First Year Seminar Courses (FYSM) 2023-24

First-year seminar (FYSM) courses are small classes (usually with 30 students) designed to give students the opportunity to discuss and research topics of interest in a core subject area. Most university students are in their third or fourth year of study before they have the opportunity to take seminar courses. As a Carleton University Bachelor of Arts (BA) student, you are provided with this experience at the first-year level through enrolment in your First-Year Seminar.

Fall 2023 Courses

Politics on Netflix

FYSM 1611 A
Instuctor: Mira Sucharov

Grab your popcorn and prepare to be immersed in the political and social world of Netflix! In this first-year seminar, we will examine an array of issues of contemporary and historical relevance by watching and analyzing current film and television offerings. Closer to the time of rollout, Prof. Sucharov will select a dozen movies or shows on Netflix that illustrate particular socio-political dynamics. Sometimes these themes are intentional and overt; other times it will be up to us to spot them. Themes to be discussed might include electoral politics, gender and sexuality, race and racial justice, class and poverty, doping in sports, politics and the media, animal rights, mass incarceration, and international conflict.

The Politics of Things: From CO2 to the UFO

FYSM 1611 B
Instructor:  William Walters

Many of our most heated controversies revolve around objects and materials. Think of CO2 emissions, or closer to home, Ottawa’s creaky LRT system. In these and countless other situations, politics is bound up with disputes over objects, technologies and materials. In political science textbooks material things hover in the background. This course will place them centre stage. From energy pipelines to UFOs, vaccines and totem poles, each week will focus on a different material object. Using this perspective we will illuminate a wide range of questions including climate change, sexuality, colonialism and decolonialism, citizenship and inequality. The course will also encourage students to work in a variety of media. Short assignments and exercises could include video production, a field trip, a podcast and essay writing.

Fiona RobinsonFeminism is for Everybody: Understanding Feminism in Contemporary Politics

FYSM 1611 C
Instructor: Fiona Robinson

This course allows students to see beyond the myths in order to understand what feminism is all about, and what role it has to play in contemporary politics. We examine key concepts in feminist thought — including gender, masculinity and femininity, and intersectionality — through reading the work of feminist theorists and exploring issues in feminist politics – such as gender-based violence and reproductive rights and labour. The course explores a diverse range of thinkers and approaches, including black feminisms, Indigenous feminisms, postcolonial feminism and queer and trans-feminisms.

Winter 2024 Courses

photo of Gabriel MaracleIssues and Politics of the City

FYSM 1611 D
Instructor: Gabriel Maracle

Worldwide trends show that people are increasingly becoming urban; some statistics suggest that by 2050 nearly 7 in 10 people will be living in cities. Urbanization and urban life continue to be major factors in politics in the 21st century. This course examines how cities and urban spaces are sites of multiple and overlapping issues, movements, conflicts and communities. Students will learn about urban issues, from regional and federal politics to education, sports, public spaces, housing, policing, protests, history, and much more. The course encourages students to look at urban spaces differently and have opportunities to sharpen their academic and professional skills.