Cultural Studies Courses 2023-2024

Cultural Studies MA and PhD students must take CUST 802/902 (Cultural Studies Colloquium) plus four other courses including: 

1. at least two courses in CUST, one of which must be CUST 803 (Cultural Studies Past & Present), CUST 800 (Cultural Studies Theory), or CUST 801 (Critical Methodologies in Cultural Studies). 

2. two additional courses which may be chosen from CUST or selected from elective courses offered by other departments (scroll down to “Courses in Other Units” for selected courses; for a complete listing of available courses, please visit the graduate studies section of each Department’s website.)

Please note: graduate students can only count 800-level courses towards their degree. If you want to take a 400-level course, you need to ask the instructor if they are willing to supervise a Directed Studies course to run in parallel. See below for guidance.

All courses are generally completed during the first year of study: two in the fall term + two in the winter term + CUST 802/902 which runs September to April. 

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.

Cultural Studies Courses

CUST 802/902 Cultural Studies Colloquium (6.0 Units).  Required Course.
Wednesday, 2:30-5:30pm (MacCorry B125)
This course is designed to acquaint graduate students with both current work in the field and various forms of professionalization, through a combination of research presentations and participatory workshops. Students are expected to attend regularly and complete some reflective writing activities. Grading is on a Pass/Fail basis.

CUST 800 Cultural Studies Theory (3.0 Units) 
Monday, 2:30pm-5:30pm (MacCorry C416)
This course introduces students to a range of major theoretical strains within Cultural Studies such as those associated with Marxism, feminism, postcolonialism, and visual, critical race, Indigenous, and queer studies. Students will learn to mobilize key conceptual vocabulary of foundational and emerging frameworks of the field.

CUST 801 Critical Methodologies in Cultural Studies (3.0 Units)
Thursday, 11:30am-2:30pm (MacCorry C416)
The field of Cultural Studies is characterized by a refusal to endorse a singular method or to conceive of and apply methodological tools as rigid, formal templates. This course explores how scholars choose, mobilize, and combine methods including field research, archival research, research-creation, and textual analysis. 

CUST 805 Research Creation (3.0 Units)
Tuesday, 2:30-5:30pm (MacCorry C416)
This course is designed to support students whose intellectual approach combines creative and academic research practices. The course will value the development of knowledge and innovation through artistic practice, scholarly investigation, and experimentation. Please note that this course is offered primarily as a methods course for Research-Creation practitioners and the main method of evaluation is production of R-C work.

CUST 802/902 Cultural Studies Colloquium (6.0 Units).  Required Course.
Wednesday, 2:30-5:30pm (MacCorry B125)
This course is designed to acquaint graduate students with both current work in the field and various forms of professionalization, through a combination of research presentations and participatory workshops. Students are expected to attend regularly and complete some reflective writing activities. Grading is on a Pass/Fail basis.

CUST 803 Cultural Studies Past & Present (3.0 Units). 
Tuesday, 11:30am-2:30pm (MacCorry C416)  
This course introduces students to the global and interdisciplinary scope of Cultural Studies research practices by surveying key debates, concerns, and texts that have shaped it over time. This includes readings by Stuart Hall, Hazel Carby, Audra Simpson and Carol Boyce Davies, to name a few. Assignments are designed for students to situate their research interests within relevant scholarly and historiographical fields.

CUST 807 Abolition and Decolonization (3.0 Units)
Thursday, 11:30am-2:30pm (MacCorry C416)
Current scholarship on prison abolition tends to focus on the relation between slavery and mass incarceration, but it’s not clear how this framework helps to address the hyper-incarceration of Indigenous peoples in Canada and other settler colonial states. In this seminar, we will study abolitionist (and) decolonial movements with the aim of recovering and co-creating methods for dismantling carceral-colonial institutions and building freer, healthier, and more just communities. Throughout the semester, we will reflect on the map as both a colonial instrument of domination and a creative tool for navigating oppressive structures and sketching concrete alternatives to the world that slavery and colonialism has built. We will also activate our collective power to dream, not as an escapist fantasy but as a critical research method that moves beyond an analysis of what is wrong with the world to experiment with ways of making it better. Readings will include work by Saidiya Hartman, Nick Estes, Robin Kelley, Dionne Brand, and Leanne Simpson.

CUST 892 McWorld in the Making: Capitalism, Consumerism, and the Commodification of Everything (3.0 Units)
Tuesday, 2:30-5:30pm (MacCorry C416)
In 1990 Barbara Kruger, translated René Descartes epistemological (and ontological) founding principle into a neoliberalism conceptual slogan: “I shop therefore I am.” Capitalism’s fantasy of unlimited growth and ideology of private accumulation has yielded a planet of unparalleled extremes of excess, waste, and want, teetering on the edge of mass extinction. Multi-disciplinary studies have documented the sociology, culture, politics, symbolism, economic and ecological consequences of rampant consumerism and metastatic commodification on, among many other topics, social relationships, artistic expression, health, work, ethics, emotions and the environment. Departing from readings of some of the classic works on commodities and consumerism (Marx, Veblen, Sombart, Baudrillard, Harvey) and key analysis of the imperialist structures upon which modern mass consumerism continues to rely (Mintz, Patel-Moore)  the course explores cases studies of commodification and consumption from the perspective of history, anthropology, sociology, and the arts.

CUST-850 Capstone Project (6.0 units)
Date and time TBA (May/June)
In this workshop course, MA students will substantially revise or transform work from a previous Queen’s graduate course with the goal of publication or other dissemination, and produce a reflection on professional development activities pursued throughout the year.

CUST 894 Community-Based Practicum
This course is intended to support a student's MA or PhD research through organizational and social experience gained from involvement with relevant off-campus institutions, organizations, and community groups. A CS faculty member will oversee each placement in collaboration with a member of the relevant organization or group. (Equal to other one-term course offerings, the internships are expected to be the equivalent of 1.5 – 2.0 days of work per week for 12 weeks.) 

Further notes: 
Practicum “matches” must be arranged well in advance: students should contact CUST staff by June or July if they wish to do a practicum to confirm availability of supervisor, to consider suitable organizations or groups and liaisons within them, discuss appropriate ways to approach them, etc. We also generally advise a practicum take place in the winter or spring term, rather than fall, the student's first term in the program. 

In some cases students may be able to work with an organization they already know or participate in. In other cases they may need to locate a partner organization/group. In identifying potential matches, students should keep in mind that there is a risk that despite best intentions a practicum can be extractive and overly demanding for the host organization/group. In other situations a practicum may not offer much to the student – if, for example, the organization/group is too small or no liaison is available to mentor the student. A good match will provide rewards to and be manageable for both the student and the organization/group. Any preliminary conversation with a potential match should cover such issues as:

  • What would the student’s presence offer the organization/group?
  • Is there a person in the organization/group who has the capacity and desire to be the liaison or guide for the student?
  • Are there specific tasks or roles in the organization/group that a student could usefully do in a 12 week period?
  • What is the student likely to gain from working with this organization? 
  • What are likely scholarly frameworks or outputs for this practicum? 

Once an organization/group, a specific liaison within it, and a faculty supervisor are identified, both liaison & supervisor must indicate their agreement in writing before the student can be enrolled in the course. 

The student should meet with the supervisor and the community liaison no later than the first week of classes, ideally together. By the end of the third week of classes, the student must submit a syllabus to the Cultural Studies office, with indication of agreement from supervisor and community liaison.

The syllabus should include (not necessarily under these headings):

  • Name and contact information for both supervisor and community liaison
  • Mission statement, objectives, or nature of the organization/group
  • learning objective(s) of course 
  • an account of how they will be attained
  • plans or expectations on the part of the organization/group for the student’s roles, responsibilities, or outcomes, and how they will be facilitated and documented
  • a proposed reading list if appropriate 
  • a statement about how the course will be graded. Ordinarily the course would be evaluated partly on documentation of productive engagement with or contribution to the organization, and partly on a graduate-level reflection on the student’s learning that draws on relevant scholarly literature. It is highly recommended that the student journal throughout the practicum on activities, thoughts, and readings.

CUST 895 Agnes Etherington Practicum
This applied research internship in a professional art museum cultivates understanding of the capacity and disciplinary protocols surrounding research and public presentation of critical cultures within an institutional framework. The focus of the course is a defined research project developed in consultation with the supervising curator and contributing to the Art Centre’s exhibition program or collection development. Practicum students work on-site at the Art Centre 10 hours per week, with additional research hours required. For information on the curatorial direction of our contemporary art program, please refer to the Graduate students with relevant education and/or experience in visual and media art or art history in the Cultural Studies Programs at a Masters or Doctoral level are eligible to apply. Those interested should submit a letter of intent describing their goals and areas of interest, a CV and a transcript of their academic record. Admission will be based on interviews, and is contingent on identification of a research project aligned with student research interests and evolving gallery needs. Applications should be submitted well in advance of the desired semester, usually at the beginning of the previous semester to allow for planning. Practica may take place in the fall, winter or spring/summer semester.​  Please note that practicum courses must be arranged well in advance: do not wait until September.

The possibility exists for students to arrange an individualized Directed Studies course with a faculty member in order to conduct study of a research area not represented in seminars on offer. 

Please note that students should not assume that an instructor will be available to supervise a Directed Studies course, which is additional to required teaching. Some PhD supervisors might suggest or have the capacity to supervise a Directed Studies course, but others will not, and it is fairly unlikely that other faculty will agree to take one on. One scenario that may be workable in the absence of graduate courses in a particular area is for a student to enrol in a Directed Studies course with the instructor of a 400-level undergraduate seminar, which they would attend while completing graduate-level assignments as specified. 

Course codes are as follows:

CUST 990 Directed Studies I
CUST 991 Directed Studies II
CUST 890 Directed Studies I
CUST 891 Directed Studies II

Directed Study learning objectives and materials are often proposed by the student but must be reviewed and developed with the instructor. Like a graduate seminar, a Directed Study course proceeds via a series of meetings throughout the term, with expectations for assignments similar or analogous to those in graduate seminars.

A syllabus must be submitted to by Week 3 of term at the latest. It must include

  • learning objectives of the course in the context of the student's research background and future plans
  • a proposed list of materials to be studied
  • a schedule for meetings (could be 12 as per regular course, but might be as few as 4 depending on rationale)
  • description of assignments/student responsibilities with weighting and deadlines
  • confirmation that both student and instructor agree to the terms presented. 

**with regret we note that we have not had the resources or demand to offer these courses since 2020. If they do interest you, let us know to aid in our future planning and discussion.**

Cultural Studies micro-courses devote 12 hours to exploring a particular method, moment, or phenomenon and are designed to help students extend theory to current issues, build scholarship, connect research with practice, and gather new tools. The courses are delivered in a condensed format and will be counted as a 1.0 unit course. Micro-courses are graded as pass/fail. For full time graduate students, there is no additional cost to take any of these courses. 

CUST 815 Skilling It

This course offers specialized in-depth instruction in topics related to Cultural Studies Methodology. Not offered in 2023-2024. 

CUST 816 Up Close

This course offers intensive consideration of a major book or work in any medium. Not offered in 2023-2024. 

CUST 817 Signs of the Times

This course offers intensive consideration of an issue or event of contemporary social, political and cultural relevance. Not offered in 2023-2024.

Courses in Other Units

We have curated a list of elective courses that may be of interest to Cultural Studies students – please note this list is not exhaustive, and a full list of courses can be found on each department’s website. The date and time that each course is offered is confirmed in mid-July and will then be available via the department website and in SOLUS. 

How do I register in a non-CUST course?

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.  Return the completed, signed form to the Cultural Studies Office in B126B or

Some available courses are listed below; for a complete list please visit the Department of Art History Website

ARTH 864 Studies in Modern Art: Art and the Medicalization of Modern Life (3.0 Units)
Winter 2024
This course will explore how art and visual culture has presented, represented, and invited critiques about increasingly medicalized modern bodies. We will be concerned with how art responded to and at times promoted rapid change in the field of modern medicine, with the proliferation of visual cultures of medicine especially in the realm of photography and film, with the relationships between the professionalization of medicine and the patronage of modern art, and above all with how art and visual culture have constructed and deconstructed modern subjectivity in relation to the medicalization of modern life. The course focuses on modernity primarily in Europe and North America, c. 1800 to c. 1950, but will range both geographically and temporally. Over the term, we will be particularly concerned with art’s engagement with medical modernity’s gendered, queer, trans, and racialized bodies.

Some available courses are listed below; for a complete list please visit the Department of Classics Website.

CLAS 823 Greek Archaeology II (3.0 Units)
Winter 2024 
This course focuses on art in ancient Greece. We will discuss artists and artisans, from their social status to their ethnicity and gender, how they represented themselves, and their technical skills and innovations. We will study pottery, sculpture, and painting. Considering the material I cover, some background in Greek history, cult, and society is recommended.

CISC 888 Advanced Research in Human-Computer Interaction (3.0 Units)
Fall 2023
This is a topics-based course that presents a comprehensive set of research within the broad range of activities in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). Topics include eye-tracking input, digital desks, wearable computing, ubiquitous and context-aware computing, tangible interfaces and organic user interfaces. Each area will be treated in depth, on the basis of its scientific foundations. In addition, you will get important knowledge on the body of scientific work in HCI, practice of scientific evaluation, practice in advanced engineering with project-based deliverables.

Some available courses are listed below; for a complete list please visit the Dan School of Drama and Music Website

DRAM 419 Special Studies III: Performance Art (3.0 Units)
Winter 2024

MUSC 471 Hip Hop and the Politics of Knowledge (3.0 Units)
This course analyzes hip hop as theories and systems of knowledge that can re-shape oppressive values, to think and to move toward freedom. By centering the sounds and technologies that artists use to create rap music, in conversation with the philosophies of radical Black traditions, we will explore complex resistance narratives that refuse to relegate Black popular cultures to commodified bodies and lyrics.

MUSC 491 Music and Mass Media (3.0 Units)
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) in order to help educators think critically about the functions and effects of sound and music in everyday environments.

Some available courses are listed below; for a complete list please visit the Faculty of Education Website

EDUC 887 Gender and Sexuality in Education (3.0 Units)
Winter 2024
This course is guided by two assumptions: (1) that gender is a not just a fact about individuals, but an organizing force at the macro level of social structure, and the micro level of relationship and interaction; and (2) that sexuality is not merely individual acts or orientations, but a way in which society organizes relationships and determines what (particular) bodies may do, when and where. Education has played a significant role in the organization of gender and sexuality in societies across the world, and on the land now called Canada. Contextual formations of gender and sexual also never fail to impact how education is organized. In this course, we will study the symbiosis of gender, sexuality and institutional education, tracking its impact on educators, students and families in several educational domains.

Some available courses are listed below; for a complete list please visit the Department of English Website

ENGL 497 Topics in Literary Criticism and Theory II: Trans Literary Expression (3.0 Units)
Fall 2023
“How can I be a person who is comfortable in the world and be trans? What does that look like? What are the stories that are out there? What possibilities exist there for me?” asks author Hazel Jane Plant. In this seminar, we will discuss a variety of texts by trans authors highlighting the diversity and richness of trans experience. We will examine the material conditions under which trans literature is produced with a focus on trans publishing practices and their discontents. Taking an intersectional approach to trans identity we will explore how shaping and telling our own stories has implications for healthcare, legal status, and the recognition of our basic human rights.

ENGL 884: Race, Sound, and African American Literature (3.0 Units)
Fall 2023
This course serves as an introduction to the field of Sound Studies and an overview of recent works of African American cultural criticism. Sound Studies methodologies provide a way to chip away at privileged discourses of knowledge. Indeed, Josh Kun argues that “studying sound helps us put an ear to ‘the audio-racial imagination,’ which refers to the aurality of racial meanings, and to sound’s role in systems and institutions of racialization and racial formation within and across the borders of the United States.” Following Kun, we will investigate various recourses to sound throughout the African American literary tradition. We will read the work of scholars and cultural critics like Jennifer Stoever, Alexander Weheliye, and Tina Campt. We will listen to everything. Traversing the sonic colour line, we will develop new understandings of black aesthetics, literature, and politics. 

Some available courses are listed below; for a complete list please visit the Department of Film and Media Website

SCCS 812 Critical and Theoretical Approaches to Screen Cultures and Curatorial Studies (3.0 Units)
Winter 2024
This course examines 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. We shall not only study film, media and curatorial studies theory in the course, but ask the question “what is theory”? What is its use value, what can theory do, and as importantly, not do? To undertake these questions, we will examine historical and contemporary forms of theory, approaching them not so much as “answers” but as tools that are generative: a form of intellectual creation the allows for the possibility to re-frame assumptions about how film, media, and curation function and circulate with dominant and counter public spheres. We will also ask questions about the relationship between theory as a tool and the art/film/media/exhibition object that it mobilized to advance a given theory. We will take a fairly eclectic approach in terms of case studies, looking at video art, “long” cinema, imaginary curation, experimental media, ethnographic media, advertising, art cinemas, digital media, and documentary. Selected theoretical approaches include psychoanalytic, Marxist, aesthetic, post-colonial, historiographical, feminist, queer, cultural, and ideological approaches to film, media, and curatorial studies, and screen cultures more generally.

SCCS 814 Histories and Methodologies of Screen Cultures and Curatorial Studies (3.0 Units)
Fall 2023
This course will provide a sampling of the various roles that a carefully designed methodology can play in production, criticism, and curatorial practices, with a view to expanding the possibilities in students’ research and research-creation projects.  The goal is to assist the student in developing innovative but rigorous approaches in their research. We will develop responses to some fundamental questions regarding method. While familiar and clearly defined methodologies have indisputably proven their worth, are there other approaches which might contribute to research results?  Is it always best practice to have a single, clearly defined methodology?  Is it ever appropriate to entertain several different, and perhaps even competing methodologies in a single project? Can too much attention to controlling methodologies restrict research outcomes? 

This course will explore emerging and to some extent experimental methodological approaches: the merging and hybridization of academic and artistic methods (research-creation); how changing views on the role and status of the author can effect method; how the careful use of constraints can paradoxically liberate research results; the relationship between the manifesto, and manifesto-like articulations, effect artistic and critical production, etc. 

SCCS 820 Media Production Seminar (3.0 Units)
Fall 2023
This course is designed for students with active creative practices.  The course will facilitate structured peer feedback opportunities for students as they complete a self-directed project in the medium of their choice. Each student will be expected to take a single project from concept to completion during the semester.  The project should be new at the start of the course, and should build on the student’s existing body of work.  While students will be self-directed in the technical production of their projects, they will be accountable to the class for an introduction to their creative practice and background, a clear presentation of their production plan, well-prepared in-progress updates, a polished final presentation, and high-quality final documentation.  Traditional studio-critique models will be consciously interrogated; students will be asked to reflect on the purpose and benefits of critique, and strive to develop a common language in order to communicate as creative peers with diverse practices and approaches.

SCCS 828 Critical Curatorial Studies Seminar (3.0 Units)
Fall 2023
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 display 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.

The meaning and usage of the word “curate” has evolved dramatically in recent years, both inside and outside the art world. This course explores the following core questions. What is the role of a curator? How do we best understand curatorial methodologies for the display of objects, experiences and information, and fully exercise their potential in different contexts? And, how do curators negotiate the aesthetic, social, political, physical and economic factors that shape and communicate creative cultural content?

The aim of the seminar is to provide an in-depth understanding of curating today from a range of diverse perspectives. In examining curatorial practices and the material and virtual spaces they activate, students will develop critical visual literacy, as well as the advanced writing, analytical and presentation skills necessary for participation in current discourses and public-facing animation of artistic production.

SCCS 830 Curating in Context (3.0 Units)
Winter 2024
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 and enable students to encounter and experience practical strategies for the successful realization of artistic programs in visual and media arts, an approach applicable to both contemporary and historical works.

Taking advantage of the context of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre’s specialist staff, collections, facilities and artistic networks, students will undertake a guided team-driven project to explore and experience curatorial practice through developing an exhibition, screening, festival program or public-facing extra-mural or online artistic project. The course objective is to provide hands-on experience within an institutional context, while engaging in critical issues of curatorial practice under the instruction of a professional curator.

This course considers the ways in which curators develop, manage and engage with artists, audiences, collections, pragmatic mobilization of resources, aesthetic integrity and expressive potentials, while responding to diverse institutional and non-institutional contexts and histories, as well as geo-political and social conditions. What are the drivers that inform and shape the work of curators today? Through what strategies of curatorial practice can the context of presentation be mobilized?

Some available courses are listed below; for a complete list please visit the Department of Gender Studies Website

GNDS 801 Theories in Gender Studies (3.0 Units)
Fall 2023
This seminar serves as an advanced, interdisciplinary, and transnational introduction to, and inquiry of contemporary theories within and across such fields as gender studies, Black studies, critical disability/crip studies, Indigenous and postcolonial, queer and trans studies. In it we will ask: what are the political, aesthetic and epistemological projects of theory as it emerges both within and outside the academy? How might we think about gender (et al.) theory’s relationships to, and histories in, disciplinary knowledge formation, the art world, colonialism, the law, the clinic, anti-colonial and revolutionary struggles and social justice movements, cultures of resistance? We will consider different ways and stakes of thinking about the human, identity, intimacy, knowledge, power, affect, the aesthetic, the social, movement, spatiality, temporality, desire, life and death. Throughout this course we will reflect upon our own formations, commitments, and aspirations in order to think about what theory might do, how it allows us to think and imagine and act, and with what conditions of possibility.

GNDS 802 Feminist Research Methods (3.0 Units)
Fall 2023
This interdisciplinary seminar examines historical and contemporary methodological approaches in gender studies and in such fields as critical race, feminist, women's, queer or trans studies. Readings and discussions emphasize research possibilities that are opened connecting multiple academic disciplines and diverse local-global perspectives. A goal of the seminar is to understand how researchers can engage in non-oppressive politics of knowledge production and how knowledge can be utilized within processes of social change. Required of Gender Studies graduate students.


Some available courses are listed below; for a complete list please visit the Department of Geography and Planning Website

GPHY 894 Advanced Studies in Human Geography II - Critical Geographies of Science and Technology (3.0 Units)
Winter 2024
From present-day space exploration and Indigenous futurisms of the cosmos, to the ongoing colonial histories of medicine and surveillance infrastructure, relations of power and struggle have long shaped humans’ engagements with science and technology. This course will introduce students to critical geographic approaches to think through the relationships between science, technology, society, and space, including postcolonial and feminist Science and Technology Studies (STS), Black and Indigenous Studies, and critical discourse analysis of environmental science. This course will ask students to dive deeply into both peer reviewed articles and monographs (books!) to distill key substantive arguments, but also to learn how to read such texts, to understand diverse methods, and to conceptualize large research projects. Course assessments will provide students the opportunity to develop and communicate their understanding in written and creative formats. This course is intended to appeal to a wide range of students across disciplines. 

Some available courses are listed below; for a complete list please visit the Department of Global Development Studies Website

DEVS 811 Social Reproduction, Care Work, and Development (3.0 Units)
Winter 2024
Who cares? And how and where do they do it, under what conditions, and for what purposes? While concepts like “work” and “economy” are usually associated with production or services oriented towards profit generation, a huge proportion of unpaid and paid labour worldwide is oriented towards social reproduction and care. In this seminar, we make these labours the centre of our analysis, and ask how that changes our approach to development. Social reproduction refers to the paid and unpaid labour that maintains and reproduces people and communities on a daily and intergenerational basis. We will ask how social reproduction is structured by local and transnational political economies, and how it shapes these economies, in turn. We will trace contemporary transnational flows of reproductive labour (for example, migrant support workers and childcare workers) and bodily capacities (for example, transnational surrogacy), and how they are shaping social reproduction locally and globally. We will also ask what future economies that privilege care might look like, examining the role of care in confronting racial capitalism, supporting Indigenous resurgence, and the “Just Transitions”/ “Build Back Better” movements.

DEVS 862 Tourism in Transition (3.0 Units)
Fall 2023. Wednesday, 8:30-11:30am
In 2019 tourism accounted for 10-11% of employment globally. For some countries, its promotion has been the principal development strategy, with noteworthy successes achieved over the past few decades. Can you name any?

Compelling critiques of tourism’s environmental, cultural, unequal economic and other harmful impacts, as well as rapid changes in technology and in tourist demography, have given rise both to new harms (such as “overtourism,” “Instagram death” – next up, space tourism) and new strategies to mitigate them (including “community-based” and “eco-tourism”). Have you experienced or studied any of these personally?

COVID-19 largely shut down the industry with often devastating impacts. But it also sparked creative initiatives to re-think tourism as a sustainable, social justice-oriented development strategy. This course critically assesses the history and explores contemporary practices of tourism planning for a post-pandemic, climate crisis, post-Western hegemony “new normal.”

Some available courses are listed below; for a complete list please visit the Department of History Website

HIST 402 Topics in History: The Future in History (3.0 Units)
Fall 2023
Though it may sound paradoxical, in Western cultures, when people talk about history, the narratives created inevitably also talk about futurity. Representations of the Past and of the Future are always articulated in the present. This leads to what seems like another paradox: the Future has a history and has been imagined differently at different times in the past. In this senior seminar, we will reflect on the presence of the Future in the Past, on futurity and futurism, and on the retro-futures that continue to inform how we understand the flow of history and on how we represent the past.

HIST 402 Topics in History: A Global History of Music (3.0 Units)
Winter 2024
How does music circle the globe? How has its cultural significance changed over the course of the twentieth century? In what ways has it been a force of action and change, a means to grapple with difference and violence, or a medium to transmit knowledge and foster community? To sound the past for answers to these questions is to acknowledge the continued social and symbolic importance of music in today’s increasingly globalized and networked world. A Global History of Music traces the movement of artists and producers, shellac records and cassette tapes, sheet music and radio broadcasts, as well as local and diasporic audiences within or between cities such as Rio de Janeiro, Paris, Rabat, Montreal, Honolulu, New York, Tokyo, London, and Kingston (Jamaica). The course will ask students to consider the entangled histories of music making from a variety of global perspectives, encouraging them to think critically about the – often asymmetrical – relationships that allow music to travel. 

HIST 402 Topics in History: Thinking While Black: Black Intellectual History (3.0 Units)
Fall 2023
This course uses a range of media – including photographs, video, music, film, and literature – to explore Black intellectual history in Africa, North America, the Caribbean, and Europe since the early nineteenth century. In doing so, we will have access to resources that challenge oversimplified accounts of Black history (e.g. narratives that deny Black agency or the capacity of Black people to analyse the modern world). We will study artistic, activist, and scholarly work produced inside and outside of academia that has addressed key themes and issues ranging from nationalism to racism, safe spaces on college campuses, environmental risks, ecological scarcities, and the redemptive power of culture. Topics covered in the course include: the marketing and reading of slave narratives; anti-lynching crusades and the visual archive of mob violence; contested memories of the transatlantic slave trade and imperialism; the relationship between anti-colonialism and existentialism; Black Consciousness Movements and the place of sex, love, and desire in discourses of liberation; and current struggles against mass incarceration and police brutality. Assessment for the course is based on a series of reading reflections, media and social media analyses, and a final research project that may take the form of an academic essay, creative non-fiction, or a multimedia project (such as a podcast).

HIST 416 Material History in Canada (3.0 Units)
Fall 2023
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 about 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.

HIST 831 Selected Topics: Empires and Intimacies (3.0 Units)
Fall 2023
This course explores the transnational “emotional economy”: that is, familial and intimate relations of power created in and by empires, in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The readings are thematic and interdisciplinary, drawn from national and transnational contexts, primarily in the Americas. Topics include colonial knowledge formation, tourism, visual cultures, racialization, sexual politics and other bonds of affect.

HIST 834 Public History: Skills and Praxis (3.0 Units)
Winter 2024
This graduate seminar will introduce students to the occupations, projects, and skills in the field of Public History. By presenting the vastness and variety of the historical craft beyond academia, this course allows students to acquire skills needed to execute a research project commonly produced in Public History contexts. It will also allow students to understand and articulate the marketable skills they have acquired in their history curriculum in order to better present themselves in the non-academic job market. This course is meant to provide a good basis for graduate students to understand what is needed of academically-trained historians working as public historians today.

For a complete list please visit the School of Environmental Studies Website

For a complete list please visit the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies Website.

For a complete list please visit the Faculty of Law Website

Some available courses are listed below; for a complete list please visit the Department of Philosophy Website

PHIL 893 Ethics and the Environment (3.0 Units)
Fall 2023
An exploration of philosophical issues and questions concerning the environment. Specific topic in any year will be determined by the instructor. 

PHIL 445 Major Figures I - The Philosophy of Levinas (3.0 Units)
Winter 2024
Emmanuel Levinas (1906-1995) is a major figure in contemporary continental philosophy, ethics, and phenomenology. This seminar offers an introduction to his groundbreaking work, through a careful reading of his first major book Totality and Infinity. We consider, for example, what it means to think ethics phenomenologically, what Levinas meant by “ethics as first philosophy” and the significance of the encounter with “the face of the Other.” Our study of the primary text will be supplemented by introductory level secondary sources, interviews with Levinas, and lectures situating his work in relation to such 20th century philosophers as Husserl, Heidegger, Buber, and de Beauvoir, as well as Plato and Descartes. 
Our major emphasis is on advanced philosophical reading skills, interpretation and expository writing, and deep engagement with the themes explored. 

Regular seminar attendance is expected. Evaluation is based on seminar participation, active online reading exercises, a midterm essay and final essay. 

Some available courses are listed below; for a complete list please visit the Department of Political Studies Website.

POLS 880 Gender and Politics (3.0 Units)
Winter 2024
This course addresses the diverse and developing field of Gender and Politics in the discipline of Political Science. The focus will vary depending on the instructor, addressing topics such as: representation; feminist methodology; identity; gender and work; gender and citizenship; the politics of the family; queer theory; intersectionality of race, gender and class; and gender and globalization.

For a complete list please visit the Department of Psychology Website

Some available courses are listed below; for a complete list please visit the School of Religion Website

RELS 242 Indigenous Objects (3.0 Units)
Fall 2023
The course addresses the sacred or profane status of objects in Indigenous cosmologies. What they are, mean, and do, and how Indigenous persons position themselves in relation to them. This leads to reflections on the object/subject division, the condition of materiality and immateriality, and the resulting nature of spirits in Indigenous worlds.

RELS 331 - Religion and Violence
Winter 2024
Links between violence and religious beliefs, practices and institutions; for example, sacrifice, holy wars, scapegoating, and suicide.

RELS 342/842 Indigeneity and Nature (3.0 Units)
Fall 2023
The seminar deals with the knowledges and practices through which Indigenous peoples conceptualize and approach what the West calls "Nature". Applying their underlying principles, we further analyze contemporary initiatives to promote interspeciesism, and to grant rights to Nature and legal personhood to different elements of the environment.

RELS 257 Indigenous Sages and Wisdoms (3.0 Units)
Winter 2024
Following the specific roles usually associated with the category "shamanism", this course examines empirical accounts on the knowledges and practices of various types of spiritual specialists, such as sages, healers, diviners, priests, sorcerers, and mediums in Indigenous traditions in Canada and various regions of the world.

RELS 301/806 Themes in Religious Studies - "Understanding Rituals" (3.0 Units)
Winter 2024
In this interactive, inquiry-based course students will develop their own research project in order to explore how human beings attempt to live with the dead and to share spaces and lives with those who are no longer alive.

RELS 822 Yoga in India and the West (3.0 Units)
Winter 2024
Surveys the history and philosophy of yoga in India and the West. Yoga practicum: estimated cost $85.00.

For a complete list please visit the Department of Sociology Website.