For more information on undergraduate courses in Canadian Studies, please refer to the Canadian Studies Undergraduate Calendar or to the Indigenous Studies Undergraduate Calendar

Fall 2016 Course Summaries

Fall 2016
CDNS 1000 Introduction to Canadian Studies
This course introduces students to Canadian Studies as an intellectual movement, briefly examining its origins in 1960s identity politics but paying particular attention to current developments in this field. Instead of promoting the study of Canada and attending to ways to keep the country united, contemporary Canadian Studies is aimed at understanding difference in Canadian society and examines such things as the way in which the state includes and excludes certain groups, the role of popular culture in articulating Canadian identity, and whether or not “the nation” is a concept that even applies anymore. The core question that Canadian Studies asks is: what drives people to come together as a national community? Is it a shared language, history, or ethnic background? Is it a set of symbols or narratives? Is it the rights and responsibilities that being part of a nation entails? Is it the political boundaries or the country’s physical landmass? This course attempts to make sense of these questions by examining some of the ways that identity is produced and maintained in Canada.
CDNS 1001R Studying Canada
This course examines various approaches to the study of Canada. Scholars from the School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies explain how they approach, teach and research Canada. This allows students to learn how interdisciplinary teaching and research differs from traditional academic disciplines. Students see how interdisciplinary Canadian Studies produces a stronger and richer explanation of Canadian phenomena. This prepares you to pursue the study of Canada in Canadian Studies and related disciplines.
CDNS 2000 Debating Canada
This course focuses on contemporary debates in Canada. It is structured around a series of issues that have an impact on the way that Canada and Canadians position themselves both nationally and internationally. The goal of this class is to gain a critical perspective on Canada in a global context. The format will encourage students to participate in discussions on major controversies in the social, economic, cultural, and political arenas. These include national myths and pride, multiculturalism & citizenship, immigration and refugee policies & practices, national security, religion, identity intersections & violence, social programs & poverty, Indigenous issues & the Arctic, globalisation & economy, foreign policy, nationalism-internationalism-cosmopolitanism.
CDNS 2210 Introduction to the Study of Canadian Culture
This course will introduce students to key concepts in cultural studies, Canadian Studies and interdisciplinary research in the humanities. It will focus on the development of Canadian national culture over time and the way in which it is created and contested by cultural production. Since the state plays such an integral role in Canada’s cultural industries, the relationship between nationalism, political engagement, and artistic expression is a very important topic within Canadian Studies.
CDNS 2300 Critical Nationalism
In the year of Brexit and Donald Trump and nationalisms rising across the world, it is time to take stock of, and critically examine, the Canadian case. This course introduces students to the markers and mechanisms of nationalism through a series of different class formats (i.e. lectures, discussions, debates) that offer in-depth perspectives on the various faces of nationalism in current global and national context.The goal is to identify how a nation is imagined and what the Canadian nationalist responses have been to both domestic and international matters that highlight tensions in the concept of the nation-state. Participants will be invited to simultaneously locate themselves in the landscape of nationalisms and to imagine the others’ experiences of Canada. They will be urged to make connections across the cultural, political, economic, and social bases upon which Canada has evolved, and to relate them to the larger dynamics in the world. The course places emphasis on the themes of continuity-change and universal-particular, explaining Canadian nationalisms with an interdisciplinary approach and firmly linking history with the events today. By integrating study cases at the Canadian state and global levels with theory and class outings, the course aims at having students trace developments in nationalism and understand trends that are shaping our worlds.
CDNS 3600 Cultural Politics and Identities in Canada
While the question of cultural politics and identities assumes multiple entry-points  and multiple perspectives, especially within the geographical and political context of the Canadian nation state, CDNS 3600 explores the role of the state and state actors in the production of commemoration and spectacle as a vehicle by which cultural politics and identities are negotiated, policed and/or situated within what Eva Mackey has referred to as the ongoing project of Canadian nation building.We begin by exploring some of the historical dimensions by which the course subject has manifested in the Canadian past, with particular emphasis upon the role of state apparatuses and technologies, before turning to consider the various methodological approaches adopted by Canadianists who have applied critical analysis to both the question and consequences of cultural politics and identities in Canada.
CDNS 3700 Cultural Traditions in Canada
In this year’s offering of CDNS 3700, we will consider how, past and present, the Canadian documentary tradition and the interrelated project of televised heritage promotion (e.g. the Heritage Minutes) have attempted: 1) to construct durable myths and narratives of nationhood; 2) to create a national culture imbued with history and traditions; 3) to foster a sense of collective memory; 4) to ‘educate’ or influence Canadians’ sense of national belonging; 5) to know ourselves as Canadian cultural nationalist, T.B. Symons, famously asserted. We will explore the above in the context of the ongoing (and seemingly endless) exercise of Canadian nation building. Of particular interest is how the fears and desires of this national project manifest in the realm of culture; how these are reflected through the preferred histories, narratives and heritage largely produced/promoted through state-funded, or state-authorized cultural institutions.
CDNS 4400 Cultural Landscapes & Cultural Identity in Canada
How do people inhabit, transform and relate to the land over time? Through readings, local field trips, and analysis of maps and photographs, students in this advanced seminar study the histories and meanings of physical and conceptual landscapes. By investigating case studies in places such as urban parks in Montreal, outport communities in Newfoundland, or Dogrib lands in the North, they learn how to characterize evidence of evolving ideals and forces of change, and discover both transitory and sustainable means of landscape conservation. They explore how community actions create unique cultural habitats in revered, everyday and overlooked landscapes.Highly valued cultural landscapes may be designated as natural and cultural heritage; many others are at risk of devastation from economic exploitation, political neglect and changing climates.Canada’s most iconic cultural landscapes – such as national parks or sites of industrial development – often excluded traditional users or left vast territories of waste. What are models to manage changes to come?
FYSM 1409 Social Change in Canada
This FYSM seminar has two overarching goals: (1) to introduce you to a broad range of social movements for change in Canada and (2) to facilitate further development of your skills in academic reading, writing, and critical thinking.To accomplish the first goal, the class is organized according to thematic units. Each unit addresses a set of academic concepts, a social movement that is associated with them, and the experiences of injustice members of these social movements want to challenge. Together, over the fall and winter terms, we will examine seven movements whose members have fought for structural and ideological changes within Canada. More specifically, we will focus in turn on labour rights, anti-racism, feminism, LGBTQ+ identities, Indigenous nationalism, Québécois nationalism, and disability rights. The people involved in these social movements have played important roles in redefining the social and legal parameters of Canadian citizenship and identities.
INDG 1000 Introduction to Indigenous Studies
This course is an introduction to the study of Indigenous Peoples’ culture, colonization, contributions and revitalization. Drawing from disciplines such as Canadian studies, anthropology, history, art, Indigenous studies, and Indigenous knowledge, this course provides an insider’s perspective and understanding of issues faced by Indigenous peoples. This course traces the social and political history of the Original Peoples of Kanata with links to national and international events that illustrate this history. We will explore why Indigenous Peoples struggle to keep our culture and way of life and look at how Canada’s polices continue to shape the lives of Indigenous Peoples. We will look closely at how these policies impact women’s rights, the environment, intellectual property rights and identity, to name a few. This course will also examine how Indigenous peoples are working to shape international events and re-structure relationships between the dominant society and Indigenous Peoples. The course utilizes guest speakers, group activities and videos to help develop the knowledge and skills to facilitate the necessary dialogue between Indigenous Peoples and Canadian society.
INDG 2010 Indigenous Encounters with Colonial Nation-Building Projects in Canada
This course is a survey of Indigenous encounters with colonial nation-building projects (mainly in the context of Canada). The aim of this course is to provide students with a broader knowledge and understanding of the ways in which these past moments and sites influence and structure our recent and current encounters between Indigenous peoples, settlers, and colonial nation-states such as Canada and the United States.
INDG 3000 Indigenous Representation in Contemporary Canada
Canadian Indigenous Self-Representation in Film, Video and New MediaSince the early 1990s there has been a proliferation of film making among Indigenous Canadians that seeks to interrogate official histories, counter “Indian” stereotypes, and offer a more balanced and accurate view of contemporary Indigenous experience. This course also seeks to respectfully incorporate principles of Indigenous pedagogy that privilege holistic and experiential learning, the construction of safe and sacred spaces, relationality, personal narratives, and writing from the heart.