Winter 2023

The seminars are offered on Webadvisor under UNIV1200.

*Information will be posted in Oct 2022 to coincide with W23 course selection dates. 

 

Larger Bodies:  Thinking Beyond the Scale

Instructor: Andrea Buchholz
Winter 2023, Tues/Thurs 10:00am-11:20am
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.”  In this course, we will consider the conventional medical perspective of larger bodies (obesity as a chronic disease to be treated, emphasis on the individual) and the social justice perspective (determinants of health, body diversity and inclusivity, emphasis on society).  Real-world, interdisciplinary scenarios will challenge us to think beyond 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; poverty and body weight; and more. This course is as much about developing skills in critical thinking, collaboration, and information literacy, as it is about larger bodies.  Student assessments will include written reflections and case-based learning.

 

Dark Tourism: An Immoral Promotion of Death and Disaster?

Instructor: Brent McKenzie
Winter 2023, Wed 11:30am-2:20pm
Course Code: UNIV*1200-02
Delivery Method: Face to Face

Description: 
We all will die. But why would we want to travel to experience the morbid and the chilling as a tourist? This is the question that is explored in the study of "Dark tourism". Dark tourism as defined by Sharpley and Stone (2009) is "the act of travel to sites associated with death, suffering and the seemingly macabre". Although not new, the commercial marketing of such locations to encourage tourist visitations is justly debated. The focus of this course is to explore the individual and societal motivations and fascinations with such experiences, as well as to better understand the impact that such tourism has on country and city image. This first-year interdisciplinary seminar intends to expose the student to both domestic and international sites of "Dark tourism". The expectation is that the student will learn how to frame examinations of a controversial phenomenon in an objective and critical fashion.

 

Who cares? Do you? Exploring what it means to care in a rapidly changing world

Instructors: Leah Govia & Amy Kipp
Winter 2023, Tues/Thurs 1:00-2:20pm
Course Code: UNIV*1200-03
Delivery Method: Face to Face

Description: 
Who cares? What do you care about? What counts as care? Is it enough to care about an issue or does care require some sort of action? In this course, students and instructors will work together to answer these kinds of questions and explore what it means to care, and care well, in our rapidly changing world. Work closely with instructors to lead weekly conversations about the things you care about, document and share the stories of those doing the important work of care, and curate a digital scrapbook to share and visualize your learning. Join in the discussion, practice exciting digital and creative methods, and dive into critical theories, practices, and materials related to care — for the self, for the community, for the world, and everything in between.

 

Life in the Time of COVID-19

Instructor: Justine Tishinsky
Winter 2023, Mon/Wed 1:00-2:20pm
Course Code: UNIV*1200-04
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
Winter 2023, Tues/Thurs 11:30am-12:50pm
Course Code: UNIV*1200-05
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
Winter 2023, Fri 8:30-11:20am
Course Code: UNIV*1200-06
Delivery Method: Face to Face

Description: 
In an age of media saturation, we are constantly being told what will make us happy, and yet many people don’t feel very happy. 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 sources of happiness and unhappiness in individuals and societies, as well as conceptions of the good life from an interdisciplinary perspective. By examining ancient and contemporary wisdom, practices and research from the East and the West, 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.

 

Epic Fail: Reimagining Perspectives on Failure

Instructor: Jacqueline Hamilton
Winter 2023, Mon/Wed 10:00-11:20am
Course Code: UNIV*1200-07
Delivery Method: Face to Face

Description: 
We've all been there. That sinking feeling in your stomach you get when you're wrong. It's the feeling you get when you try your hardest only to come up short and realize you've failed. But what does it actually mean when you ‘fail’ at something? This course will explore the definition of failure, popular examples of failure in the media, examine leaders who have failed, and dive into your own personal experiences. By engaging in reflections, class discussions, and exploring examples of failure, this course will provide you with a reinvented perspective on what it means to fail and help you turn mistakes into new opportunities. Additionally, by engaging with the course through an experiential framework, students will break down the emotional components of dealing with failure and build a growth mindset to help them in their university experience.

 

#BlackLivesMatter. Black Identity: Struggle, Liberation, and Joy

Instructor: Malissa Bryan
Winter 2023, Mon 7:00-9:50pm
Course Code: UNIV*1200-08
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.

 

Monsters, Machines and Other Minds

Instructor: April Marratto
Winter 2023, Mon/Wed 8:30-9:50am
Course Code: UNIV*1200-09
Delivery Method: Face to Face

Description: 
What does it mean to be human? Do humans have souls? Are we just sophisticated machines? Are humans simply mammals or are we fundamentally different? This course will explore these and related questions through the lens’ of science, philosophy, and transhumanism. This course will emphasize group work, class discussion, and presenting as ways to explore these topics.

 

THEATRE IN TROUBLE! How theatre may change the status quo

Instructor: Tony Berto
Winter 2023, Mon/Wed 7:00-8:20pm
Course Code: UNIV*1200-10
Delivery Method: Face to Face

Description: 
Theatre that so outrages members of the audience that they riot? Theatre that so offends social values that it is censored?  This is “Theatre in Trouble: How Theatre Challenges the Status Quo”; a course in which we will look at how some theatre has caused big reactions from our authorities, and why social or moral standards were offended by them in their day. Through discussion and seminars, we’ll trace how five plays affected, or were affected by, the authorities of their day. Students will also learn how playwrights create by making their own short scenes about the contemporary, contentious issues of today. Lastly, students will then seek out and research a further play “in trouble” and write a short essay about its production in its day.

 

From Republic of Letters to a Public of Tweeters

Instructor: Evren Altinkas
Winter 2023, Tues/Thurs, 2:30-3:50pm
Course Code: UNIV*1200-11
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 since the Middle Ages, we will deal with modern ways of social media and how they affect the decision-makers. 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. 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.

 

Meddling with Pedaling: An Interdisciplinary Examination of the Bicycle

Instructor: John Ferguson
Winter 2023, Fri 8:30-11:20am
Course Code: UNIV*1200-12
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.

 

Sports: The Good, Bad & Ugly

Instructor: Mairin Scannell
Winter 2023, Mon/Wed 4:00-5:20pm
Course Code: UNIV*1200-13
Delivery Method: Face to Face

Description: 
If you want to become an innovative thinker and a changemaker in your community this course is for you! Sports can have extremely positive impacts on the physiological and psychological development of a child, yet in Canada 50% of kids stop playing sports after the age of 13 and that number continues to increase. As an increased number of children and youth do not meet the minimum daily recommended amount of physical activity the complex reasons for this trend are being more widely explored. In this course you will critically analyze the participation rates of grassroots sports and the journey of specific athletes to understand the “why” behind the decline in participation rates. You will then apply a proven problem-solving process (Design Thinking) that will allow you to generate solutions to this real-world problem, put together a basic implementation plan, and pitch your solution!

 

Survival is Not Enough: Speculative Fiction as Emancipatory Practice

Instructor: Deidre Rose
Winter 2023, Tues/Thurs 4:00-5:20pm
Course Code: UNIV*1200-14
Delivery Method: Face to Face

Description: 
The title of this seminar course is the core philosophy of the traveling theatre troupe that features in the post-pandemic novel Station 11. Through a close reading of selected speculative fiction, we will explore contemporary themes, including surveillance, language and thought, fear, social hierarchies, hope, and resistance. Readings include a variety of speculative fiction genres, such as dystopic science fiction, solar-punk, and Afrofuturism. Activities will help you work on your creative skills. The final project will involve representing an imagined future in the medium of your choice. We will look at academic articles about epidemiology, linguistic articles about the relationship between language and perception, and social science articles about different ways of life. This interdisciplinary course will appeal to students interested in anthropology, sociology, political science, epidemiology, public health, and literature. The course will involve student participation, interactive activities, and group work. Critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity will be central. 

 

#Universityinfluencers

Instructor: Lauren McLean
Winter 2023, Tues 2:30-5:20pm
Course Code: UNIV*1200-15
Delivery Method: Face to Face

Description: 
Welcome to the world of hashtags! #PopCulture #Instagood #SayGay. Through close readings of pieces of popular culture, including tweets, tiktoks, and television clips, this course will consider trending social issues and how we may resist, conform, challenge, struggle, process, absorb, and possibly even queer the systems of power at play. By turning towards alternatives –subcultures and counter cultures–this course invites students to be both content creators and audience members. Through social media campaigns, discussions, and reflection papers, students will be tasked with viewing material critically and developing their writing skills through content creation to demonstrate their potential influence. #UniversityInfluencers #FYS

 

A Different Kind of Dance

Instructor: Georgia Simms
Winter 2023, Wed 11:30am-2:20pm
Course Code: UNIV*1200-16
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 dance compositions based in student-directed research inquiry. With the goal of animating research in engaging ways, we will address complex contemporary challenges that are deserving of expression in physical theatre and 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.

 

Disinformation, Misinformation, and Modern Myths

Instructor: Rachel Kulick
Winter 2023, Wed 7:00-9:50pm
Course Code: UNIV*1200-17
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 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.

 

Horror Night in Canada

Instructor: Michael Follert
Winter 2023, Thurs 2:30-5:20pm
Course Code: UNIV*1200-18
Delivery Method: Face to Face

Description: 
Canada is sometimes seen as a dull or ‘matter-of-fact’ place, but the genre of horror tells us otherwise. As a country with a well-established tradition of radio, tv, and film production, Canada has produced its fair share of home-grown horror stories for popular media. But what do these stories tell us about ourselves as a country, and more importantly who gets to tell them? In considering these questions, this course explores the fears and anxieties that populate the dark corners of our audio-visual culture, and how those preoccupations shift across Settler, Indigenous, and otherwise marginalized perspectives. Weekly combinations of films, radio dramas, podcasts, and readings from a wide range of disciplines 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.  

 

Become the Person You Are

Instructor: Jason Hoult
Winter 2023, Wed 11:30am-2:20pm
Course Code: UNIV*1200-19
Delivery Method: Face to Face

Description: 
Do you have more than one interest? How do your various interests support and foster the ethical values that are central to our spiritual, social, and familial lives? This course explores the concepts of God, justice, love, equality, early childhood and city diversity as a way of showing how our interests in diverse areas of life can be used to support one another and help us become the people we are. We will conduct critical and creative passage analyses of works of religious thought, socio-political theory, early childhood education, and urban city planning and we will use inquiry-based worksheets (for example, “fill-in-the-blank” style comic strips), as well as survey the heart of the City of Guelph on a field-trip, as we join one another in creating a learning experience that adopts the very values of conscience, community, and communication that will be examined throughout the course. 

 

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

Instructor: Chris Donaldson
Winter 2023, Mon 7:00-9:50pm
Course Code: UNIV*1200-20
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.

 

WAR: Who Is It Good For?

Instructor: Kyle Novak
Winter 2023, Wed 7:00-9:50pm
Course Code: UNIV*1200-21
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, presentation, 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?

 

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

Instructor: April Morris
Winter 2023, Mon 11:30am-2:20pm
Course Code: UNIV*1200-22
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.

 

Sleep: 1/3 of Your Life Spent with Your Eyes Closed

Instructor: Justine Tishinsky
Winter 2023, Mon/Wed 10:00am-11:20am
Course Code: UNIV*1200-24
Delivery Method: Face to Face

Description: 
We spend 30-35% of our lives asleep. Some practically fall sleep standing up, others toss and turn all night. Some sleepwalk, some snore, and we all dream. Sleep is a restorative process that’s imperative to our health and wellbeing, yet 63% of adults get less than the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep per night. This seminar course will utilize an interdisciplinary approach to explore the art and science of sleep.  Topics covered will include contributors to insomnia, circadian rhythms and biological clocks, dreams and nightmares, cultural determinants of sleep patterns, sleep disorders, and effectiveness of sleep aids. Students will address a research question of their choosing and demonstrate their knowledge in the form of an oral presentation. We ask that you remain awake during all classes.