Carleton’s Mini-Courses Program – History Department Offerings

Mini Course Program posterAbout the MCP:

The Mini-Courses Program (MCP) is a unique event that allows students from grades 8 to 11 in Eastern Ontario and Secondary II to V in Western Quebec to explore a field of study in a university or college setting. Students acquire the knowledge and skills that will help them achieve academic success and promote their interest in pursuing post-secondary studies.

Join us from April 29th- May 3rd, 2024 for an intensive hands-on experience exploring an untold history of the past. Our courses will teach you to be a historian – using evidence, creativity and inquisitiveness to uncover and craft little known stories about the past.

Deadline: You need to get approval from your school and register online for your top choices before February 23, 2024. Expect a few days delay between school approval and being able to log on to register for courses.

Learn more about the program.

Questions? Check out the FAQs.

Courses Offered by History Department Members:

Instructor Course Title Course Description
Christina Paolozzi Caffeine and Revolution: How Coffee Changed the World Have you ever wondered what it takes to get a cup of coffee? Or why we love to go to coffee shops? In this class you will learn the answers to these and other questions by exploring the global history of coffee. It is a plant now cultivated around the world but originating in Ethiopia. It is a caffeine-source fueling intellectual and political debates among Enlightenment thinkers in the cafés of Paris or the coffeehouses frequented by Ottoman revolutionaries. And it is the excuse for people since the fifteenth century to linger at a table and socialize. Discover how coffee spread around the world and became an important part of global trade leading Europe to find new colonies to allow its cultivation. Explore the science of coffee — how it affects the body and what is necessary for its cultivation. And visualize how coffee shops have transformed the way people meet, speak, and organize. Over five days we will use historic maps to trace how coffee got to Europe from far off regions, and we will try different types of coffee from around the world and observe both its varied smells and tastes but also its effects on our body. We’ll visit a coffee shop and look at architectural drawings of 18th century Parisian cafés – to understand why people drink coffee in coffee shops, and why, historically, these spaces have become the site of revolutionary intellectual and political activity. Will learning about the history of coffee turn you into a revolutionary?”
Samuel Mickelson Dams, Trains, and Canals: Exploring the Environmental History of Ottawa Have you ever wondered what Ottawa would feel like without the canal? Or where the water you drink comes from? Or who lived here before it became the capital of Canada? By exploring these and other questions, you will learn about the environmental history of Ottawa from the ground up. While we often think about the environment as natural and unchanging, we will learn about how the people of this region have been reshaping its landscape for thousands of years. Through interactive activities, we will discover how Algonquin peoples built complex societies throughout the Ottawa River watershed long before settlers arrived, how lumberjacks rafted logs down the Ottawa River, and how settler society engineered the landscape to build dams, railroads, and canals. We will also explore how people have worked to protect the lands and waterways of the region all the way up to the present day. You will learn about these topics through engaging lectures and hands-on activities. We will go on field trips to the nearby Hartwell Locks to learn about how the Rideau Canal was built and to Archives and Special Collections at the campus library where we will examine historic maps, photographs, and engineering drawings of key sites in the region. We will also experiment with digital tools like Google Earth and StoryMaps to get creative with the sites that we have visited and studied. You will never think about the place you live the same again!
Emma Awe, Rebecca Friend Memory & Mayhem Ever wondered why some memories stick and others fade? Or why certain moments and names are lost to time? How do we decide who and what gets remembered? In this course, we’ll explore the politics and power involved in memory. While some stories are considered important and preserved, others are forgotten or silenced. Over the last few years, activists have called this into question by toppling monuments, calling for new names, and demanding more radical forms of remembering. Together, we’ll discuss a wide variety of memory projects from state-sponsored monuments to protests, and reflect on how and why we preserve stories from the past. Students will then get to craft their own commemoration projects by choosing an event, person, or place to remember using do-it-yourself (DIY) methods like zines, sculpted memorials, food, lights-based projections, and more. Towards the end of the course, students will work collaboratively on a final two-part project. In the first part, the class will prepare and submit a collective pitch to the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada for a new commemoration, with the real chance to see their project chosen! In the second part, students will collectively design and install a more radical, artistic version of the same pitch.
Kate Carson, Olivia Lester Canada: A Hidden History What does it mean to be Canadian? How has the country’s past, politics, and people created the Canada we see today? When someone mentions Canadian history, what comes to mind? Snow, hockey, and Tim Hortons often come to mind when people think of Canada, but what, and who is missing from this story? What parts of Canadian history get left out, and why? Do you feel represented in your current understanding of Canadian history? In this course, Canada: A Hidden History, students will go beyond national narratives to learn about the parts of Canadian history often hidden from view by tackling themes of othering, exclusion, erasure, and resistance. In this course, students will get access to art, archives, and documents to investigate the histories of 4 different marginalized groups in Canadian history to learn the different ways that history is hidden, and how it can be uncovered. In this course, students will take on the role of historians in training. Each day, we will engage with a different hidden (subaltern) history and how it has been obscured. To do so, students will get to go behind the scenes to archives such as the Ottawa Research Collection and tour the collections of the Carleton Art Gallery where we will meet with experts and analyze primary historical sources, including newspaper articles, photographs, videos, objects, and interviews, to learn how historians create historical narratives and give meaning to the past. Topics will include the relationship between hockey and gender, Queer communities and the law, Inuit cultural revitalization, and protest movements, which will encourage students to critically examine how factors such as national myth-making, geographical distance, cultural norms, and power structures can impact our understanding and access to the past. Through this journey, students will develop critical thinking, analysis, and research skills, learn the importance of asking questions about our preconceived understandings of the past, and understand how can history be used as a tool to seek justice for people in the past and the present. Throughout the week, students will work on a project to uncover a hidden history of their choosing. Students are encouraged to be creative and will be able to work with the instructors to choose a topic and project which are meaningful to them. Potential projects could include a podcast, a game, an infographic, or spoken word. Through these projects, students will not only learn more about Canada’s past, they will have an opportunity to explore the many unique ways that history can be uncovered and shared. **Please note – this course will deal with sensitive subject matter including police violence, graphic videos depicting hockey violence, and outdated and/or derogatory terms/language connected to marginalized groups.**
Anna Kozlova A Taste of Canada: An Introduction to Canadian Food History Why do we eat what we eat? Why do certain foods trigger a strong emotional response in us? Why are certain foods considered sacred? These are some of the questions that we will explore in this course. The study of food reveals important meanings about social status, politics, and identity. This course will serve as an introduction to the fascinating world of food history, which draws from a variety of disciplines, including anthropology, sociology, psychology, political science, and economics. We will be focused on the context of Canada, which will include looking at Indigenous foodways as well as the way industrialization and migrant cuisines have influenced the Canadian food landscape. The course will also feature specific examples from Ottawa, examining the development of our city’s identity through its food scene.The format of the course will be interactive, featuring engaging discussions, hands-on activities, and guest speakers from various fields connected to food. This will provide students with a good basis of how the history of food in Canada has been shaped throughout the years and the origins of many of the foods and traditions we enjoy today. The course will also cultivate critical academic skills, including analyzing secondary and primary research sources, making an effective presentation as well as writing and communication skills. The course will culminate with a final project where students will be asked to present on a food that holds specific meaning to them.