Fall 2022

The seminars are offered on Webadvisor under UNIV1200.
To learn more about a seminar and its instructor(s), please scroll down the page to browse.

Larger Bodies:  An Interdisciplinary Exploration Beyond the Number on the Scale

Instructor: Andrea Buchholz
Fall 2022, Tues/Thurs, 1-2:20pm
Course Code: UNIV*1200-01
Delivery Method: Face to Face

Description: Over 60% of Canadian adults live in larger bodies.  This is not unique to Canada; you may have heard about the global “obesity epidemic.”  However, the way the health field views larger bodies is changing.  In this course, we will consider the conventional view (obesity as a chronic disease to be treated, emphasis on the individual) relative to social justice (body diversity and inclusivity, emphasis on society).  Real-world, interdisciplinary scenarios will challenge us to think beyond the number on the scale: the shadow epidemic of weight bias and discrimination; how or should larger body sizes be measured?; physical and psychological consequences of weight loss; COVID-19 and weight; and the social determinants of health.  This timely and relevant course is as much about developing skills in critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and information literacy, as it is about content.  Student assessments will include written reflections and case-based learning in teams.  


Love and Migration

Instructor: Marsha Hinds Myrie
Fall 2022, Tues/Thurs, 10-11:20am
Course Code: UNIV*1200-02
Delivery Method: Face to Face

Description: This course uses the experience of migration from the Commonwealth Caribbean to Canada to examine the ways that movement affects social dynamics such as kinship patterns and either reinforces or readjusts societal norms and values of incoming populations.  Leaning on the disciplines of history, linguistics, and demography, we explore how Diasporas, such as the African Diaspora were first created through colonialism and then recreated due to the effects of post colonialism and Canada’s place in the process of Diaspora creation.   The course explores elements of disparity and similarity in the Commonwealth Caribbean region and how those translate into both sustained and changed culture in the process of migration.  The course will introduce concepts such as transnationalism, social reengineering, and cultural retention as it explores social and cultural patterns that affect and influence kinship choices of Commonwealth Caribbean citizens living in Canada.


Murder, Monsters, and…Netflix?  An Autopsy of True Crime

Instructor: Ryan Broll
Fall 2022, Mon, 11:30am-2:20pm
Course Code: UNIV*1200-03
Delivery Method: Face to Face

Description: Do you have a Favourite Murder? Perhaps one that is Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile? Are you a Crime Junkie? Maybe you’re interested in things that happen In Cold Blood. A lot of people are! In fact, we’re living in what has been described as the “golden age of true crime,” with true crime documentaries and films, podcasts, and books topping their respective most popular lists. In this course, students will take a deep dive into the world of true crime by examining our societal fascination with evil and gruesome acts, how crime stories have become among the most popular forms of infotainment, and how popular true crime reinforces whose stories matter most. By critically engaging with a variety of true crime media–by performing an autopsy on true crime –students will collaboratively dissect the popular stories that surround us and will become more informed consumers of media content.


Music – Mind, Body, and Soul

Instructors: Olivia Bebenek, Alexandria Kellington
Fall 2022, Mon/Fri, 2:30-3:50pm
Course Code: UNIV*1200-04
Delivery Method: Face to Face

Description: Have you ever wondered why music affects us the way that it does? Why some people prefer pop music while others prefer hip-hop? Maybe you have heard of a story about someone who grew up to be a genius after their mother played them classical music while she was pregnant? Through presentations, playlist curation, class discussions and group debates, all of these topics and more will be addressed; including the benefits of music therapy, how music evolved in human history, and how music taste and talent is genetically influenced. No musical background is required for this course, just musical appreciation!


Sexual Health: The Good, The Bad, and The History

Instructor: Tasha Falconer
Fall 2022, Tues/Thurs, 1-2:20pm
Course Code: UNIV*1200-05
Delivery Method: Face to Face

Description: This course will take an interdisciplinary approach to discuss sexual health, its relevance in your life, and critically reflect on how society portrays sexual health in society. We will look at sexuality from various disciplines including political science, social science, biology, history, and marketing. Through hands-on teaching and learning activities including discussions, media, and popular culture, we will examine various aspects of sexual health, including sex-tech, pleasure, consent, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) etc. You will critically analyze sexual health information on social media and more broadly, and get a deeper understanding of sexuality. There will be opportunities to investigate and engage with sexual health topics that interest you.


Can Art Change the World?

Instructor: Jeannette Hicks
Fall 2022, Mon/Wed, 4-5:20pm
Course Code: UNIV*1200-06
Delivery Method: Face to Face

Description: Can art change the world for the better? Many people seem to think so. After all, we fund art with taxpayer dollars in the hope that it will make a difference in people’s lives. Many artists, critics, and philosophers argue that the arts can help us understand each other better, strengthen our communities, challenge oppressive social norms, and help us imagine better ways of living together on this planet. But not everyone agrees with this rosy picture. Some people argue that art covers over problems rather than really addressing them and can even make things worse. Can the arts help bring new and better futures into being while avoiding these pitfalls? And if so, how? In this course, you will join a community of inquiry along with interdisciplinary invited speakers from across the university and the local arts community to explore diverse perspectives on this issue. You will develop critical and creative thinking skills as we examine the relations between art and social justice from a variety of disciplinary perspectives: philosophical, historical, artistic, political, and sociological. As a final assignment, you will complete an experiential learning project drawing on the experiences of the course to imagine creative solutions to the challenges confronted over the course of the semester. Creative formats strongly encouraged!


Life in the Time of COVID-19

Instructor: Justine Tishinsky
Fall 2022, Mon/Wed, 1-2:20pm
Course Code: UNIV*1200-07
Delivery Method: Face to Face

Description: March 11, 2020…this was the day the World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic. In this course, we will utilize an inquiry-based learning strategy to explore the positive and negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on health and wellness. We will investigate how the pandemic has affected how we eat, sleep, exercise, learn, and interact with others and the environment. Ultimately, we will consider how these changes will shape our future. Student assessments will include reflective writing, oral presentations, and teamwork. 


Song, Story, Drawing and Dance: The Arts in Motion

Instructor: Jason Wilson
Fall 2022, Tues/Thurs, 4-5:20pm
Course Code: UNIV*1200-08
Delivery Method: Face to Face

Description: Song, Story, Drawing and Dance: The Arts in Motion will survey the migration of the arts from antiquity through to the twenty-first century. It will ask the student to consider art in the broad meta-history / comparative literature sense. As art is seldom bound to ‘place’, the course will trouble the idea of ‘tradition’ and question essentialized notions of ‘authenticity’. The course will only focus on the specialized histories of any given art to show how it is connected to a sometimes unrecognizable past and linked to an unpredictable future.


Don’t Worry, Be Happy:  Happiness and the Good Life

Instructor: Natalie Evans
Fall 2022, Fri, 8:30-11:20am
Course Code: UNIV*1200-09
Delivery Method: Face to Face

Description: In an age of media saturation, we are constantly being told what will make us happy, including how we should look, what we should buy, and how we should act. And yet, North Americans are suffering from mental health issues such as anxiety and depression in staggering numbers. It seems timely to ask: What is happiness and the good life, and how can we achieve them? In this course, we attempt to answer this question by examining the causes of happiness and unhappiness in individuals and societies, as well as different conceptions of the good life from an interdisciplinary perspective. By examining ancient and contemporary wisdom and practices from the East and the West, and critically separating fact from fiction in current research on happiness, students will be able to create their own personal ‘happiness plan’ that they can incorporate into their own lives. We will examine and evaluate concepts, theories, and practices such as meditation, mindfulness, ‘the good life,’ creativity, music, nature and more as they relate to the pursuit of happiness.


The Creativity Myth

Instructor: Jacqueline Hamilton
Fall 2022, Mon/Wed, 11:30am-12:50pm
Course Code: UNIV*1200-10
Delivery Method: Face to Face

Description: Don’t think you are a creative person? This course is for you! Do you consider yourself to be very creative? Then this course is also for you! There is a general perception that creativity is an ability you are born with. You often hear people say they “Aren’t creative” but really, what does that mean? This course will examine popular conceptions and definitions of creativity, the ways in which the education system contribute to how we develop creative thinking skills, as well as why creativity is an important tool for solving problems.


#BlackLivesMatter. Black Identity: Struggle, Liberation and Joy

Instructor: Malissa Bryan
Fall 2022, Mon, 7-10pm
Course Code: UNIV*1200-11
Delivery Method: Face to Face

Description: Let’s talk about race! #BlackLivesMatter In this course we’ll investigate the role of race and identity formation in relation to the Black Lives Matter movement. We’ll start by exploring new and old concepts surrounding race with a heavy focus on Black identity formation. An important component of the course, we’ll engage in productive debates surrounding the Black Lives Matter Movement and Black Liberation; the fluidity of our own positionality; and various intersections that impact Black identity formation such as class, gender, sexuality, and ability. We will explore academic Black literature, “Black Twitter”, poetry, spoken word, documentaries, and artistic pieces. Throughout this course you will have the opportunity to critically reflect and make connections to #BlackLivesMatter from a local, national, and international standpoint.


What’s Brewing?  Everything You’ve Wanted to Learn About Beer, and More

Instructor: Bradley Ross
Fall 2022, Tues, 7-10pm
Course Code: UNIV*1200-12
Delivery Method: Face to Face

Description: Want to be able to tell your parents you were “studying” on Friday nights? This First Year Seminar affords you that very opportunity. We’ll also explore questions like “Why does beer make me think I can smash Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” at karaoke?” and “How has Canada become synonymous with beer?” This interdisciplinary, student-centred seminar series will also explore topics such as: Intersectionality in the beer scene, Guelph’s historic role in Prohibition, and the power of beer advertising. We’ll also embark on a tour of a local brewery to get an inside look at the brewing process, and you’ll get the chance to create your own (fictional) brewery. So, if you’ve been dying to one-up that hipster at the party spouting off about ‘mouth-feel’, join me and learn the true ins and outs of beer.


When Performance Gets Political: Exploring Activism in Music Festivals and Concerts

Instructor: April Morris
Fall 2022, Wed, 11:30-2:20pm
Course Code: UNIV*1200-13
Delivery Method: Face to Face

Description: Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock; Beyoncé at Superbowl 50; Elton John at One World: Together at Home—what do these performances have in common? In this course, we will explore how concerts and music festivals can express political messages through a variety of means, including repertoire, performers, venues, and marketing. Through discussions of musical activism and analysis of concert materials and videos, students will arrive at a deeper understanding of the intersections between politics and musical performance. At the end of the course, students will apply what they have learned about musical activism by designing their own concert or music festival that advances a sociopolitical cause.


The Future is Yours, the Climate is Ours: Attitudes and Climate Actions

Instructor: Chris Donaldson
Fall 2022, Thurs, 7-10pm
Course Code: UNIV*1200-14
Delivery Method: Face to Face

Description:  What does it mean to be a global citizen? What are those United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals we keep talking about? What can I do?! If you are interested in exploring the answers to questions like these, then this course is for you! Throughout this course, we will examine who is doing what when it comes to climate action. Specifically, what does it mean, what does it look like, and who holds the power! We will investigate challenges related to this in the real world by examining behaviours and decision making that can lead to things like "greenwashing" and the relationship this has with consumer behaviour. Lastly, we will build a business case for sustainability by exploring creative thinking and innovation.


Canadian History CSI: The Death of Tom Thomson

Instructor: Gregory Klages
Fall 2022, Fri, 8:30-11:20am
Course Code: UNIV*1200-15
Delivery Method: Face to Face

Description: Investigate a Canadian history cold case. In 1917, the now-famous landscape painter Tom Thomson died under mysterious circumstances in Ontario’s Algonquin Park. As a member of the CSI Canadian History team, you will work collectively and individually to evaluate case evidence, seek to convince your peers of your conclusions, consider contemporary accounts of the case, and build your own creative response to your findings. In this interdisciplinary course, you’ll learn first-hand the strategies historians use to unravel fact from myth, and to create narratives from conflicting accounts, while also considering Canadian art, environmental history, and how the stories of Canadian history, art, and the environment are being changed to reflect new concerns about Canadian identity, feminism, and indigeneity.


Monsters, Machines, and Other Minds

Instructor: April Marratto
Fall 2022, Mon/Wed, 11:30am-12:50pm
Course Code: UNIV*1200-16
Delivery Method: Face to Face

Description: This course will draw on examples presented in popular culture as a foundation for addressing questions: Are humans sophisticated machines? If humans are not machines, what are we? What is the difference between animals and humans? We will look to answer this question from scientific, philosophic, and spiritual points of view. This course will be collaborative, and students will learn to engage classmates in discussion through various presentation techniques.


From Republic of Letters to a Public of Tweeters

Instructor: Evren Altinkas
Fall 2022, Mon/Wed, 11:30-12:50pm
Course Code: UNIV*1200-17
Delivery Method: Face to Face

Description: Today, social media allows for communication between people. This new model has given citizens a “first strike” capability in the sphere of local/global influence and has resulted in a “fifth force” of power; the ability of citizens to organize and exercise power independently of the four traditional sources. This course will analyze the role of social media in politics and society.  By focusing on the historical development of media (e.g.  Republic of Letters-printed media-pamphlets-Encyclopedia) since the Middle Ages, we will deal with modern ways of social media (e.g., various social media channels) and how they affect the decision-makers. A combination of history, politics and sociology will help us to understand that a specific event can be analyzed by using various disciplines.  The interaction between the social media users and decision-makers will be analyzed by assigning students specific topics related with the community they live in. Students will use various social media channels to impact the decision makers (e.g., University Administration, Local Municipality etc.). This will help them see how social media can be used as a channel to change their environment and have an impact on their life.  This course will pursue an interdisciplinary approach to the topics of social media, politics, and culture.


Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age: Hey Google, Why Do I Have to go to School?

Instructor: Madison Wright
Fall 2022, Tues, 8:30-11:20am
Course Code: UNIV*1200-19
Delivery Method: Face to Face

Description: Have you ever wondered what the point of going to school is when you can just “Google it”? In this course, we will be exploring how the development of the Internet has changed and continues to change education, the different ways students can learn in the digital age (i.e., in-class courses, online-courses and teaching yourself with Google), and the effectiveness of different teaching methods. In this seminar, you will have an opportunity to practice teaching and learning in the digital age. In addition, discussions, reflections, and a final debate will be used to assess if a university degree still has value in today’s society when information is only a click away.


Meddling with Pedaling: An Interdisciplinary Examination of the Bicycle

Instructor: John Ferguson
Fall 2022, Fri, 8:30am-11:20am
Course Code: UNIV*1200-20
Delivery Method: Face to Face

Description: When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race.” H.G. Wells.  "The very existence of the bicycle is an offense to reason and wisdom." P. J. O'Rourke.  Is the bicycle a child's toy?... an inefficient, regressive technology that contradicts humanity's quest for liberation from physical exertion?... an impediment to motorized movement?... a pulpit for self-righteous spandex-clad pains in the ass? Are bicycles:

  • slow?
  • inefficient?
  • dangerous?
  • a waste of public money and space?
  • bad for the economy? 

Together, we will investigate the bicycle and its influence on technology, transportation, gender relations, sports, economics, politics, crime, literature, film, health, risk, safety, city planning, energy, climate change, etc. From science to art and, from anger to elation, we will critically consider the bicycle in human experience.


Horror Night in Canada

Instructor: Michael Follert
Fall 2022, Wed, 2:30-5:20pm
Course Code: UNIV*1200-21
Delivery Method: Face to Face

Description: A poet in the 1940s once remarked that if other countries are haunted by the ghosts of their past, in Canada, “it’s only by our lack of ghosts we're haunted”. From the vantage point of 2022 and in the shadow of the TRC, Canada appears more as a vast unmarked graveyard whose ghosts haven’t yet had their reckoning. The genre of horror provides a gateway for re-examining our past and our present. As a country with a well-established tradition of film and radio production, Canada has produced its share of home-grown horror stories. But who exactly gets to tell these stories? In considering that question, this course explores the fears and anxieties that populate the dark corners of our audio-visual culture and how those fears and anxieties shift across Settler, Indigenous, and otherwise marginalized perspectives. Weekly combinations of films, radio plays, and interdisciplinary readings will offer students the opportunity to critically reflect on and locate themselves in relation to constructions of Canadian identity – exploring its contours, its exclusions, and its colonial legacies.  


A Different Kind of Dance

Instructor: Georgia Simms
Fall 2022
Course Code: UNIV*1200-22
Delivery Method: Face to Face

Description:  Dance is often viewed as something extracurricular and entertaining, something done for fitness and fun, often requiring superhuman flexibility and virtuosic execution.  What if that wasn’t the only story?  What if dance could also mobilize research knowledge and engage communities in unfamiliar and innovative conversations? This seminar will generate interactive, interdisciplinary experiences for first year students through the making of a research-based dance composition. With the goal of activating issues and research in engaging ways, we will address complex, challenging issues that are deserving of expression in movement.  If you are looking to delve into both academic and physical research, critical conversation, choreographic tools and a whole new outlook on why dance matters, then we’ll see you in the studio!  Experience in dance is not necessary.  A willingness to be curious and try new things is necessary.  Fitness, health and fun are beneficial side effects. 


What's Art in the 21st Century

Instructor: Janet Wolstenholme
Fall 2022, Mon, Wed 8:30-9:50am
Course Code: UNIV*1200-23
Delivery Method: Face to Face

Description: What is, should, or should not be, considered “Art” in the 21stcentury? In this seminar all forms of art and the various forms thereof will be examined. Learners will explore personal, cultural and political meanings and use/s of art. We will also consider the role and function of art and creativity over time, in the world today, and what it could look like in the future.  We will learn in a collaborative, inclusive environment using an enquiry-based pedagogy and reflective practice. This course is discussion based, with high interaction and engagement with peers.


WAR: Who Is It Good For?

Instructor: Kyle Novak
Fall 2022, Tue 7:00-9:50pm
Course Code: UNIV*1200-24
Delivery Method: Face to Face

Description: The media is saturated with reports about the current war in Europe. But how much have you thought about what it means to be at war? This course will introduce students to both the nature and ethics of war, as well as salient questions about the impact that armed conflict has had on our world in the past and today. Through discussion, debates, and writing assignments, students will consider questions such as: What (if any) conditions justify war? Are nuclear weapons an acceptable deterrent to war? And is war an inevitable part of the human condition or is world peace possible?

Disinformation, Misinformation, and Modern Myths

Instructor: Rachel Kulick
Fall 2022, Mon, Wed, 8:30-9:50am
Course Code: UNIV*1200-25
Delivery Method: Face to Face

Description: Information is everywhere – the internet, social media, books, television – but how do you know which 'experts' to trust? In this course, we will question where the divide between fact and fiction lies and why certain narratives may take precedence over others in various media. How are statistics used and abused; how does visual media create tropes; why are some historical myths and stories reused in contemporary contexts? Students will learn communication, analytical, and research skills needed to critically examine the validity of messages and sources that they encounter every day and in academic settings and be able to apply these methods to any field of study.