The Canadian Studies program at University College is a thriving and dynamic undergraduate program that addresses contemporary Canadian issues from a wide range of perspectives. As internationally-acclaimed essayist and travel writer Pico Iyer observed during a recent visit to the program, “Canada is being reconstructed daily.” But how is it being reconstructed? With what aims? Who is included? Who is excluded? These are the kinds of critical questions that are addressed, and passionately debated, in the Canadian Studies program.
Our classes are small. Our approach is flexible. The core courses (UNI267H1/UNI268H1, UNI367H1/UNI368H1) provide an interdisciplinary approach to contemporary Canadian issues. Students can build on these courses to design a program that reflects their own interests. The program offers a number of other courses from across the social sciences and humanities, and also draws widely on courses offered by other departments and programs. Students may choose to undertake a Specialist, Major, or Minor degree in Canadian Studies, all of which are easily combined with more traditional disciplinary areas of study.
We have a strong undergraduate student association – the Canadian Studies Student Union – which is a focal point for social as well as academic pursuits. The union has its own office space and hosts regular open office hours where students can drop in and connect with others in the programme. There are also a number of exciting new initiatives underway by students, for students. These include the annual Canadian Studies Conference and Undergraduate Journal.
The University of Toronto is home to an outstanding concentration of expertise on the study of Canada. The Canadian Studies program provides opportunities for students to learn from and engage with this expertise. The program is also undertaking new initiatives to engage more broadly with the wider community with respect to both teaching and research. Our goal is to foster a critical understanding of contemporary Canada, and to make lasting and constructive contributions to the communities in which we live.