Cultural Studies

Cultural Studies

Interdisciplinary Graduate Program

Cultural Studies

Interdisciplinary Graduate Program

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Elective Courses

In addition to your core course requirements, Cultural Studies students will complete up to 4 elective courses (depending on program of study). Electives may be selected from courses offered by Cultural Studies and/or from courses offered by other departments.  Cultural Studies students who would like to take graduate courses in other departments will require permission from the instructor.

Please note that graduate courses are often timetabled in June and this page will be updated as information becomes available to us.  Class times and locations will also be made available by the department where the courses is offered - please be sure to check the graduate section of their website.

How do I register in a non-CUST elective?

Step 1.  Identify the instructor for any non-CUST elective course that is of interest to you.  Students seeking electives should review the list below and explore other opportunities by reviewing the graduate websites for any departments of interest (i.e., the list below is not always comprehensive). Often, professors will be willing to take a CS student into their course if there is room, and if the student has the appropriate background.

Step 2.  Write to the instructor, by email, with a description of your goals and background, and ask if they will accept you into their course. Please note that the answer may not be certain yet, and may depend on enrollment numbers, but establishing the relationship is the first step.

Step 3.  Once you have approval, you will need to print and complete an Academic Change Form.  Once completed, you will need to sign the form yourself and arrange for it to be signed by (1) the course instructor and (2) your supervisor.  Bring the completed, signed form to the Cultural Studies Office in B126B.  This can often be done by fax or email.

Explore 2019-2020 Electives, by Department

Art History

You may also wish to check the Department of Art History Website and/or the websites of affiliated faculty members for courses of interest that are not yet listed here.

ARTH 864 Topics in Modern Art (Fall 2019)
Instructor: Alison Morehead
Date/Location: TBA, Location is 210 Ontario Hall.
Course Description: TBA
Restrictions/Exclusions: Space is limited. Please contact Alison Morehead for permission to take this course (refer to our “How do I register in a non-CUST elective?” section at the top of this page for additional details).

ARTH 869 Topics in Contemporary Art II: Art, Pedagogy and Social Practice – Histories and Methods (Fall 2019)
Instructor: Jenn Kennedy
Date/Location: TBA.
Course Description: This seminar explores the intersections between art and experimental/alternative/radical approaches to education in the 20th and 21st centuries. From Black Mountain College (founded in 1933) to the Malmö Free University for Women (founded in 2011), we will study the rich transnational history of artists’ experiments in pedagogy, curriculum development, alternative or DIY art schools, and the recent “educational turn” in art practice and curating. Often linked to social or political movements, such experiments envision art and exhibitions as spaces for imagining creative solutions to society’s problems, either directly or by challenging hegemonic modes of perceiving and relating to one’s historical contexts and communities. In doing so, they position artists and art students as potential contributors to a diverse public beyond conventional institutions of art. This is a practice-based seminar. In addition to weekly readings and assignments, students will collaboratively organize a public program, or “teach-in”, on experimental arts pedagogy which will take place at the end of the semester.
Restrictions/Exclusions: Space is limited. Please contact Jenn Kennedy for permission to take this course (refer to our “How do I register in a non-CUST elective?” section at the top of this page for additional details).

Classics

You may also wish to check the Department of Classics Website and/or the websites of affiliated faculty members for courses of interest that are not yet listed here.

CLST 404 Topography of Athens (Winter 2020)
Instructor: Cristiana Zaccagnino
Date/Location: Tuesday 10-11:30am; Thursday 8:30-10am, 206 Ontario Hall
Course Description: The growth of Athens from the Neolithic period to Late Antiquity. Emphasis on social and political developments and personal aspirations which determine the cityscape. PREREQUISITE CLST 303/3.0 or CLST 304/3.0 or CLST 332/3.0 or CLST 333/3.0 or CLST 334/3.0 or CLST 335/3.0 or CLST 330/3.0 or CLST 331/3.0 or permission of the Department.
Restrictions/Exclusions: Space is limited. Please contact Cristiana Zaccagnino for permission to take this course (refer to our “How do I register in a non-CUST elective?” section at the top of this page for additional details).

CLST 804 Topography of Athens (Winter 2020)
Instructor: Cristiana Zaccagnino
Date/Location: Tuesday 10-11:30am; Thursday 8:30-10am, 206 Ontario Hall
Course Description: The growth of Athens from the final Neolithic period to Late Antiquity based on archaeological, literary, epigraphical evidence. (May be offered jointly with CLST-404*. There are additional requirements for students at the graduate level but these are determined and discussed at the onset of the course.)
Restrictions/Exclusions: Space is limited. Please contact Cristiana Zaccagnino for permission to take this course (refer to our “How do I register in a non-CUST elective?” section at the top of this page for additional details).

Dan School of Drama and Music

You may also wish to check the Dan School of Drama and Music Website and/or the websites of affiliated faculty members for courses of interest that are not yet listed here.

MUSC 477 Musical Motion: Dance Studies and More (Winter 2020)
Instructor: Margaret Walker
Date/Location: TBA
Course Description:  An exciting new course that places aspects of the very successful MUSC 480 Music and Dance seminar from 2016 in a broader context suitable for students interested in music and movement patterns of many types.
Since it is impossible to ignore the performing body and focus on the sound alone, dance studies invites a multitude of theoretical and contextual modes of analysis. Class activities and assessment will include readings, discussions, practical sessions and a term project students can design around topics of their individual interest. Past projects have ranged from gender issues in ballet and race and class in Caribbean Kwadrille to the social context of EDM and the human qualities of dancing robots.
Graduate Requirements: Annotated bibliography of dance studies key sources plus material specific to an area of interest to the student.
Short Paper investigating an aspect of theory applicable to dance, movement or embodiment
Guest presentation and facilitated discussion with undergraduate students in the course
Major term paper on a topic appropriate to the student’s area of interest.
Restrictions/Exclusions: Space is limited. Please contact Margaret Walker for permission to take this course (refer to our “How do I register in a non-CUST elective?” section at the top of this page for additional details).

MUSC 491 Music and Mass Media (Winter 2020)
Instructor: Kip Pegley
Date/Location: TBA
Course Description:  Music pervades many mass-mediated cultural forms and is consumed both actively and passively by millions of people on a daily basis. In this course we explore both how we consume sound and music within a range of media (film, television, radio), and where we consume it (homes, elevators, gyms, grocery stores). This course is designed to help educators facilitate their students when thinking critically about the functions and effects of sound and music in everyday environments.
Restrictions/Exclusions: Space is limited. Please contact Kip Pegley for permission to take this course (refer to our “How do I register in a non-CUST elective?” section at the top of this page for additional details).

Faculty of Education

You may also wish to check the Faculty of Education Website and/or the websites of affiliated faculty members for courses of interest that are not yet listed here.

EDUC 856 Advanced Topics in Culture and Policy (Winter 2020)
Instructor: Lee Airton
Date/Location: Mondays 8:30-11:30, MacArthur Hall
Course Description:  An advanced seminar course in critical social theories, current approaches to cultural analysis, theories of identity and sub-cultural positioning, and the theories and processes of developing, implementing, analyzing and evaluating policy.
Restrictions/Exclusions: Space is limited. Please contact Lee Airton for permission to take this course (refer to our “How do I register in a non-CUST elective?” section at the top of this page for additional details).

English

You may also wish to check the Department of English Website and/or the websites of affiliated faculty members for courses of interest that are not yet listed here.

ENGL 864 Topics in Modernism IV:  Modernism in Literature, Arts, and Entertainment (Fall 2019)
Instructor: Glenn Willmott
Date/Location: Monday, 1:30pm-4:30pm (tentative).  Location is TBD.
Course Description: This course will take us on a whirlwind tour across the jagged landscapes of modernist innovation, both avant-garde and popular—taking in literary fiction, poetry, drama, pulp genres (crime, science fiction and fantasy), comic strips and books, visual arts and architecture, fashion and design, music and dance.  Our starting point will be current debates about the scope and meaning of the term modernism, followed by an exploration of its diverse formal experiments and social and intellectual concerns in the first half of the twentieth century.  Evaluation is based on weekly micro-analyses, a seminar presentation, a research prospectus (ungraded) and a research paper.
Restrictions/Exclusions: Space is limited. Please contact Glenn Willmott for permission to take this course (refer to our “How do I register in a non-CUST elective?” section at the top of this page for additional details).

ENGL 871 Topics in Canadian Literature: Hockey, Literature and Canadian National Mythologies (Winter 2020)
Instructor: Sam McKegney
Date/Location:  TBD.
Course Description: The game of hockey has a steady grip on the Canadian national imaginary. According to literary scholar Jason Blake, “hockey envelops us like second-hand smoke, and, some would argue, it is just as dangerous because it beclouds other cultural options or more serious issues” (4). The game has been conceived as a breeding ground for social cohesion and civic virtue, as a source of national unity and pride, and, in poet Richard Harrison’s words, as a tool with which to make meaning out of winter. Yet the dominant mythologies that paint hockey as binding Canadians both to each other and to the landscape they/we inhabit serve simultaneously to entrench often problematic paradigms of gender, sexuality, race, and language that exclude as well as include. This course interrogates the role of hockey in supporting and disrupting discourses of Canadian nationhood; it examines how depictions of the country’s national winter sport serve to police Canadian identity by characterizing certain behaviours and traits as licit and desirable and others as illicit and aberrant. We will consider topics like gender, sexuality, nationalism, embodiment, play, mentorship, economics, regionalism, environmentalism, militarism, and violence by studying novels, poetry, life-writings, media representations, song lyrics, and films in which hockey plays a significant role.
Restrictions/Exclusions: Space is limited. Please contact Sam McKegney for permission to take this course (refer to our “How do I register in a non-CUST elective?” section at the top of this page for additional details).

ENGL 872 Reconfigurations of Vancouver’s Urban Imaginary (Fall 2019)
Instructor: Petra Fachinger
Date/Location:  TBD.
Course Description:  This seminar will explore the representation of Vancouver in contemporary literature (and film).Vancouver, situated on unceded Musqueam, Squamish, Sto:lo, and Tsleil-Waututh territory, has been ranked among the world’s most liveable cities. In this seminar we will focus on texts that contest this assessment by drawing attention to continuing colonization and gentrification and imagine alternative communities and new forms of solidarity. We will include narratives concerned with the theft of Indigenous lands, Vancouver’s missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, the history of Chinatown, the incident of the Komagata Maru, the forced evacuation of Japantown, the demolition of Hogan’s Alley, and life in the Downtown Eastside. The seminar will be informed by critical race theory, Indigenous literary and cultural criticism, theories of decolonization, human rights literary studies, and urban theories.
Restrictions/Exclusions: Space is limited. Please contact Petra Fachinger for permission to take this course (refer to our “How do I register in a non-CUST elective?” section at the top of this page for additional details).

Film and Media

You may also wish to check the Department of Film and Media Website and/or the websites of affiliated faculty members for courses of interest that are not yet listed here.

SCCS 810 Professional Development in Screen Cultures and Curatorial Studies
Instructor: Dorit Naaman
Date/Location: TBA
Course Description:  This course combines professional development, a series of guest speakers, and the possibility for students if they so choose to undertake an internship related to their area of study. Professional development workshops will include sections of grant writing, conference presentation, strategies for the dissemination of their works, production and research ethics, and curriculum development. The course will run on a bi-weekly basis over the course of the academic year, alternating between professional development workshops and visiting speakers in screen cultures and curatorial studies. With the guidance of a supervisor, students will develop their own media practice, curatorial project, practice-based research, or research work, with the goal of realizing their project, and develop a timeline appropriate for the completion of a thesis in a timely manner.
Restrictions/Exclusions: Space is limited. Please contact Dorit Naaman for permission to take this course (refer to our “How do I register in a non-CUST elective?” section at the top of this page for additional details).

SCCS 812 Critical and Theoretical Approaches to Screen Cultures and Curatorial Studies
Instructor: Scott MacKenzie
Date/Location: TBA
Course Description:  Graduate course examining the key critical and theoretical tenets of screen cultures and curatorial studies. The course shall have both historical and contemporary components in order to situate the student within various fields of debate. Theoretical approaches include phenomenological, psychoanalytic, Marxist, cognitive, formalist, post-colonial, historiographical, feminist, queer, cultural, and sociological approaches to film and media, and how these concepts and theories inform production and curation.
Restrictions/Exclusions: Space is limited. Please contact Scott MacKenzie for permission to take this course (refer to our “How do I register in a non-CUST elective?” section at the top of this page for additional details).

SCCS 814 Histories and Methodologies of Screen Cultures and Curatorial Studies
Instructor: Gary Kibbins
Date/Location: TBA
Course Description:  This course will examine the various histories and methodologies applicable to screen cultures and curatorial studies. Drawing on a wide range of global media and the disciplines of film and media studies, curatorial studies, gender studies, and political and critical theory, the course addresses questions such as canonicity, globalization, alternative media practices, exhibition and circulation histories, minoritarian cinemas, research-creation, and diverse production practices. The course also emphasizes how questions about the intersection between production, circulation, and exhibition inform historical and methodological approaches to screen cultures. Students will deploy these histories and methodologies to design and inform their own research, creative, and curatorial projects.
Restrictions/Exclusions: Space is limited. Please contact Gary Kibbins for permission to take this course (refer to our “How do I register in a non-CUST elective?” section at the top of this page for additional details).

SCCS 820 Media Production Seminar
Instructor: Emily Pelstring
Date/Location: TBA
Course Description:  This course will combine production and theory in order for students to learn how to create innovative, interdisciplinary, and informed media productions and analysis. It will include modules and workshops in pre-production, production, and post-production, as well as labs on a variety of analog and digital audio, video, and new media platforms.
Restrictions/Exclusions: Space is limited. Please contact Emily Pelstring for permission to take this course (refer to our “How do I register in a non-CUST elective?” section at the top of this page for additional details).

SCCS 828 Critical Curatorial Studies Seminar
Instructor: Alicia Boutilier
Date/Location: TBA
Course Description:  This graduate seminar course addresses the histories, theories and issues of curatorial practice as a tool of cultural agency and considers evolving paradigms of “the curatorial.” Through critical analysis and engagement with readings and defined case studies, the class will investigate the forces and frameworks that shape the creation and presentation of exhibitions, programs and screenings, ranging across such topics as exhibition/presentation formats, material and digital forms of narrative building, local and global circuits of reception, audience-making, resources/markets, festivals, institutional types and collections. Addressing both conceptual frameworks and the political economy of curatorial practice, students will consider the roles of belief systems/values, policy, politics, funding agencies and philanthropists as these impact cultural expression and exchange.
Restrictions/Exclusions: Space is limited. Please contact Alicia Boutilier for permission to take this course (refer to our “How do I register in a non-CUST elective?” section at the top of this page for additional details).

SCCS 830 Curating in Context
Instructor: Sunny Kerr
Date/Location: TBA
Course Description:  This production-oriented graduate course explores the development of exhibitions, programs, screenings and collections, with emphasis on drawing out and cultivating their relationship to context. Students will develop advanced understanding of curatorial methods, applied standards and innovative experimentation through projects fusing autonomous creative research, articulation and collaboration. The course offers a modular framework to support enable the student to encounter and experience practical strategies for the successful realization of artistic program in visual and media arts, an approach applicable to both contemporary and historical works.
Restrictions/Exclusions: Space is limited. Please contact Sunny Kerr for permission to take this course (refer to our “How do I register in a non-CUST elective?” section at the top of this page for additional details).

Gender Studies

You may also wish to check the Department of Gender Studies Website and/or the websites of affiliated faculty members for courses of interest that are not yet listed here.

GNDS 428 Gender Performance (Winter 2020)
Instructor: Jane Tolmie
Date/Location: Tuesdays 11:30-2:30, Room 107 School of Kinesiology and Health Studies.
Course Description: This advanced seminar addresses some of the many meanings and manifestations of 'gender performance' in literature and popular culture. Primary sources include a wide variety of media - novels, plays, poems, films, magazines and cartoons. Primary material will be balanced with careful consideration of work in areas such as feminist theory, identity politics, queer and performance theory. This course contains an intensive and independent study component.
Restrictions/Exclusions: Space is limited. Please contact Jane Tolmie for permission to take this course (refer to our “How do I register in a non-CUST elective?” section at the top of this page for additional details).

Geography and Planning

You may also wish to check the Department of Geography and Planning Website and/or the websites of affiliated faculty members for courses of interest that are not yet listed here.

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Global Development Studies

You may also wish to check the Department of Global Development Studies Website and/or the websites of affiliated faculty members for courses of interest that are not yet listed here.

DEVS 863 Development within Planetary Boundaries (Fall 2019)
Instructor: Kyla Tienhaara
Date/Location: Tuesdays 11:30-1:00, Fridays 1:00-2:30, location TBA
Course Description: The concept of sustainable development that first emerged over 30 years ago remains ambiguous and difficult to operationalize. In the past decade, a number of possibly competing concepts of have risen to prominence in international discourse such as ‘green growth’. In this course, we will explore differences between sustainable development and green growth and consider whether either offers a viable path for economic development within planetary boundaries. Additionally, we will compare these mainstream models with some of the more radical proposals for development in the ‘Anthropocene’.
Restrictions/Exclusions: Space is limited. Please contact Kyla Tienhaara for permission to take this course (refer to our “How do I register in a non-CUST elective?” section at the top of this page for additional details).

History

You may also wish to check the Department of History Website and/or the websites of affiliated faculty members for courses of interest that are not yet listed here.

HIST 416 Material History in Canada (Winter 2020)
Instructor: Caroline-Isabelle Caron
Date/Location: Thursdays 2:30-5:30, 207 Watson Hall
Course Description: This senior seminar will introduce students to the basics of material history methodology while exploring the many meanings of the «stuff life is made of», i.e. the artifacts among which Canadians have lived since 1900, those things that have shaped Canadian identities and cultures to this day. This course will look at how artifacts can inform and enrich historical inquiry. Because historians have traditionally and primarily relied on texts, they have often overlooked artifacts, therefore ignoring the methodological frameworks found in archaeology, anthropology, art history, folklore, etc., where objects are at the centre of analysis. Consequently, they have missed out on large portions of the lived experience in the past.
Restrictions/Exclusions: Space is limited. Please contact Caroline-Isabelle Caron for permission to take this course (refer to our “How do I register in a non-CUST elective?” section at the top of this page for additional details).

HIST 481 History vs. Pseudo-History (Fall 2019)
Instructor: Caroline-Isabelle Caron
Date/Location: Tuesdays 11:30-2:30, 209 Kingston Hall
Course Description: In this 12-week senior seminar, students will explore the prevalence of pseudo-history and pseudo-archaeology in Canadian popular media (books, television, web). The course aims to provide students with critical tools to identify and debunk these attractive and pervasive modern myths. Popular media, especially television, is filled with wild claims of secret origins, hidden discoveries and forgotten ancestors. From ancient aliens to destroyed civilizations, we are used to being told we have been either lied to by governments or that scientists wilfully blind themselves to the “truth”. Why does history and archaeology so easily inspire endless theories about aliens, lost civilizations, dark conspiracies, apocalyptic predictions, and mysterious technologies? How do we tell the truth from the bunk?
Restrictions/Exclusions: Space is limited. Please contact Caroline-Isabelle Caron for permission to take this course (refer to our “How do I register in a non-CUST elective?” section at the top of this page for additional details).

HIST 808 Capitalism: A Global History (Fall 2019)
Instructor: Ariel Salzmann
Date/Location: Tuesdays 6:30-9:30pm
Course Description: Offers a longue durée approach to the history of capitalism from pre-history to present, with special emphasis on environmental connections. Students are free to make the final paper work for their own projects in time and space, from animal domestication to neoliberalism
Restrictions/Exclusions: Space is limited. Please contact Ariel Salzmann for permission to take this course (refer to our “How do I register in a non-CUST elective?” section at the top of this page for additional details).

HIST 865 Empires and Intimacies (Fall 2019)
Instructor: Karen Dubinsky
Date/Location: TBA
Course Description: This course explores familial and intimate relations of power created in and by empires from the late nineteenth century to the present. The readings are thematic and interdisciplinary, drawn from transnational contexts, primarily in the Americas. Topics include colonial knowledge formation, child welfare and adoption, militarism, tourism, visual cultures, decolonization and sexual politics.
Restrictions/Exclusions: Space is limited. Please contact Karen Dubinsky for permission to take this course (refer to our “How do I register in a non-CUST elective?” section at the top of this page for additional details).

School of Environmental Studies

You may also wish to check the School of Environmental Studies and/or the websites of affiliated faculty members for courses of interest that are not yet listed here.

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School of Kinesiology and Health Studies

You may also wish to check the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies and/or the websites of affiliated faculty members for courses of interest that are not yet listed here.

KHS 873 Critical Methodologies: Politics of Knowledge (Fall 2019)
Instructor: Mary Louise Adams
Date/Location: TBA
Course Description: TBA
Restrictions/Exclusions: Space is limited. Please contact Mary Louise Adams for permission to take this course (refer to our “How do I register in a non-CUST elective?” section at the top of this page for additional details).

Law

You may also wish to check the Faculty of Law Website and/or the websites of affiliated faculty members for courses of interest that are not yet listed here.

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Philosophy

You may also wish to check the Department of Philosophy Website and/or the websites of affiliated faculty members for courses of interest that are not yet listed here.

PHIL 481 Critical Phenomenology (Fall 2019)
Instructor: Lisa Guenther
Date/Location: Tuesday 8:30-11:30, Mackintosh-Corry C508.
Course Description: Phenomenology is a philosophical practice of reflecting on the transcendental structures that make lived experience possible and meaningful. It begins by bracketing the natural attitude, or the naïve assumption that the world exists apart from consciousness, and “reducing” this everyday experience of the world to the basic structures that constitute its meaning and coherence. In this sense, phenomenology points us in a critical direction. But where classical phenomenology remains insufficiently critical is in failing to give an equally rigorous account of how contingent historical and social structures also shape our experience, not just empirically or in a piecemeal fashion, but in a way that is so fundamental, we could call it quasi-transcendental. Structures such as patriarchy, white supremacy, and heteronormativity permeate, organize, and reproduce the natural attitude in ways that go beyond any particular object of thought. They are not things to be seen, but rather ways of seeing, and even ways of making the world that go unnoticed without a sustained practice of critical reflection to make them visible. In this seminar, we will learn the basic concepts of classical phenomenology and explore the possibilities for critical phenomenology in the work of Frantz Fanon, Sara Ahmed, Gayle Salamon, Alia Al-Saji, and others.
Restrictions/Exclusions: Space is limited. Please contact Lisa Guenther for permission to take this course (refer to our “How do I register in a non-CUST elective?” section at the top of this page for additional details).

Political Studies

You may also wish to check the Department of Political Studies and/or the websites of affiliated faculty members for courses of interest that are not yet listed here.

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Psychology

You may also wish to check the Department of Psychology Website and/or the websites of affiliated faculty members for courses of interest that are not yet listed here.

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School of Religion

You may also wish to check the School of Religion Website and/or the websites of affiliated faculty members for courses of interest that are not yet listed here.

RELS 888 Critical Ethnographies in the Study of Religion (Critical Ethnography) (Fall 2019)
Instructor: Shobhana Xavier
Date/Location: TBA
Course Description: The course will engage in the theory and method of ethnography as it has been used in the study of religion. It will engage with various examples of ethnographic case studies, particularly as they interrogate questions of insider/outsider positionalities while exploring ways in which gender, sexuality and race, trauma and safety have been negotiated in various field work projects by religious studies scholars.
Restrictions/Exclusions: Space is limited. Please contact Shobhana Xavier for permission to take this course (refer to our “How do I register in a non-CUST elective?” section at the top of this page for additional details).

Sociology

You may also wish to check the Department of Sociology Website and/or the websites of affiliated faculty members for courses of interest that are not yet listed here.

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