Students generally begin the Humanities sequence with a course in category 101, Knowledge, followed by a course in category 102, World Views. An attempt at both categories – with a pass in at least category 101 – is required before proceeding on to the “Block B” program-specific category. Students must complete one course from each category in order to receive a DEC.
Central to all Humanities courses at Champlain is practice in and development of more refined reflection, critical thinking and communication. Through interdisciplinary study of questions and issues important to human beings, students in Humanities will develop insights obtainable only through an interdisciplinary approach and will come to appreciate the inter-relationships in all their learning experiences. Students in Humanities will learn to reflect on, understand and become more involved in various dimensions of human experience and thereby to examine and better understand their own assumptions and values.
To apply a logical analytical process to how knowledge is organized and used, specifically:
NOTE: NOT ALL COURSES WILL BE OFFERED EACH TERM.
|345-101-MQ||BEING HUMAN: AN EVOLUTIONARY PERSPECTIVE||(3-1-3) 60 HRS / 2 1⁄3 CR|
Are human beings natural born killers destined for self-destruction? Is who we are and what we do predetermined by our genetic make-up or is how we were raised determine our future? One way to seek answers to these questions we all ask ourselves about what we do and why we do it, is to look back millions of years and trace the evolution of humans, which is, in essence, the study of how we got this way in the first place. By understanding where we came from as a species and how this species (Homo sapiens) has developed since our emergence over 150,000 years ago, we may hope to better understand just who we are and why we behave the way we do.
|345-101-MQ||SPORT, SPECTACLE AND ENTERTAINMENT IN CLASSICAL ANTIQUITY||(3-1-3) 60 HRS / 2 1⁄3 CR|
The students in this course will focus on an interdisciplinary exploration of social, cultural, political and religious effects of entertainment in ancient Greece and Rome (from the 6th century B.C. to the 4th century A.D.). Together we will attempt to elucidate how the ancient Greeks and Romans conceived of entertainment; how different forms of entertainment in the ancient world were organised and functioned; and what role entertainment played in these ancient societies. We will also attempt to understand how entertainment served to create a sense of social and cultural unity, as well as how
it served to delineate ethnic and national identities; how entertainment could be used as propaganda; and most importantly, why so many forms of entertainment in the ancient world were so intrinsically tied to religion and religious activities, and why this is no longer the case in our world today.
|345-101-MQ||VAMPIRES, WITCHES AND ZOMBIES... OH MY!||(3-1-3) 60 HRS / 2 1⁄3 CR|
This course analyzes the origins and mythology of popular culture's most iconic symbols of everlasting life, power and intrigue and their influence on belief systems and their attendant rituals and practices. An exploration of human consciousness linked to magic, science and religion will help facilitate students understanding of how we make sense of the world around us. Students will be acquainted with the origins, influence and survival tactics thought necessary to successfully navigate within a world filled with imaginary and real threats and how inevitably these mythological creatures have become representative of contemporary issues. Various sources will be drawn upon including but not limited to anthropology, Greek, African & Native mythology, sociology and psychology.
|345-101-MQ||INTRODUCTION TO CROSSCULTURAL STUDIES||(3-1-3) 60 HRS / 2 1⁄3 CR|
This course explores contact and communication which takes place between two or more persons from different cultures. We focus on theories of cultural difference and how people respond when faced with intercultural/cross cultural situations and circumstances. We will explore the history of Cross Cultural Relations from the spread of Islam to Colonialism and the European-Native American encounter; Theoretical notions such as Marginal Man, Heterophily, Ingroups and Outgroups, Cultural Relativism, stereotypes and the Authoritarian Personality; Verbal Communication, Non-verbal Communication and finally the impact of media images such as the Disney version of Aladdin.
|345-101-MQ||FLESH AND BLOOD: THE BODY IN WESTERN CULTURE||(3-1-3) 60 HRS / 2 1⁄3 CR|
In this course students will explore a number of historical and contemporary understandings of the body, and of physical differences of all sorts. The course aims to enrich students' personal and cultural perspectives on bodies and their recognition of the meanings and privileges that have been attached to particular bodies. It will examine historical approaches to the body, medical culture in the 19th Century, and finally contemporary understandings and questions about human bodies. Course materials will include both texts and visual images drawn from a variety of fields, ranging from science, to philosophy, literature and film.
|345-101-MQ||THE F WORD: FEMINISM IN THEORY AND PRACTICE||(3-1-3) 60 HRS / 2 1⁄3 CR|
This course serves as an introduction the history of feminism as both a body of knowledge and a sphere of social struggle. Students will ask questions about what feminism looks like, who it is for, and what it offers us while examining contemporary feminist issues and interventions.
|345-101-MQ||HOMES AND HOMESCAPES||(3-1-3) 60 HRS / 2 1⁄3 CR|
This course will examine the concepts, experiences, and physical realities of home in the North American context, focussing on how the home is shaped by, and shapes, its occupants’ worldviews and social positions. Divided into several units, we will study European visions of home imported to North America by settlers, writing about home from an Aboriginal perspective, the impact of modernity and consumerism on our home environment, immigrant or newcomers’ perspectives, and the perspectives of those who are homeless. Through research and class activities, students will develop an understanding of the interlinked development of self, place, and identity, learning to critically analyze their own homescapes.
|345-101-MQ||READING THE ROMANS: HOW TO INTERPRET THE ANCIENT PAST||(3-1-3) 60 HRS / 2 1⁄3 CR|
“When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” The old cliché reflects the importance of the ancient city that was for centuries the political and military capital of the Western world, and for even longer an artistic and cultural centre of European civilization. In this course students will examine how modern historians reconstruct the origins and evolution of the ancient Romans as they expanded from a small town into a vast empire governing diverse peoples with a social and cultural cohesion that endured well beyond the empire's military collapse. Students will explore the various ways in the modern world interprets the cultural, social, religious and political lives of the Romans.
|345-101-MQ||THE INTERNET KNOWS EVERYTHING||(3-1-3) 60 HRS / 2 1⁄3 CR|
In light of fake news, trolls, attacks on privacy, and decreasing net neutrality, this course will help students understand the cultural, social, economic, and political forces that shape this generation’s most powerful tool of knowledge.
|345-101-MQ||ANTHROPOLOGY MATTERS!||(3-1-3) 60 HRS / 2 1⁄3 CR|
The purpose of this course is to examine the importance of anthropology in the study of language, culture and mind and its relevancy to contemporary issues. Case studies, via qualitative methodologies, are used to help develop an understanding of human culture.
The purpose of this course is to examine the importance of anthropology in the study of language, culture and mind and its relevancy to contemporary issues. Case studies, via qualitative methodologies, are used to help develop an understanding of human culture.
|345-101-MQ||FOOD FOR THOUGHT||(3-1-3) 60 HRS / 2 1⁄3 CR|
In the early 19th century, the French gastronome Brillant-Savarin said "tell me what you eat and I will tell you who you are". Today, it would be more accurate to say tell me what you eat and I will tell you who you are, where you stand on political issues, what values you hold, how healthy you are, what cultural group you belong to, how your economy functions, who your major trade partners are, the state of the environment and what you believe your role is in affecting social change. This course begins with a snapshot of the history of food production and then explores the human food habits and customs of different traditional and contemporary cultures. Recent food movements will be examined in order to discover new linkages between what we eat and who we are. This course also addresses key issues about how food is produced, processed, shipped, marketed, distributed and sold, and the global forces and institutions that play a role in these. Most importantly, students will be asked to look at their own food habits in order to asses the impact that these have on the local community, the country and the world.
|345-101-MQ||UNDERSTANDING SEXUALITY||(3-1-3) 60 HRS / 2 1⁄3 CR|
Sex is a basic human activity whose physical and physiological aspects are relatively simple and straightforward, but sexuality — the psychological, social, cultural and moral values and meanings attached to sex — are anything but. In this course students will examine the ways in which sex is understood and conceptualized, as well the contextual factors affecting the historical development of these ideas. The emphasis will be placed on identifying conflicting and changing sexual values concerning marriage, premarital and extramarital sex, reproduction, gender roles, sexual orientation and deviant or subversive sexualities. Students will also analyze the historical development of sexuality and sexology from their ancient roots to the 20 th and 21 st centuries, as expressed by diverse voices, both male and female, both gay and straight.
|345-101-MQ||RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE||(3-1-3) 60 HRS / 2 1⁄3 CR|
This course explores the influence of cultural values and norms on the organization of the production, distribution or marketing, and the consumption of goods and services at both the local and global levels of the world economy. It also examines the social and environmental impact of the globalization of the consumer and studies material objects and technologies and their role in the production of everyday social life and culture. It also examines how popular culture has shaped our understanding of the ‘self’ and the consequences of stereotyping enforcing the need to adapt to ever growing unrealistic expectations and demands of physical beauty within society.
|345-101-MQ||EXPLOITATION: FROM MONEY TO MEDIA||(3-1-3) 60 HRS / 2 1⁄3 CR|
Most of us agree that exploitation—taking advantage of someone or something’s vulnerabilities for gain—is wrong. It is much harder, however, to agree on where exactly healthy opportunity ends and where exploitation begins. This course considers the ways that the media turn people’s personal dramas into entertainment and make a profit all the while. We will explore the production circumstances and audiences of various media throughout history, from news to movies to reality TV, to better understand the dynamics of money and power at play.
|345-101-MQ||IDENTITY IN THE ANCIENT WORLD||(3-1-3) 60 HRS / 2 1⁄3 CR|
The students taking this course will explore expressions of different individual, social, cultural, religious and ethnic identities that can be encountered through the material and literary evidence of the ancient world, in particular with respect to ancient Greece and Rome. Together, we will explore what these identities can teach us about ancient societies and the individuals who contributed to them, as well as what we can learn about our own identities and our own society upon reflection on the ancient world.
|345-101-MQ||WHAT DO MUSEUMS KNOW?||(3-1-3) 60 HRS / 2 1⁄3 CR|
More than just imposing buildings and impressive collections, museums are a way of thinking about the world. Museums shape knowledge as much as they store it. This course charts a range of ways of thinking about the world of museums, from hoarders to collectors. It will study the impact of museums on our view of the past, and the implications for the future.
|345-101-MQ||THE MEANING OF MARXISM||(3-1-3) 60 HRS / 2 1⁄3 CR|
The Canadian socialist Bill Livant once famously quipped, “When a liberal sees a beggar, he says the system isn’t working; when a Marxist does, he says it is.” This suggestion that capitalism is an inherently unstable system that serves to make the rich richer and the poor poorer is usually scorned by the system’s supporters as proof that Marxists are “economically illiterate,” but the continuing economic crisis may suggest that the Marxist understanding of political economy continues to be relevant. This course introduces students to political economy as a field of study, and to Marxism as an analytical framework for understanding such concepts as class and the state. Students will analyze the basic philosophical, economic and political components of Marxist theory, and apply them to contemporary situations in Canadian society. Students will also explore the main criticisms of, and alternatives to, Marxism in order to critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of Marxism as a way of understanding the political economy of capitalism.
|345-101-MQ||WESTERN PHILOSOPHY & THE STUDY OF KNOWLEDGE||(3-1-3) 60 HRS / 2 1⁄3 CR|
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to epistemology (i.e. study of knowledge) from the perspective of Western philosophy. This will entail delving into what such questions as: What is knowledge? What conditions must be met in order to possess knowledge? What does it take to know something, rather than merely believe it? What are our best sources of knowledge? What is reality? How do we know? We will study answers to these questions by turning our attention to ancient and contemporary philosophers. The works that we will be studying will not only elucidate the various line of inquiries but also the debate between those inquiries as articulated by various philosophers - often across the span of centuries. As such we will come to see important elements of continuity and change throughout the centuries. More importantly we will see how these philosophical inquiries form an intelligible whole. An additional aim is to introduce students to the history of ideas and their development in Western philosophical thought.
|345-101-MQ||LANGUAGE AND IDENTITY||(3-1-3) 60 HRS / 2 1⁄3 CR|
We use language every day to communicate with family, friends, coworkers, strangers. But language is more than a sophisticated and convenient code to give and receive information; it is one of the main features that set us apart from animals and help us create complex identities for ourselves (individual and collective). Borrowing from such disciplines as sociolinguistics, psychology, sociology, history, literature and philosophy, this humanities course will seek to understand better how language can contribute to knowledge of identity, as it relates to age, gender, social class and cultural group.
|345-101-MQ||THE DISCOVERY OF LANGUAGE||(3-1-3) 60 HRS / 2 1⁄3 CR|
It goes without saying that the forms of language that we use are fundamental to the ways in which we understand and structure knowledge, and that these forms are socially and historically conditioned. In this course students will examine the ways in which language in general -- and English, French and other Indo-European languages in particular -- affect the ways in which knowledge is organized and used. Students will also trace the main events in the evolution of the major Western languages, and analyze the connections between these developments and their social and historical contexts. Topics to be discussed include: the origins of language, the transition from oral cultures to literacy, the development of early writing systems, the evolution of the Indo-European languages and how they differ from other languages, the role that English plays in globalization, and (briefly) certain modern political and philosophical theories of language.
|345-101-MQ||ABOUT LOVE||(3-1-3) 60 HRS / 2 1⁄3 CR|
Most people think that love is an essential part of human existence, perhaps even a fundamental human need. Yet though it has, throughout history, been the subject of an enormous amount of works of art, novels, plays, music, film, etc., it has long been overlooked as an area of study by much of academia. It is undeniable that the way we think about Love has far-reaching consequences for our interpersonal relationships and for many of our societal practices and values. In this course, we will take a serious, and in depth, look at love, and more specifically, romantic love. We will examine the different meanings, representations and practices that evolved around notions of romantic love, intimacy and emotions across time. We will analyse how our most private and personal experiences, attitudes, behaviours and understanding about love are shaped, in particular by deeply internalized norms and values as well as sexist, heterosexist, cissexist, racist, ableist, etc., and classist orders. The course is divided by themes in the study of love according to a model of the progression of romantic love, beginning with loneliness and longing, transitioning to attraction, hooking up, dating and falling in love, then to the experience of loving someone (including unrequited love), followed by attachment and commitment, and ultimately, fading love, detachment, betrayal, “heartache” and the loss of love. Finally, we will end the course by exploring the radical and transformative potential of love and self-love.
|345-101-MQ||ANARCHIST THEORY AND PRACTICE||(3-1-3) 60 HRS / 2 1⁄3 CR|
The well-known anarchist Gustav Landauer said that “the State is not something that can be destroyed by a revolution, but it is a condition, a certain relationship between human beings, a mode of human behaviour; we destroy it by contracting other relationships, by behaving differently." This points to a characteristically anarchist way of connecting knowledge and power, and theory and practice. In this course, students will analyze the diverse ways of understanding knowledge and power that have developed within the anarchist tradition, and the different forms that anarchist theory and practice have taken. Students will also apply an anarchist way of understanding social problems to such contemporary issues as education, health care, homelessness and the economy. Students will also develop their understanding of the ways in which anarchism links theory and practice in such a way that anarchist methods prefigure their desired outcomes.
|345-101-MQ||KNOWLEDGE UNPLUGGED||(3-1-3) 60 HRS / 2 1⁄3 CR|
This course will introduce students to ways of Knowing, Remembering and Communicating without recourse to electronic storage and retrieval. Texts will involve discussion of Ancient forms of Poetry and storytelling to Song forms like work songs, call and response forms, and spirituals to memory practices such as mnemonics, anagrams, ciphers, and the memory palace. We will look at the modern forms of Knowing, Remembering and Communicating through computer networks, smartphones, and social media with a critical eye to its underprivileging these older forms. Students will be asked, through course assignments, to use these older forms and assess the changes that they make to their perceptions of themselves and their social world. Assignments will include real-world experiments in communicating with friends and family, organizing themselves and each other, doing schoolwork and having fun without the use of their devices or online networks. Students will be expected to keep a journal of their experiences that will serve and an ongoing document of their experiences.
To apply a critical thought process to world views, specifically:
NOTE: NOT ALL COURSES WILL BE OFFERED EACH TERM.
|345-102-MQ||Ancient Western & Modern Worldviews of Leisure||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
This course will examine ancient and modern worldviews of leisure. Some of our guiding questions will include: Is leisure inherently good? Is leisure means to an end or an end in itself? What did the ancients think we should do in order to live the good life? Is the good life a happy life? Does leisure have a dark side? While our Western tradition traces its origins to the ancients, nonetheless their views of leisure and work differ conceptually, ethically, socially, and politically from modern conceptions. Part of our analysis would be to explain those differences and explore their implications. While a variety of views were offered in antiquity we will begin with Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics because he offers the most complete theory of the relationship between eudaimonia (happiness), aretē (virtue), and scholē (leisure). Following that, we will turn our attention to Calvinism and the Protestant Work Ethic followed by Karl Marx, Nietzsche and Camus. We will conclude by examining the latest findings from the field of positive psychology.
|345-102-MQ||QUILT-MAKING: CULTURE AND ACTIVISM||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
Taking as a starting point the warmth, both physical and emotional, and the narrative symbolism represented by the quilt, this class will explore the world views of the many different cultures that have or had some form of quilting as an element of their material culture. As quilts were traditionally primarily made by women, this is an ideal forum to unpick some of the interpretations of the quilting bee as a site for feminist freedom and expression. Case studies will be conducted to examine themes such as the commodification of culture and quilting for activism. Students will also have the chance to gain a practical experience of the social and cultural power of quilting by interacting with the Quilt of Belonging project based in Canada.
|345-102-MQ||ZEN AND THE ART OF MOTORCYCLE STUDIES||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
This course examines the cultural phenomenon of motorcycling and its use in music, literature, film, advertising and art world wide. The study of motorcycles as a form of cultural icon also serves as a basis for discussing gender, class, identity and community.
|345-102-MQ||FROM POLIS TO SLUM: LIVING IN CITIES||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
Understanding the history of cities, their patterns, health, growth, and decline, is essential to understanding a world view which we inhabit and which shapes our daily lives, determining how we live and will continue to live on this planet. Students will engage case studies of historical and contemporary cities along with first-hand explorations of the local urban environment, using both textual evidence and first-hand observation to explore what defines contemporary urban life at the local and global scales.
|345-102-MQ||CHINESE WORLD VIEW AND CULTURE||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
The course has two components: The first being that North Americans and Europeans, see China through a unique perspective and that Westerners’ cultural programming colors to a large extent how we see China and our perspective of “things” Chinese. Questions to be addressed include: what are the most persistent images of China in the West? How have these images developed and changed over time? Students will study written records left by western visitors to China, including Marco Polo and the Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci, and analyze films/videos that feature various stereotypes of China and Chinese people. The second component looks to answer questions such as: How do Chinese people reason their way through the world? In what ways are these patterns different from Western patterns? In what ways are they similar? Students draw on research from psychology, philosophy and linguistics in the search for understanding.
|345-102-MQ||THE POWER OF SEX||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
We are all conscious, on some level, of the power of sex. This course will focus on the social nature of sex and by extension, sexuality and gender and their relationship with some main aspects of power. In the first part of the course we look at how we learn about sex from a number of sources such as the media, religion, the family and the state. We will then examine just how people make sense of these often competing messages to form their own sexualities and the implications of this. We will also focus on the relationship between gender and sexuality and the role of power and dominance in sexual relationships manifesting itself in some cases as sexual terrorism. This course will finally attempt to make sense of the market, or commercial power of sex by looking at the pornography industry, sexual tourism, prostitution, the sexualization of children and tweens, and the sex in the advertising industry.
|345-102-MQ||ANOTHER WORLD IS POSSIBLE! ALTERNATIVES TO CAPITALISM||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
Capitalism informs how we live, how relate to each other, how we understand the world, how we dream. In this course we will analyze the values, assumptions, understandings and implications of living under capitalism before turning towards an examination of a number movements that seek to create alternatives to capitalism including socialism, Marxism, anarchism, feminism, environmentalism and sustainability, and anti-oppression frameworks.
|345-102-MQ||COLD WAR WORLD VIEW||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
The changes to the world during and after the Second World War were wide-ranging and permanent. The conflicts, fears and politics of war-time along with the industries and products of the post war era changed the visual, cultural and philosophical landscape forever. This course will investigate the ideas, the events, and the lived experiences that defined this era with particular attention to how it still defines our lives today.
|345-102-MQ||MESSIAHS, MONARCHS AND MEGALOMANIACS||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
It has been said that culture shapes the way we see the world. In what can be broadly termed “Western culture” a number of ideals have come down to us from the past that still influence the way we see the world, the choices we make and ultimately influence the way we actively shape our world. One of the dangers of these cultural ideals are that they are assumptions we have about the world, society and our place in it. Far too often, this leads us to simply “go with the flow” and accept the way things are, instead of actively thinking about new, different and better possibilities. In this course we will look at some of the most fundamental of these cultural assumptions we make about some of the most important things in life: Who am I; Were should my loyalties lie, to my family, community, nation, religion, etc..; How can we build a better society in which to live?
|345-102-MQ||ISLAMIC WORLD VIEWS||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
The importance of understanding Islam, both as the second largest religion in the world and as a rapidly growing religious community within Quebec and Canada, becomes clearer every day. At the same time, the challenges posed by Islam of understanding the religion on an intellectual level, and of integrating the community on a social level, can be particularly difficult because, unlike most contemporary Western ideas of religion, Islam traditionally views the political and social order as the critical focus of religious life, treating religion, politics, and culture as indivisible. Islamic theology, law, way of life, and the community formed by the faithful are meant to be held together in a coherent cultural statement that stems from the Qur’an and related traditions, and that lays heavy stress on law and norms of behavior to make its religious statements. Of course, it is this very difference that makes it both important and rewarding to compare the religious worldviews of the West and of Islam. It is also important to understand that Islam is a large and complex religious system, and that within this system different ways of reading its foundational texts have produced different ways of expressing of the basis Islamic world view, even though many Westerners think that all Muslims are the same.
|345-102-MQ||ANARCHIST WORLDVIEWS||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
With the Occupy Movement and various protests against globalization, the early 21st century has seen a renewed interest in anarchist forms of political action, as well as a resurgence of the old stereotypes of anarchists as simply chaotic, destructive and violent. Students will analyze the rich history of anarchism and the diverse worldviews that have developed within the anarchist tradition, and the different forms that anarchist theory and practice have taken. By working with anarchist organizational tools like affinity groups and consensus, students will also develop their understanding of the ways in which anarchism links theory and practice so that anarchist methods prefigure their desired outcomes.
|345-102-MQ||IT'S ALL GREEK TO ME||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
In this course students will learn about how the ancient Greeks viewed their world through the critical examination of ancient Greek art, religion, philosophy, literature, and mythology. Students will examine the origins and evolution of each of these important aspects of ancient Greek society and will analyze and compare what kind of influences the ancient Greek worldviews have left on our modern, Western worldviews.
|345-102-MQ||COMING OUT: GAY AND LESBIAN WORLD VIEWS||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
This course examines the historical and the contemporary experiences of gays and lesbians in western culture in order to see how dissenting individuals and groups form their own world views, sometimes in concert with the mainstream, and sometimes in opposition to it. People who are attracted to members of their own sex have always existed, but they have usually been marginalized and suppressed, often to the point of invisibility. This invisibility forced them to conform and assimilate, or, as time went on, to form sub-cultures of their own. As these new communities have grown larger and stronger, gays and lesbians have developed a perspective that challenges the mainstream world view, not just about homosexuality, but on a wide range of social, political and religious issues.
|345-102-MQ||THE GREEK HERO||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
In this course students will analyze the concept of a "world view," and the specific worldviews of different cultures in Western history, by examining different cultural models of the ideal person, or "hero." Today we hear about many different kinds of heroes: sports heroes, war heroes, the hero who saves children from burning buildings, the hero of a novel. But what do they all have in common? What do different kinds of heroes tell us about different people's understanding of the world and humanity's place within it? How and why have our ideas about heroism changed over time? It goes without saying that there is a relationship between the nature of a society and the kind of qualities it looks for in its heroes. Because many elements of the original Greek ideas of heroism have continued to be fundamental and pervasive in later models of the hero in Western thought, this course returns to the Greek roots of the idea and traces how the inter-relationships between heroes and their societies have developed in the West since ancient Greece, using cross-cultural comparisons to illuminate the similarities without blurring the differences. Students will also be asked to distinguish between different concepts of the hero, and to reflect critically on their own heroes, and the heroes of their society.
|345-102-MQ||CROSS CULTURAL CONCEPTS OF CHILDHOOD||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
This course involves the study of childhood as a symbolic construction of social reality. Students will be given the unique opportunity to examine this social phenomenon as it developed throughout the 20 th Century in Western society. What is childhood? How does childhood shape our understanding of the world? Does childhood inhibit children and adolescents from understanding the complexities of adulthood? Is there a right or wrong way of experiencing childhood? Cross cultural comparisons from various parts of the world including but not limited to Eastern and African perspectives of childhood will be critically examined. This course draws upon various academic disciplines such as psychology, cultural and social anthropology, sociology and social geography, to name but a few, as the idea of childhood is deconstructed in order to better understand the rationale and reasoning behind Western views regarding childhood. Cultural relativity will be encouraged while examining opposing ideas and forms of childhood.
|345-102-MQ||VALUING CULTURE||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
How do we place a value on culture? Which cultures do we privilege? We assess and evaluate cultural output in a variety of ways, including informal systems of taste and aesthetics, popular arts criticism, government policy, and institutions like the art market and museums. This course looks at the cultural attitudes and priorities embedded in our value systems, considering how Western world views impact the kinds of art and culture we take seriously and how we engage with non-Western cultures. In this course, students encounter philosophical aesthetics and popular criticism across the spectrum of high culture and popular culture, such as movies, theatre, pop music, sports, literature, and comics.
|345-102-MQ||MEDIA MATTER: MEDIA AND FAN CULTURES||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
From Trekkers to Ringers, Potterheads to Twihards, supporters of Manchester United to the Vancouver Canucks, fans often get a bad rap. This course will acquaint students with the inner worlds of these groups and many others, considering the ways that popular media can provide us with a sense of identity. It will explore how we “make meaning” in our everyday lives from the narratives of books, movies, television shows, sporting activities, celebrities, music, historical events and personalities, and many other sources.
|345-102-MQ||ATHEISM||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
The belief that there is no god –has been around as long as religious belief itself. Many atheists have criticized the institutions that often go along with faith, claiming that these institutions are destructive and immoral. In this course, we will examine critically a variety of ideas that are associated with (or claimed by) atheists, including secularism, rationalism, humanism and agnosticism. We will examine the arguments for and against religion and consider atheism as a belief system with its own articles of faith, its own canonical texts and its own mission.
|345-102-MQ||WHO’S YOUR DADDY? THE CULTURE OF FATHERHOOD||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
Drawing from various cultural contexts this course will examine the nature and function of fatherhood, both from a biological perspective and as a social and cultural identity. Existing concepts and ideas of fatherhood will be compared and contrasted with the changing nature and function of both male and female roles within Western societies. We will explore how the rise of women’s rights and equality within patriarchal societies as North America and Western Europe has inevitably opened new opportunities for men to take on certain duties and attributes traditionally associated with women. Throughout this course students are encouraged to challenge their pre-existing ideas of what constitutes both fatherhood and motherhood. This course draws upon various academic disciplines such as psychology, cultural and social anthropology, sociology and social geography, and anthrozoology to name but a few, in order to deconstruct and redefine the idea of fatherhood in the 21st Century.
|345-102-MQ||AS THE ROMANS DID||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
"When in Rome, do as the Romans do." The old cliché reflects the importance of the ancient city that was for centuries the political and military capital of the Western world, and for even longer an artistic and cultural centre of European civilization. In this course will examine the origins and evolution of the world view that animated and sustained the ancient Romans as they expanded from a small town into a vast empire governing diverse peoples with a social and cultural cohesion that endured well beyond the empire's military collapse. Students will explore the various ways in which this world view was expressed in the cultural, social, religious and political lives of the Romans. Students will also compare the Roman world view to those of other ancient peoples, and identify the continuing influence of the Romans in contemporary world views.
|345-102-MQ||SPORT, SELF AND SOCIETY||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
In 1954 the first post-war German national soccer team defeated the heavily favoured Hungarians to win the World Cup, a victory still referred to by Germans as the ‘Miracle of Bern.’ In 1972, at the height of the Cold War, Paul Henderson scored a last minute goal for Team Canada propelling them to victory over the Soviet Union in the Summit Series. Canadians still refer to this as the ‘Goal Heard Around the World.’ Later, in 1980, as the Cold War raged on, Team USA pulled off what is referred to as the ‘Miracle on Ice’, defeating the Soviet hockey team at the Lake Placid Olympics to win gold. In 1995 a post-Apartheid South African team defeated the heavily favoured New Zealand All Black to win the Rugby World Cup, a victory used by former prisoner turned President Nelson Mandela to promote reconciliation between white and black South Africans. Love them or hate them there is no denying that sports play an important part in our society. In this course we will look at sport from the perspective of the fan to see how cheering for a team, national or local, plays a part in the building of identities – personal, group and national.
|345-102-MQ||THE CLOTHES THAT WEAR US||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
“Vain trifles as they seem, clothes have, they say, more important offices than merely to keep us warm. They change our view of the world and the world’s view of us… There is much to support the view that it is clothes that wear us and not we them; we may make them take the mould of arm or breast, but they mould our hearts, our brains, our tongues to their liking.” Virgina Woolf, Orlando. Clothing and fashion have been expressions of culture and identity since time immemorial. This course will describe firstly how different cultures express their worldview through the clothes they wear. Changes in the way textiles and clothes were produced and sold impacted and reflected many social changes throughout history. Secondly, the fashion industry and its role in capitalist consumerism, exploitation, racism, and the pursuit of the "perfect body" at the cost of all others will be critically discussed.
|345-102-MQ||SKIN DEEP: SOCIAL & CULTURAL PERSPECTIVES ON BODY MODIFICATION||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
The course will introduce students to a variety of social and cultural narratives surrounding various forms of body modification. The human body is a cultural body and we cannot escape the markers in any given society that forces us too conform to ideals of beauty; mark membership in a group; mark social status; or convey personal information about your own values and beliefs. The latter not only shapes our bodies and minds but our understanding of what is and what is not acceptable. Drawing from various cultures around the world this course explores the history of body modification and examine the impact it has had on contemporary societies. This course will challenge your existing perceptions and help you develop your empathy towards other groups. This course will draw heavily from (but is not limited to) cultural anthropology, sociology, history, psychology and world geography.
|345-102-MQ||RELIGION, SPIRITUALITY AND ATHEISM||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
This course explores how worldviews are organized in religious, spiritual and atheistic approaches to reality. We will ask questions such as: What does it mean to believe in God? What is the difference between spirituality and religion? How can being religious/spiritual/atheistic change our perspective on the world and the meaning of life? In what ways can these diverse views co-exist in society?
|345-102-MQ||THE MEANING OF WORK||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
“The Meaning of Work” has a twofold focus. It examines the some of the ways in which people’s understanding of the meaning and value of work has changed over the centuries, and it gives students an opportunity to reflect on the importance of meaningful work in their world lives. The course begins in the ancient Near East and ancient Greece, spends some time in the late Middle Ages, and concludes in the early 21stcentury. Among the questions that this course intends to raise are the following: What is work? What is the relationship between work and leisure? How do people in different cultural and historical contexts view work? Does work always involve earning a wage? Do we want a world without work? Is work part-and-parcel of the human condition? How is work organized in the early 21stcentury? How should it be organized?
Introduction: These courses have been designed to further the competencies developed in the general education courses; they require students to apply these competencies in a new context. Students will develop a critical and autonomous approach to ethical values in general and to values conveyed more specifically by their professional area or field of knowledge. These courses will also provide the occasion for students to consolidate personal and social ethical values
NOTE: NOT ALL COURSES WILL BE OFFERED EACH TERM.
|345-BEK-LE||HUMAN RIGHTS PERSPECTIVE||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
Human rights conflicts and questions permeate almost all national and international issues today. Students in this course will examine first and foremost the philosophical, historical and ideological factors which form the bases for currently held concepts of human rights. Second, they will investigate situations in the world and in Canada today which have evoked criticism from human rights advocates in order to clarify some specific problems related to definition and defense of human rights. Students will be asked to explain the ethical dimensions of these situations and to propose and justify solutions or courses of action.
|345-BEK-LE||BEING GOOD: ETHICS FOR THE SOCIAL SCIENCE||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
What is the good life? What does it mean to be a good person or to do what is right? On what bases might we establish common answers to these questions? This course examines the ways in which the good life, and being good, have been understood by past thinkers, and addresses the answers offered to some of these questions today. Answers to these questions, and ideas of what the good life might be like, are at the core of much social science research today, as it seeks answers to how and why human cultures vary in their efforts towards a better world.
|345-BEK-LE||CONTEMPORARY ETHICAL ISSUES IN SOCIAL SCIENCE||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
This course examines some of the central theories of moral philosophy and applies them to contemporary ethical issues in the Social Sciences. From various ethical perspectives, students will explore issues in human rights, multiculturalism and diversity, sexual morality, environmental ethics, and others.
|345-BEK-LE||DOCUMENTARY ETHICS||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
This course will approach the discussion of ethics through the lens of the documentary camera. The intent will be to familiarize students with the world of ethical argument through the formal and technical qualities of visual representation. Arguments are made with words, statements and coherent arguments, but increasingly, they are also made with images. Arguments in the form of images overwhelm our cultural landscape and students with the ability to see, understand and dissect these arguments will be well suited to understand the complex ethics of the modern world.
|345-BEK-LE||THE BEAST WITHIN||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
This course involves the study of human culture as a symbolic construction of reality. Students will be given the unique opportunity to look at the greatest threat planet earth has ever encountered: humanity. Yet, despite humanity’s fragile position within the natural world, one aspect maintains our supremacy above all other life, namely culture. What is culture and is culture unique to humans? How has culture shaped our understanding of our role in the world in the greater context of the cosmos? As humans are both the self-appointed guardians and destructive force of our planet, students will examine the social and environmental impact of human culture on the everyday lives of animals. Humanity’s God Complex has led to the extinction and destruction of various ecosystems across the globe as it attempts to fulfill its wants rather than its needs. By examining case studies showing evidence of animal life with complex forms of intelligence, the concept of animal rights take on an entirely new meaning. The works of Jared Diamond, Desmond Morris, Michael Newton, Hurley Nudds and Hilda Kean, to name but a few, will be reviewed as we investigate alternatives to our way of life by reclaiming the very side of humanity which we have forsaken: our inner animal.
|345-BEK-LE||JUSTICE, PROGRESS AND CONTEMPORARY ISSUES||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
Are human rights universal? Is terrorism ever justified? Do affluent nations have an obligation to help poorer ones? All of these are ethical questions. None has an easy answer. In spite of the fact that ethical issues are so prevalent in international affairs, international ethics as an academic field has just come into its own in recent years. The dominance of other models of understanding international relations pushed ethics into the background of international relations scholarship. Nevertheless, as of late there has been a surge of scholarly interest in this area of study. This course will explore key themes in international ethics and examine different theoretical approaches to related ethical questions.
|345-BEK-LE||COLONIALISM IN CANADA||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
The goal of this course is to better understand our own personal positions and ethical obligations as residents in the Canadian settler-state. Students will actively consider and discuss ethical issues surrounding colonization on Turtle Island (Canada) with the aid of works by indigenous writers and filmmakers.
|345-BEK-LE||WEAPONIZING ANTHROPOLOGY: PERSPECTIVES ON HUMAN RIGHTS||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
Through case analysis, this course examines the abuse of anthropological knowledge and ethnographic methods by military and intelligence agencies throughout the last century and the subsequent consequences on target populations.
|345-BEK-LE||STAR TREK: ETHICS SET TO STUN!||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
Through case analysis, this course examines moral dilemmas and human rights issues through the history, ideology, and impacts of the Star Trek franchise over the course of the last 50+years. Questions about good and evil, right and wrong, power and corruption are explored through both fictional and real world case studies. This course will draw from a variety of disciplines including social and cultural anthropology, sociology, philosophy and media studies.
|345-BEK-LE||VIOLENCE AND NONVIOLENCE||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
In the 17th century, English political philosopher Thomas Hobbes wrote “Covenants, without the sword, are but words.” In our 21st century, violence is still used to solve political conflicts and to punish wrongdoers. In a world where violence is an omnipresent reality, from wars to cyber-bullying, being able to identify and define this phenomenon is an increasingly important skill to possess. What, exactly, is violence, and what are its various manifestations? Why did Gandhi write that poverty is the worst form of violence? When, if ever, is violence justified, and what are the theories that support this justification? These questions will be some departure points from which to “attack” our topic. Finally, we will mediate our exploration of violence by opening the dialogue to voices of nonviolence like Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr, and techniques of nonviolent conflict resolution like boycotts and sit-ins.
|345-BEL-LE||ETHICS IN THE ARTS||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
In the first part of this course students will learn about and critique a selection of basic theories grounding ethical thought and then practice applying these theories to a wide variety of examples through short response assignments. In the second part, students will work to apply these strategies to particular ethical questions or case studies relevant to the arts by creating seminar presentations in small groups. Topics covered in the course may include copyright and reproduction, re-performance, preservation, censorship, ownership, sampling, cultural appropriation, street art/graffiti and public space, art as protest, and aesthetics vs. politics.
|345-BEL-LE||MODERN MORAL ISSUES||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
Students will apply some of the main theories of moral philosophy to ethical issues arising in modern multicultural societies due to the presence of conflicting religious, moral and political views, or different linguistic and cultural communities. Topics will include: conflicts between religion, culture and equality rights; conflicts between individual and group rights; and the ethics of governmental actions that encourage or discourage multiculturalism and diversity.
|345-BEL-LE||JUST ART||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
This course seeks to answer the following question: how do we make just art in an unjust society? In this course, students will develop the critical tools necessary to reflect on ethical issues related to artistic practice within a cultural landscape shaped by colonialism, capitalism, heterosexism, ableism and white supremacy. Students will locate themselves as ethical agents within these normative structures and develop a reflexive practice as cultural creators and appreciators. Students will study normative ethical theories and apply these to contemporary ethical issues in the arts. Topics covered in this course may include: cultural appropriation, value and art, gender and art, copyright and ownership, freedom of expression and censorship, art as resistance, public art, high art versus low art, art under capitalism, and decolonizing art practice.
|345-BES-LE||THINKING ABOUT SCIENCE||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
In this course we will be looking at the moral and ethical implications about what scientists do and the implications of their discoveries. To do this we will first have to understand the “science” of thinking morally and then apply this way of thinking to current issues in the sciences. A major component of this course will be the integrative assignment in which the student will be allowed to pursue a moral issue from any branch of the sciences.
|345-BES-LE||THINKING SCIENCE||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
Good science requires not just correct ideas; it also requires thinking well. This course addresses the challenges of doing thoughtful science, particularly for students intending to enter the natural or health sciences. Part of the course is concerned with the nature of science itself, as a knowledge-enterprise and social institution. At the same time, the course concerns issues that will directly challenge scientists, health care professionals and technicians throughout their careers (i.e. informed consent, experimentation on human and animal subjects, fertility enhancement, abortion, assisted suicide, euthanasia, biotechnology). These are also issues of increasing urgency for all citizens and participants in science and technology-driven societies. Students will be asked to think critically about these issues and develop the vocabulary and analytical framework to make decisions about their own values and ethics.
|345-BES-LE||THINKING SCIENCE, DOING SCIENCE||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
The aim of this course is to situate scientific practice within a social, historical, and material context. Western science arises from and is complicit in the creation of systems of oppression (colonialism, racism, capitalism, heteropatriarchy). Students will be encouraged to actively reflect on their own relationships with scientific thought and practice and to come to personal positions that are grounded in values and ethical reasoning with the ultimate goal of answering the following question: How do we do science in a way that is ethical and just?
|345-BEC-LE||ETHICS FOR THE BUSINESS WORLD||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
This course will take a look at ethical thinking in the business world from a variety of perspectives. These will include: applied and professional ethical systems, corporate responsibility, intellectual property, corporate fraud and white collar crime, green technologies and workplaces, multicultural business communication and social media in the working world. We will consider a multitude of case studies through textual, film and online sources. Students will leave with a better understanding of their rights and responsibilities in a globalized business environment.
|345-BEC-LE||ETHICS OF DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
Digital communications technologies and platforms impact our workplaces and personal lives in profound ways, many of which go unnoticed in our day-to-day interactions. The adoption of these emerging tools at work and at home raises a new set of ethical questions that warrant serious attention. This course examines the ethics of digital communications through a range of approaches including classical moral philosophy, case studies, policy and legislation, and cultural analysis. Course themes cover a range of contemporary challenges confronting citizens, businesses, and government, such as copyright and intellectual property, online privacy, surveillance, internet governance, and digital piracy and cybercrime. This course addresses current events and real workplace scenarios in the realms of corporate responsibility, social networking, media piracy, and computer security, among others. Students will develop knowledge and strategies for managing the ethical issues they will face as they move into their careers.
|345-BEN-LE||NURSING ETHICS||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
In Nursing Ethics, students will learn about the reasoning behind the many values and practices they encounter in their everyday training as student nurses. Through in-depth study of case studies, students will learn of the history of ethics generally and, more specifically, that of nursing ethics. Students will learn of the values of the profession within contexts, in theory and history, while their Nursing program courses have and will place these into practice. The OIIQ and CNA ethical codes will inform our discussions. Students will come to understand the ethical dimensions of their own practice through the sharing of experiences and encounters with others, along with greater reflection through journal entries.
|345-BEN-LE||MEDICINE AS CULTURE: ETHICAL ISSUES IN HEALTHCARE||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
This course seeks to examine the place of health and illness in society, and the relationship between bio-medical problems and the social, political and economic realities that help shape them. Topics will include poverty and health, mental illness, aging, death and dying, professionalism, health service organization, inequalities in health service access and use, recent policies, and challenges inherent to health care reform. This course will draw from a variety of disciplines, including but not limited to sociology, anthropology, cultural studies, women’s studies, sports studies, political science, biology and psychology.
|345-BET-LE||ETHICAL ISSUES IN LANGUAGE AND COMMUNICATION||(3-0-3) 45 HRS / 2 CR|
In this course students will explore some of the central theories of moral philosophy in the Western tradition and practice their application to the major ethical issues arising out of various situations involving language differences within societies. Students will develop their analytical and reasoning skills in the general area of ethical debate by examining such issues as the ethical implications of the connections between language and cultural identity; the ethical challenges arising from the political and social roles of language, especially "national" languages; the ethical dilemmas posed by the death of languages; and the ethical implications of government and corporate actions to encourage or discourage pluralism, multiculturalism and linguistic diversity.
NOTE; SOME COURSE TITLES MAY DIFFER SLIGHLY ON STUDENTS' TRANSCRIPTS: PLEASE REFER TO COURSE NUMBERS.