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 July 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 Danielle in B126B.  This can often be done by fax or email.

Explore 2018-2019 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.

  • ​TBA
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.

  • CLAS 823:  Greek Archaeology II (Winter 2019), Cristiana Zaccagnino
    • This course focuses on art in ancient Greece, emphasizing the post-Bronze Age. Classification and development of various styles in art from the so-called Dark Age to the Hellenistic period.
    • A basic knowledge of Ancient Greek history and art is recommended.
    • Please contact Cristiana Zaccagnino for permission to take this course.
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 490: Gender and Popular Music (Fall 2018), Kip Pegley
    • Gender and Popular Music In this course we explore gender, sexuality and performativity in Western popular music with an emphasis on musical technologies, musical consumption practices, and sonic and visual texts. A range of musical genres will be covered with a particular emphasis on rock, pop, country, rap, and R and B.
    • Not open to students who previously have taken Gender and Popular Music as a special topics course (MUSC 475); no more than 3.0 units from MUSC 475 (2013‐14 to 2016‐17) or MUSC 490.
    • Please contact Kip Pegley for permission to take this course.
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 866 Topics in Contemporary Literature: Incarcerating Indigenous Peoples: Cultural and Political Perspectives (Fall 2018)
    Armand Garnet Ruffo
    • This seminar will examine the concepts and reality of incarceration for Indigenous people in Canada and the role of writing. According to a 2016 investigative report by Maclean’s magazine, the asymmetrical jailing of the Indigenous population in Canada now exceeds the jailing of African-Americans in the USA. In fact, there are now more Indigenous people incarcerated across the country than there were Blacks jailed at the height of the apartheid in South Africa. While statistics may surprise the majority of Canadians, incarceration for Indigenous peoples comes as no surprise and extends back to European contact. How is incarceration then connected to the history and colonization of Indigenous peoples, and what insight can literature give us into this experience? We will consider a variety of literary strategies that Indigenous authors have adopted to tell their stories of incarceration with the end goal of confronting and destroying colonialism; this focus will connect to related themes of diaspora, racism, violence, gender, self-determination, residential schools, etc. The texts for the seminar include a variety of literary genres, such as memoir, fiction and poetry, as well as critical work that serves to open the literature to analysis
    • Requirements: These include regular attendance and participation, an oral presentation, and a longer essay.
  • ENGL 884 Topics in American Literature: Race, Sound and African American Literature (Fall 2018)
    Kristin Moriah
    • This course focuses on the relationship between Sound Studies and African American literature. We will investigate various recourses to sound in African American literature and criticism. We will read the work of literary figures like Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois, Zora Neale Hurston and Ann Petry alongside critics like Amiri Baraka, Daphne Brooks, Fred Moten, and Alexander Weheliye. Traversing the sonic color line, we will develop new understandings of black aesthetics, literature, and politics. Attendance and Participation 10%; one Presentation 10%; two Short Papers (3-5 pages) 20%; one Final Research Paper (20-25 pages) 60%.
    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.

    • TBA
    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 801:  Theories in Gender Studies (Fall 2018; Thursdays from 11.30-2.30pm in D-211 Macintosh Corry Hall), Katherine McKittrick
      • The seminar will address theories of gender, focusing specifically on research and ideas that draw attention to the connections between identity, place, sexualities, (dis)abilities and race.  The theoretical shadows of this course are informed by the histories of colonialism and transatlantic slavery that, it is argued, set the stage for contemporary struggles over political claims to identity-place. Texts and discussions will explore how the promises of modernity—specifically freedom embodied and articulated as reason, progress, liberal democracy, civility—are underwritten by particular racial-sexual unfreedoms that engender productive and limited feminist, queer, and anti-racist emancipatory projects.  Central to and amidst the paradoxes of modernity, exclusion, emancipation, will be texts and discussions that draw attention to the creative, intellectual, and alternative emancipatory strategies of marginalized communities. 
      • Please contact Katherine McKittrick for permission to take this course.
    • GNDS 820 Creative Emancipation and Applied Theory (Fall 2018)
      Jane Tolmie
      • This is a class on art activism, in a broad sense that is attentive to the emancipatory (freeing, changing) powers of creative engagement and production. Primary materials are a mix of poems, sequential art pieces, novels, images, and performance clips/film clips.  Theory work will focus on feminist thought, transgender studies, critical race studies, and a range of studies of different forms of art activism. Course requirements include participation, a substantial oral presentation that includes extensive applied theory (applied to a creative text/set of actions/images), in-class exercises, a 3-page final project outline with bibliography, and a final paper of 20-25 pages, MLA style. There are three scheduled visitors to the class, all local artists sharing their work and stories.  The reading list and additional information can be found here.
    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.

    • GPHY889: Geographical Thought (Fall 2018), Audrey Kobayashi
      • A survey of ideas about spatiality, with an emphasis on recent poststructural developments and challenges.
      • Graduate student standing is required.
      • Please contact Audrey Kobayashi for permission to take this course.
    • GPHY362:  Human Migration (TBA), Audrey Kobayashi
      • This course can be taken as a Directed Reading.
      • Please contact Audrey Kobayashi for permission to take this course.
    • GPHY870: Historical and Cultural Issues in Fieldwork (Fall 2018), Laura Cameron
      • This course actively explores the histories, practises and cultural meanings of fieldwork. Geographical fieldwork is considered along with conceptions of the 'field' in allied disciplines such as ecology and anthropology. Constructions of the 'field' are addressed in terms of empire, nationalism, 'nature', pedagogy, translocalism, the lab-field border, performativity and in relation to its role as a gendered, ethical, imaginative, sensory and affective space of knowledge and activity.  Fieldwork has long had a key role in the making of knowledge in both social and natural sciences. Recent work in geography, sociology and the history of science has begun to explore diverse cultures of the field, raising a range of questions about the nature of field knowledge. Where is the field and for whom? The course focuses on case studies and currents pertinent to the study of field cultures within North America and elsewhere. The primary objective is to provide opportunities for in-depth discussion and activities to help understand and reassess the motives, practises and status of fieldwork.
      • Weekly seminars will involve excursions, discussion of the course readings, films, field exercises as well as presentations integrating course themes and reflections upon the students' past and future fieldwork activities. The readings, including relevant journal articles and book chapters, will be made available.
      • Please contact Laura Cameron for permission to take this course.
    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 870: The ‘African Renaissance’ in Global Perspective (Fall 2018), Marc Epprecht

    • Beginning in the 1990s, Africa witnessed numerous peaceful transitions to more democratic government, progress towards women’s legal empowerment, and relatively elevated economic growth. Then-Deputy President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, revived the phrase ‘African renaissance’ to describe an optimistic vision that would see such development sustained outside (largely discredited) one-party, state-led, aid-dependent models. This vision incorporated ancient notions of ubuntu, sankofa or African humanism/ communitarianism, within dynamic forms of local capitalism. It saw greater pan-African co-operation, cultural/linguistic revival, debt relief, new technologies, globalization and Africa’s looming “demographic dividend” as solutions to seemingly intractable problems. The vision also increasingly includes foreign investment from China, India and an Africa-identifying Brazil. It has resonated as well with the so-called colour revolutions in which new social media facilitated political and social transformations.  This course will evaluate the premises and promises of the “African renaissance” (or “Africa rising” narrative) in relation to global trends. It begins with a critical overview of the history of underdevelopment under colonial and neo-colonial conditions, including through unequal relations in the production of knowledge about Africa. Students then examine a specific proposed “renaissance” strategy, critically assessing the debates and leading to mature reflection on “what next”? Topics include: aid versus trade, colonial borders/languages vs. indigenous cultures/languages, tourism, health, human rights, social media, new technologies, and climate change. The major research essay will involve a case study of urban redevelopment in a specific African city in light of these global challenges.

    • This course is shared with senior UG students (DEVS 492). 870 students will have higher expectations, eg., short essays on W. Rodney and F. Fanon, “volunteer” for early leadership roles, longer final essay.

    • Please contact Marc Epprecht for permission to take this course.

    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.

    • History 865: Empires and Intimacies (Fall 2018), Karen Dubinsky

      • 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.
      • Please contact Karen Dubinsky for permission to take this course.
    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.

    • ENSC801: Methodological and Conceptual Basis for Environmental Studies (Fall 2018), Allison Goebel
      • The course examines methodological and conceptual issues arising from Environmental Studies position as an inter-, multi- and/or trans-disciplinary practice. It will focus on the inherent difficulties in overcoming disciplinary fragmentation in approaches to studying complex issues in environmental sustainability that require integrated understandings of the inter-relations between social and natural systems. The course will promote methodological literacy beyond student's own area of expertise, develop critical and reflexive thinking about how environmental studies might approach issues of sustainability, and encourage and facilitate communication across disciplinary paradigms. The course precedes and compliments ENSC 802, familiarizing students with the historical origins, philosophical underpinnings and practical deployment of key approaches within the social and natural sciences and humanities.
      • Please contact Allison Goebel for permission to take this course.
    • ENSC802: Global Environmental Problems: Issues in Sustainability (Winter 2019), Allison Goebel
      • This course focuses on real-world environmental problems analyzing their social, ethical, and biogeochemical origins, economic ramifications, and institutional frameworks for their mitigation and resolution in the context of environmental sustainability. This course would logically follow or run concurrently with ENSC 801*, and will deepen and continue the themes through consideration of the intellectual history of theories and concepts relevant to environmental studies, with a focus on the concepts of "sustainability" and "sustainable development".
      • Please contact Allison Goebel for permission to take this course.
    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 869: Bodies and Social Theory (Fall 2018; Tuesdays from 2:30-5:30 in KHS 212) with Samantha King
      • This course explores key theoretical approaches to the meaning, mood, and matter of bodies in the contemporary world. Through a range of topics that including food, cancer, toxins, reproduction, biometrics, and pain, we will attend to both the vitality and multiplicity of bodies and their subjection within enduring structures of power. Our objectives are as follows:
      1. to consider how bodies are most effectively historicized and conceptualized;
      2. to learn key concepts in body studies (e.g., embodiment, corporeality, affect, difference, discipline, biopolitics, posthumanism);
      3. to explore prominent intellectual debates within the field;
      4. to consider how research on bodies might contribute to the development of theory; and
      5. to practice advanced skills in reading, writing, and speaking about bodies and social theory.
    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.

    • TBA
    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 870: Topics in Philosophy of Science: Science and Public Reason (Winter 2019), Sergio Sismondo
      • The first half of this course will be an advanced introduction to Science and Technology Studies.
      • The second half of the course will explore some large issues for public reason in connection with scientific claims. How should we understand skepticism about climate change or the safety of vaccines? How should we understand the apparent general erosion of trust in science as a contributor to public policy? What kinds of large-scale epistemic structures need to be put in place to improve the ways in which conflicts in public reason play out?
      • Please contact Sergio Sismondo for permission to take this course.
    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.

    • TBA

    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.

    • TBA
    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.

    • TBA
    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.

    • SOCY 934 Political Sociology
      Norma Möllers
      • This course examines key political issues in contemporary societies through engaging with a mix of classical and contemporary social and political thought. It is not intended to give a comprehensive overview of the entire field; rather, the course is organized around some salient features of the current political moment related to state sovereignty, capitalism, and violence. The course is divided in two parts: The first part examines ideas and concepts around ‘the state’ and ‘politics;’ and the second part is dedicated ‘the economy’ and capitalism, and how these relate to contemporary political issues. Some of the questions we will discuss revolve around: The resurgence of concerns about state sovereignty vis à vis a globalized and networked economy; the relationships between economic crises and the resurgence of nationalisms; the renewed visibility of race and racisms in global politics; shifting understandings of citizenship; the legacies of violence on which modern political and economic orders have been built and the ways in which this matters for (understanding) the present; and finally, possibilities of imagining alternative modes of organizing economic and political activities.