspectives of academic disciplines which together comprise “the humanities” (literary and art criticism, cultural studies, philosophy, religious studies, political theory, history), and shows how an interdisciplinary combination of Humanities subjects can help us understand what it is to live in a global age. How may diverse groups of people who nevertheless have more and more contact with each understand themselves in ways that will encourage understanding and discourage conflict? The course also traces the history and the problematic of the humanities themselves, including their place in the university. Why and how do particular methods, theories, and institutions get created when they do? What do they illuminate/enable and what do they obscure/disable? In pursuing these issues, the course will make use of readings in philosophy, social and political theory, history, film, art, literature, criticism, and cultural studies.

Diagnostic passage essay: 10%; Thematic essay: 15%; Research essay: 25%; Midterm (December exam period): 15%; Final exam: Final exam (April exam period): 25%.

Chinua Achebe. Things Fall Apart. Edited by Francis Abiola Irele. Norton Critical Edition. ISBN 978-0-393-93219-5; Joseph Conrad. Heart of Darkness. Fourth Edition. Edited by Paul B. Armstrong, Brown University. Norton Critical Editions. ISBN 0-393-92636-2; Plato. The Last Days of Socrates (Euthyphro; The Apology; Crito; Phaedo). Translated by Hugh Tredennick; edited by Harold Tarrant. Penguin Classics. ISBN 9780140449280; William Shakespeare. The Tempest. Signet Classic. ISBN 9780451527127. Course Kit


RESERVED SPACES: Some spaces reserved for Humanities Majors and Minors.
Course Credit Exclusion: AP HUMA 2600 9.0.

AP/HUMA 2640 6.00 Modes Of Fantasy

This course explores the creative process through the study of the works and lives of a select group of artists and writers. As well as novels, plays, short stories and poems, paintings, and films, the course considers journals, autobiographies, essays and letters that show writers reflecting on their work and its relation to their own lives and to the lives of others. What does it mean to live creatively? How does an artist arrive at such a life? What are the criteria for success – for the artist and for his or her age? What role does the unconscious (collective and individual) play in the creative process? What links exists between creativity and psychological disorder, and creativity and morality? These are some of the questions the course attempts to answer. The course moves behind “finished” works of art to observe the writer’s creative impulse and sensibility in its earlier stages, and also involves a consideration of the relation between art and life as well as art and its historical moment.

Two oral seminar presentations – 40% (10% each for oral presentations, totalling 20%, and 10% each for written versions of the oral presentations, totalling 20%); attendance and participation – 20%; major research paper – 40% (proposal and bibliography: 5%; paper: 35%). (NOTE: one seminar presentation will be a book review of a title chosen from the list of secondary readings, and the second seminar presentation will be about material related to the artist or writer studied for the chosen week. Oral presentations should last no longer than 15 minutes; written presentations should be about 1,500 words, or 5-6 typewritten, double-spaced pages.) E-mail submissions of written work are not accepted.

Anna Akhmatova, Selected Poems; Anton Chekhov, Five Plays, selections from Forty Stories; Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Sufferings of Young Werther; D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lover; May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude and Mrs Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing; Gertrude Stein, Selected Writings of Gertrude Stein; van Gogh, The Letters of Vincent van Gogh and Dover’s selected images (on cards); Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse, A Room of One’s Own/Three Guineas.

R. Teleky

RESERVED SPACES: Some spaces reserved for Humanities Majors and Minors.
Course Credit Exclusion: AP/HUMA 2640 9.00 (prior to Fall 2014)

AP/HUMA 2670 6.00 Film and Literature

Film images in their flux often demand that we uncritically accept them. This course will investigate their meanings and truth and seek to develop a critical discourse for film by means of strategies drawn from the study of literary texts.
Course credit exclusion: AP/HUMA 2670 9.00.

PRIOR TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusion: AS/HUMA 2670 9.00.

Course Director:
S. Ingram

RESERVED SPACES: Some spaces reserved for Humanities Majors and Minors.

AP/HUMA 2690 6.00 Introduction To Children’s Studies


All spaces reserved for Children’s Studies Majors and Minors who have successfully completed AP/HUMA 1970 6.0, with at least a “B”.
This course is an interdisciplinary introduction to the study of children and childhood from birth to age 18 (“child” as defined by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child). The course draws on many disciplines, including anthropology, sociology, psychology, law, children’s and adult literature, film, environmental studies, history, philosophy, and biology. The focus is on contemporary discourses about children and childhood, and the means through which they are constructed. Of particular importance are the lived experiences of children as well as their knowledges and cultures.

In 2016-17, the course will focus in particular on children’s and young people’s cultural works. Some modules that may be explored in the course childhood, culture and innocence; children’s play and folklore; children’s material cultures; children’s friendships; children’s music; youth cultures in the Global South; children’s literacies; new media and participatory cultures.

K. Chakraborty

RESERVED SPACES: All spaces reserved for Children’s Studies Majors and Minors.
Course Credit Exclusion: AP/HUMA 2690 9.0
PRIOR TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusion: AS/HUMA 2690 9.00.

AP/HUMA 2805 6.00 World Religions in Canada

Tracing the origins and development of different religious communities, this course identifies and analyzes ways in which the religious reflects, shapes and embodies the social and cultural diversity and plurality of everyday life in Canada. It invites students to explore a variety of religious experiences and traditions, as they are domesticated in local and familiar contexts upon Canada’s social and cultural landscape. The course examines the sacred texts, myths, doctrines, ethics, rituals, institutions and attitudes to contemporary issues of First Nations peoples, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs in their personal spiritual and communal religious lives. The course compares and contrasts classical and Canadian forms of the religious traditions studied, both in terms of their historical dispersion and in terms of their dealings one with another in today’s Canada in urban, suburban and rural environments. Students are encouraged to investigate the contemporary status and future development of the spiritual and the religious in Canada, especially instances of their individual and institutional manifestation in material culture and the popular media.

1) Participation 10%
2) Diagnostic test 15%
3) Tutorial quizzes 15%
4) Mid-year examination in the lecture period 20%
5) Final examination 40%

Jamie S. Scott, ed. The Religions of Canadians (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012)

Weekly lecture materials posted on the course’s Moodle website, including selected archival and scholarly readings, and excerpts and clips from popular media.

J. Scott

RESERVED SPACES: Some spaces reserved for Canadian Studies, Humanities and Religious Studies Majors and Minors.