4000 Level Courses

AP/HUMA 4103 6.00 Interpretations of Homeric Epic

Examines the "Iliad" and the "Odyssey" through study of some of the various interpretive strategies, both ancient and modern, which have been applied to these texts.

COURSE DIRECTOR: M. Clark

RESERVED SPACES: All spaces reserved for Yr 03 & 04 Humanities & Classical Studies Majors and Minors.

AP/HUMA 4140 6.00 Childhood In Canadian Culture SECTION B: ONLINE

This course analyzes childhood as represented and experienced in Canadian culture through time, across regions, and among cultural groups. There are two primary aspects to the course: first, an exploration of the range of representations of children and childhood in Canadian expressive culture through different moments of history, throughout different regions, and among different cultural groups; and second, the relationship of these cultural constructs to the real-life experience of children at various times in different parts of, or groups within, Canada. The course will also focus on children’s own culture (through their folklore, reminiscences of being a child, and similar documents); on “child agency,” children’s rights, and their limitations; and on contemporary concerns about the role and status of children in Canada. The course utilizes several genres of “texts” (including visual art, fiction, poetry, life-writing, drama, and film) and multidisciplinary approaches (including the studies of literature, film, history, and ethnography).

COURSE DIRECTORS: SECTION A: K. Verrall SECTION B: TBA

RESERVED SPACES: All spaces reserved for Yr 03 & 04 Children’s Studies Majors and Minors.

AP/HUMA 4141 6.00 Children, Youth And Digital Culture ONLINE

FULLY ONLINE

Investigates how children and youth use digital technologies and new media both as "extensions" of individual identities and facilitators of "youth culture." Texting, sexting, tweeting, learning, playing, protesting, creating-how are youth making meaning of the world through digital youth cultures? What are children and youth doing in a digital world and what are the implications of this for everyone?

COURSE DIRECTOR: S. Gennaro

RESERVED SPACES: All spaces reserved for Yr 03 & 04 Children’s Studies Majors and Minors.

AP/HUMA 4142 6.00 Contemporary Children’s Culture SECTION M(WINTER): ONLINE

PRE-REQUISITE/CO-REQUISITE: AP/HUMA 3695 6.0: LISTENING TO CHILDREN

4142 6.0M (WINTER) FULLY ONLINE

This course proceeds from an understanding of children as agents in and of culture. It argues that children are not mere receivers of culture, but active producers of it as well. Like all distinguishable human groups, children have cultural artifacts with which they identify collectively and by which they are identified by outsiders. These artifacts may be material, oral, behavioural and, increasingly, virtual or digital. Young people manipulate these artifacts in response to a multiplicity of physical and social milieux to fulfill various needs and achieve desired ends. These artifacts comprise childhood culture as well as children’s own culture.

COURSE DIRECTORS:
SECTION A:  A. Halsall
SECTION B: TBA
SECTION M: C. Cowdy

RESERVED SPACES: All spaces reserved for Yr 03 & 04 Children’s Studies Majors and Minors.

AP/HUMA 4145 6.00 Fantasy And Children’s Culture

This course explores the fantasy mode in childhood and children’s culture made by and for them, including literature (poetry, picture books, and novels), film (live action and animated), toys, songs, and games (including video games).

COURSE DIRECTOR:  R. Woodall

RESERVED SPACES: All spaces reserved for Yr 03 & 04 Children’s Studies Majors and Minors.

AP/HUMA 4149 3.00 Contemporary Canadian Childhood & Law

This course explores childhood experience and the social construction of childhood in Canadian law. Students will examine the social policies that inform the law, consider how children experience the law through popular culture and direct contact with the legal system, and explore the current state of "children's rights," asking what reforms would empower children, making childhood an autonomous legal category.

COURSE DIRECTOR: R. Fisher

RESERVED SPACES: All spaces reserved for Yr 03 & 04 Humanities & Children’s Studies Majors and Minors.

AP/HUMA 4151 3.00 Imagination and Reality: Don Quixote in Literature, Film and Art

This course examines the nature and function of the imagination and its relationship to reality through an analysis of the highly influential "first modern novel," Don Quixote, and subsequent representations of Don Quixote in literature, film and art.

COURSE DIRECTOR: R. Teleky

RESERVED SPACES:  Some spaces reserved for Yr 03 & 04 Humanities Majors and Minors.

AP/HUMA 4156 3.00 Culture in Objects: the humanities and material culture studies

How do three-dimensional objects or artefacts - that is, matter that has been crafted or worked on by humans - embody, transmit and transform intangible aspects of culture, such as values, knowledge, or history? Over the term, students will develop intensive case studies of an object of their choice. They will gain experience with the theories and practices of material culture studies through their case study. The course readings introduce students to the theories and practices of material culture studies, which is a multidisciplinary field drawing from traditions in philosophy, history, anthropology, and archaeology, among others.

The study of the meaning of objects, and how they embody and reproduce human culture, has deep roots in the humanities tradition. As part of their work, students will be asked to consider the past, present and future of this tradition, in order to reflect carefully on the contemporary surge of interest in material culture within the academy. This means placing our work within the context of changing ideas of the museum, the collection, the connoisseur and materiality itself. We consider how the identity and meaning of each of these key terms continues to shift with the evolution of digital spaces and collections.

COURSE DIRECTOR: J. Steigerwald

RESERVED SPACES:  Some spaces reserved for Yr 03 & 04 Humanities Majors and Minors.

AP/HUMA 4160 6.00 Storytelling, Multicentered Worlds and Resistance EVENING COURSE

EVENING COURSE

The world around us is changing rapidly and there are many who suggest that the values, perspectives and behaviours of human beings need also to change in order to meet the challenges posed by this new world. In the face of increasing globalization, some are calling for a rethinking of Western values that focuses more on who we are and how we live with respect to the places in which we live: our locals. This is an interdisciplinary course that examines what some of these changes in values and perspectives might be by drawing upon a wide range of theories and studying a diversity of texts, artifacts and cultural practices to interrogate the ways that humans make meaning of their lives, their values and their communities through stories and storytelling. We will explore the notion that stories emerge from a context of situated embodied knowledges that are grounded in a “local” and that comprise our multicultural and multicentered worlds, and focus on those that challenge some of the current and dominating stories of Western cultures.

The course will use a concept of “the local” that is derived especially from Native and Environmental philosophies, and from the idea of multicentered societies of feminist artist Lucy Lippard in which “the local” is a concept of place which is spatial as well as temporal, personal as well as political, and which encompasses all of the senses and is intimately connected with the histories, memories, and the relationships of all beings that reside there. We will consult a multiplicity of materials and disciplines such as oral traditions, literature, music, performance, art, film, architecture, ceremony/ritual, comics and graphic novels, news media, documentaries, historical documents, myth, folklore, popular culture, feminist studies, cultural studies; religious studies, anthropology, archaeology, and geography, to consider notions of place, notions of relationships, respect, and responsibility among human and other-than-human beings in the stories that we encounter, and to examine how individuals and groups whose stories and “locals” are different might, at particular moments, identify common concerns in their stories and work together over those common concerns to strengthen their communities and/or to make change.

COURSE DIRECTOR: S. Rowley

RESERVED SPACES: All spaces reserved for Yr 03 & 04 Humanities Majors and Minors.

AP/HUMA 4185 6.00 Modern Moods: Nostalgia and Melancholy

This interdisciplinary course compares the cultural history of two modes of affective experience: melancholy and nostalgia. Based on carefully selected examples, students follow how the two concepts were framed and shaped over time in medical, literary, philosophical and other discourses, and how they have in turn shaped European identity.

COURSE DIRECTOR:  S. Chrostowska

RESERVED SPACES: All spaces reserved for Yr 03 & 04 Humanities Majors and Minors.

AP/HUMA 4190 6.00 Faith, Reason and Modern Self-Consciousness in European Thought

This course examines texts in Ancient Greek philosophy, the Bible, and modern European thought in order to assess the fruitfulness of viewing modern self-consciousness in terms of the relationship of faith and reason.

COURSE DIRECTOR: A. Kulak

RESERVED SPACES: All spaces reserved for Yr 03 & 04 Humanities & European Studies Majors and Minors.

AP/HUMA 4306 6.00 Imagining Slavery and Freedom

This fourth-year seminar combines creative texts—novels, music, and the visual arts—alongside slave narratives, nonfiction and theoretical works in an examination of questions of Transatlantic slavery, the imagination, and the idea of freedom. In Toni Morrison’s landmark novel Beloved, the character Baby Suggs tells the formerly enslaved and putatively free born Black people gathered in the Clearing that, “the only grace they could have was the grace they could imagine. That if they could not see it, they would not have it.” This calling speaks powerfully to the work of imagination in ushering in livable worlds. Beginning with slave narratives by Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs, students will theorize slavery and freedom, thinking through what Saidiya Hartman calls the “afterlife of slavery” and what Rinaldo Walcott refers to as “the long emancipation.” Drawing on other readings and texts from a range of thinkers, writers and artists, students will continue to think about slavery in the Americas, “archives,” sound, image, blackness and imagination. They will make connections between slave law, mass incarceration, carding, the ways that Black life is rendered disposable, and the multiple modes of resistance to the extension of Black unfreedom. The question of imagination is at the core of the reading and thinking in the course. What do the terms imagination and slavery mean, separately and together? How might one imagine new worlds and possible futures? In addressing these questions, students will regularly interact with visiting artists and scholars whose work and research address these themes.

COURSE DIRECTOR: C. Sharpe

RESERVED SPACES: All spaces reserved for Yr 03 & 04 Humanities Majors and Minors.

AP/HUMA 4430 6.00 Living Confucianism

No one has had a greater impact on Chinese culture than Confucius. His ideas about self-cultivation, the proper ordering of society, the role of the individual in the social order, the relationship between humanity and the cosmos et cetera not only shaped the underlying fabric of Chinese civilisation, they deeply influenced several neighbouring cultures as well. Though Confucianism has taken many forms over the millennia, it remains central to any meaningful understanding of East Asia and is, therefore, critical for constructive international engagement in the 21st century.
In the first half of the course, we will follow the development of Confucian thought and practice in imperial China and the corresponding relevant periods in Vietnam, Korea and Japan. In the second half of the course, we will analyse the ways that different groups, including East Asian modernizers and non-Asian scholars, have tried to tie Confucianism to emerging national and global issues.

COURSE DIRECTOR: G. Anderson

RESERVED SPACES: All spaces reserved for Yr 03 & 04 Humanities & East Asian Studies Majors and Minors.

AP/HUMA 4605 6.00 Literary Utopias in Western Civilization

Introduces students to the canon of European utopian fiction in historical context. Emphasis will be on literary utopias and their social, cultural, and philosophical backgrounds.

COURSE DIRECTOR: S. Chrostowska

RESERVED SPACES: All spaces reserved for Yr 03 & 04 Humanities Majors and Minors.

AP/HUMA 4730 6 .00 Topics in Arts and Ideas

A study of the sources, contexts, expressions, and inter-relationships of the ideas and the non-literary arts of a place or period. Social, literary, philosophical and religious works and their interactions with the arts (painting, sculpture, music, and architecture) are examined in a specific context.

COURSE DIRECTOR: D. Cooper-Clark

RESERVED SPACES: All spaces reserved for Yr 03 & 04 Humanities Majors and Minors.

AP/HUMA 4775 3.00 South Asian Religions and Popular Culture

This course explores Buddhist responses to the changing conditions of modernity in Southeast Asia. Seeking to understand Buddhism as a living religion, it investigates how Buddhists have drawn on religious narratives, symbols and rituals to respond to social and political challenges from the nineteenth century to the present, including issues of religious reform, colonialism, nationalism and ethnicity.

COURSE DIRECTOR: TBA

RESERVED SPACES: All spaces reserved for Yr 03 & 04 Humanities & Religious Studies Majors and Minors.

AP/HUMA 4803 6.00 Church, Mosque And Synagogue

The Muslim conquest of the Iberian peninsula in 711 inaugurated a complex trireligious society that was to endure nearly eight hundred years (and more than eight centuries on the Muslim lunar calendar). This development has given rise to Spain’s designation as a “land of three religions” and Spain’s reputation as premodern western Europe’s foremost “pluralist” society. It has also made Spain, as compared with other European lands, a hard country for non-Spaniards to understand.

COURSE DIRECTOR: TBA

RESERVED SPACES: All spaces reserved for Yr 03 & 04 Humanities & Religious Studies and History Majors and Minors.

AP/HUMA 4812 3.00 Christianity and Film

This course examines the role and representation of the Christian in popular film. Interdisciplinary in approach, it brings together the critical vocabularies of Christian Studies and Film Studies to explore the relationship between Christianity and film as aspects of contemporary culture. Drawing mainly on mass-distributed films from Europe and North America, the course analyzes the ways in which contemporary cinema narrativizes Christian myths, histories, rituals and doctrines and non-Christian attitudes towards them. Issues addressed include: To what extent do particular films reflect the personal beliefs of particular film directors? How is Jesus portrayed in popular film? How does contemporary cinema depict Christian leaders, institutions and histories? How do popular films embody Christian images, teachings and traditions, and to what purpose? How does contemporary cinema represent Christian values and world-views, in both individual and societal terms? How does the cinema help shape relations between Christians and members of other religious traditions? Topics for discussion include: the creator and the created; free will and destiny; sin and salvation; evil and responsibility; selfhood and identity; missionizing and conversion; transcendence and the afterlife. It is assumed that students enrolling in this course will already have a working familiarity with Christian traditions. Any recently published introduction to Christianity will serve this purpose well.

COURSE DIRECTOR:  J. Scott

RESERVED SPACES: All spaces reserved for Yr 03 & 04 Humanities & Religious Studies and Majors and Minors.

AP/HUMA 4815 6.00 Studies in Islamic Mysticism

The course examines the development of Islamic mystical tradition (Sufism) in reference to two issues: one, the development of Sufism as a form of social organization institutionalized in the tarîqa orders, and two, the employment of different themes and symbols in Sufi thought that seek to personalize religious experience through esoteric interpretations of the sacred texts.

COURSE DIRECTOR: A.Buturovic

RESERVED SPACES: All spaces reserved for Yr 03 & 04 Humanities & Religious Studies Majors and Minors.

AP/HUMA 4816 6.00 Women In Islamic Literature

This interdisciplinary course focuses on the representations of women in modern-day literary, scholarly, and visual “texts,” produced by both men and women in Muslim-majority countries and their diasporas in the West. It covers a wide range of geographical regions and treats a variety of literary texts (novels, short stories, poetry), as well as other art forms (painting, photography, film). Thematically, its main goals are two: a/ To explore issues of gender, as reflected in the selected sources, and to discuss the factors which affect the perception of gender roles and the representations of women in a given cultural setting; b/ To acquaint students with authors of international renown, whose works reflect important cultural, ideological, and aesthetic trends in modern Muslim societies and communities.

Students are invited to consider the extent to which religion shapes the creative choices of the authors. Is the dominant mode of women’s representation typified by Islamic values and ideals? Or is there an array of associations and images of women that stem out of different cultural, political, and aesthetic sensibilities? How is the female body, behavior, sexuality, and identity at large constructed in reference to literary, cultural, and societal norms? What is the relationship between text and context? How do historical circumstances, “the spirit of the times”, and the priorities of the moment affect the representation of women, and the issues which authors choose to highlight? In addressing these topics, the course explores--and in part problematizes--the term "Islamic literatures/cultures" when used as a common denominator for a host of creative activities that transcend purely religion-oriented behavior and experience. It also tests the conventional polarities between tradition and modernity, religion and secularism, East and West.

All course materials are read in English/ translation. As part of their course work, students are welcome to introduce other relevant texts and stories, especially oral narratives that they may be familiar with, but which do not exist in English translation.

COURSE DIRECTOR: M. Simidchieva

RESERVED SPACES: All spaces reserved for Yr 03 & 04 Humanities & Religious Studies Majors and Minors.

AP/HUMA 4818 3.00 Shaping Jewish Memory: Meaning, Imagination, and Identity

This course explores how Jewish communities and individuals have remembered, interpreted and given meaning to the past to shape identity and values. It studies fiction, non-fiction, photographs, films, liturgy, and other vehicles of memory.
Course credit exclusion: AP/HUMA 4818 6.00.

COURSE DIRECTOR:  S. Horowitz

RESERVED SPACES: All spaces reserved for Yr 03 & 04 Humanities & Jewish Studies Majors and Minors.

AP/HUMA 4821 3.00 Culture, Society and Values in Israel

This course decodes aspects of culture, society and values in Israel through contemporary Israeli literature—mainly short stories and poems—seasoned lightly with visual art, artifact, film, television and cuisine. Texts will be read and discussed in English.

COURSE DIRECTOR:  L. Wiseman

RESERVED SPACES: All spaces reserved for Yr 03 & 04 Humanities & Jewish Studies Majors and Minors.

AP/HUMA 4824 3.00 Imagining Anne Frank: The Girl, the Diary, the Afterlives

Analyzes Anne Frank's World War II diary from literary, cultural, and historical perspectives. Examines the evolution of Frank and the diary as cultural icons by analyzing representations of Frank as a figure in literature, including novels, poems, films, theatre, exhibitions, memoirs, and other people's diaries, with an eye to personal, collective, and historical memory.

COURSE DIRECTOR:  S. Horowitz

RESERVED SPACES: All spaces reserved for Yr 03 & 04 Humanities &  Children's Studies & Jewish Studies Majors and Minors.

AP/HUMA 4825 6.00 Diversity in Early Christianity

This course explores diversity in early Christian thought and practice by investigating groups traditionally viewed as "heretical". This will include analysis of the New Testament Apocrypha, Nag Hammadi writings, and the opponents attacked in canonical and heresiological literature.

COURSE DIRECTOR: P. Harland

RESERVED SPACES: All spaces reserved for Yr 03 & 04 Humanities & Religious Studies Majors and Minors.

AP/HUMA 4906 6.00 Propaganda And Culture

Investigates the employment of the created environment and other expressions of culture for propagandistic purposes, meant to advance privileged ideologies in politics, religion, and social interchange. Discusses examples chosen from different eras and communities, including modern and contemporary applications. Special emphasis will be placed on examining war propaganda across diverse media in the United States from 1898 to the present.

COURSE DIRECTOR: J. Kispal-Kovacs

RESERVED SPACES: All spaces reserved for Yr 03 & 04 Humanities and Culture & Expression Majors and Minors.

AP/HUMA 4907 3.00 Modernism Across the Arts

Examines literary, musical, and visual arts of the modernist period to explore why there is an inter and multidisciplinary impetus during the period and how such crossovers between and among different cultural forms contributes to the generation of new modes of artistic material.
Course credit exclusion: AP/CLTR 4851 6.00.

COURSE DIRECTOR:  G. Helfield

RESERVED SPACES: All spaces reserved for Yr 03 & 04 Humanities and Culture & Expression Majors and Minors.