2023-24 Special Topics Courses

Fall 2023                                                                                                                                                                 

INDG 301-001/3.0  Indigenous Ways of Knowing:  Resurgence Through Indigegogy
Instructor:  Lacey King

This course engages students in a learning and reflective process that uses Indigenous worldviews, ways of knowing and theory. This opportunity will allow students to experience knowledge building, capacity development and experience how Indigenous ways of knowing influence our understanding of the world and our role in it. This process will address the structural and institutional consequences of historical marginalization and oppression of Indigenous ways of knowing. Through this process meaningful dialogue and profound learning will derive from this method.

LLCU 205-001/3.0  Cultures of a Nation:  Mexico
Instructor:  Claudio Palomares Salas

LLCU 205 explores the social, historical, cultural, and political events that have shaped Mexico from pre-Hispanic times to the present day. No previous knowledge of Mexico or Latin America is required. The course is open to all students. Students must commit to do all the readings, watch all the videos and films, and participate actively in class discussions.

LLCU 205-002/3.0  Cultures of a Nation:  Portugal
Instructor:  Antonio Macedo

In this course, we will explore Portugal’s long history ranging from pre-Roman times to contemporary day, while emphasising social, cultural and political issues. We will explore important events of Portuguese history, such as the Portuguese exploration (Age of Discovery) and subsequent colonial empire, the Lisbon earthquake and Pombaline reconstruction of Lisbon, the Estado Novo dictatorship and the Carnation Revolution. We will also discuss important Portuguese contributions in architecture, literature, music, cinema, cuisine and sports and will explore the fascinating history of the Portuguese diaspora. No previous knowledge is required. The course is open to all students.

LLCU 295-001/3.0  The Language & Cultures of Global Hip Hop
Instructor:  Adesoji Babalola

This course explores global hip hop cultures by focusing on their politics of language and cultural practices, especially in the contexts of North America, South America, Africa, and Asia. We will carefully read hip hop language theorists/scholars. We will engage with the questions of how hip hop uses language, lyrics, themes, clothing, images and more to create sites of resurgence, decolonial praxis and resistance to hegemonic language policies and essentialist views of language, culture, identity, and race. With this, we will examine mainstream and Indigenous hip hop artists across continents and look at what is shared across global hip hop contexts, as well as what is unique to the hip hop of specific places/peoples. This course will shape our understanding of hip hop as global protest culture and cultural movement that confronts power relations and proclaims the politics of hope and liberation in marginalized territories. 

LLCU 295-002/3.0  Music with Legs: Dance, Transnationalism and Resilience
Instructor:  Melissa Noventa

Music has long been a vehicle of transnational exchange. But while dance has accompanied most popular music genres, the “legs” that help make music visible are often overlooked. This course re-couples music and dance to consider how they reflect social politics, depart from social politics and often create new categories of meaning and belonging. Focusing on genres primarily from the Caribbean and the Americas (including salsa, hip hop, carnival dances etc.), this course considers how historically marginalized dance genres negotiate and often resists traditional dimensions of race, class and gender. Drawing on Afro-Caribbean, Black feminist and Indigenous theoretical frameworks, this course gives attention to how dance functions as both a mode of communication central to social life while also informing embodied knowledge systems that aid in transmitting cultural wisdom.

As a transnational genre, the course will explore dance as a cultural manifestation subject to movement across geographical borders and will consider issues that arise with appropriation and hybridity. But most importantly, it will examine the ways that dance has historically been a space where cultural interventions are revealed.

Please note this course has an experiential component to it. There will be movement-based classes as well as lectures throughoiut the term. No previous dance training is required.

LLCU 295-003/3.0  Potential Worlds
Instructor:  Alisha Piercy

As designers, urban planners, and ecologists consider options for the future of the built environment, the catch phrase “It matters what designs design designs” (Westerlaken, 2020) calls for accountability in design practices—especially those affecting land-space relations and between human and other-than-human worlds. The model—as map, sketch, or story—is a design object itself: a tool for creating imaginaries that can provoke more just relations, entrench existing systems, or make something neither other nor new (Manning, 2023). An examination of historical and contemporary models of designed land-spaces (from speculative architect Liam Young’s “Planet City” to virtual eco-fictions in art, to Indigenous Lo-Tek in architecture) positions ‘designing’ as a practice of making worlds, or worlding that has ethical implications and responsibilities. Taking an interdisciplinary approach that engages decolonial with spatial theories, the student will encounter the tensions and stakes within western and Indigenous design philosophies and architectures (fictional and real) as they propose alternate futures and climate-resilient infrastructures.

LLCU 395-001/3.0  Classical Literature of Spain
Instructor:  t.b.a.

An introduction to the major authors and works of the literature of Spain from its beginnings to the end of the 17th Century. Through study and analysis students will obtain a general understanding of the main cultural, historical, and societal trends and movements during these periods.

Winter 2024                                                                                                                                                                 

INDG 301-001/3.0  Indigenous Ways of Knowing:
Exploring  Indigenous Visual Storytelling and Digital Artmaking for Gender-Diverse Narratives

Instructor:  Carleigh Milburn

This course provides a comprehensive exploration of Indigenous artwork through diverse gender perspectives, focusing on the significance of visual storytelling and how Indigenous artists are continuously changing dominant cultural narratives. Students will also be challenged to explore the decolonial potential of digital art media and artificial intelligence.

Throughout the course, students will immerse themselves in exhibitions, critically analyzing curatorial contexts, and gaining a nuanced understanding of how Indigenous artists use their work to reclaim narratives, challenge colonial legacies, and assert their cultural identities.

The course is structured into three parts. The first part delves into the historical context of Indigenous art and its representation of gender and sexuality. Through critical examination of prominent artists and their work, students will situate their art within political and cultural settings.

The second part of the course focuses on contemporary Indigenous art, emphasizing how Indigenous artists use their work to challenge stereotypes and misconceptions about Indigenous people, cultures, and identities. By examining current exhibitions, students will analyze how Indigenous artists use visual storytelling to shift dominant cultural narratives and combat colonial legacies.

The final section of the course, students will be prompted to reflect on the diverse art forms explored throughout the course and create artwork that authentically reflects themselves and their understanding of the world. This involves challenging preconceived notions that were once accepted and finding ways to enhance their knowledge of Indigenous contexts.

INDG 301-002/3.0  Indigenous Ways of Knowing: Exploration of Contemporary Realities
Instructor:  Kaitlind Peters

This course focuses on the historical and contemporary challenges faced by Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island. In this course, students will research specific challenges facing Indigenous communities that arise out of the broader topic areas of: Language and culture, land rights, governance, education, health, social services, environment, violence and decolonization. Students will explore Indigenous methodologies and epistemologies of resistance, resurgence and renewal. 

LLCU 295-001/3.0  Sport and Global Relations  CANCELLED

LLCU 395-001/3.0  Modern Latin American Fiction
Instructor:  C. Palomares Salas

A survey of the major authors and works of Latin American literature from the beginning of the 20th century to the present. Readings will include texts from all genres and will illustrate the main cultural and historical trends and movements.

LLCU 395-002/3.0  Modern Literature of Spain
Instructor:  t.b.a.

An introduction to the major authors and works of the literature of Spain from the Enlightenment to the present. Through study and analysis students will obtain a general understanding of the main cultural and historical and societal trends and movements during these eras.

LLCU 395-003/3.0  Decolonization:  Indigenous History in Film (Remote)
Instructor:  I. Fanning

Decolonization is an ambiguous term produced by a colonial world still attempting to understand, and often to justify, colonization. Can film mitigate the ambiguity associated with the terms colonization and decolonization? In a time when various mediums are considered research and artifact, film offers a potentially useful investigation into the complex notions of decolonization. With a focus on the colonization of Indigenous people in what is now known as Canada, this course aims to critique the processes of colonization through the use of film. We will reflect critically on the potential of film to contribute to our analysis of gendered settler colonialism, as well as the potential for films to act as agents of re-colonization in contemporary times.