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First Year Foundation Seminars

Photo of Shira Lurie

UNI197H1: Hamilton: Musical and History

Instructor: Shira Lurie

This course examines the American revolution and its reception in the musical Hamilton. The American revolution generated multiple stories that included and excluded actors, peoples, perspectives, and more. This course delves into the American revolution and the diversity of those engaged in it and affected by it. The songs, performances, and reception of the musical “Hamilton” are a key resource for exploring the events and role of the American Revolution.

Portrait of Andrea Williams

UNI198H1: Why Go to University? The Changing Role and Purpose of Higher Education

Instructor: Andrea Williams

Is higher education about job preparation or about giving students an opportunity to learn about themselves and the world around them? Can higher education in Canada achieve both these aims? This course engages with the spirited conversations and scholarly debates about the ideals of a liberal arts education and how these connect with ancient and contemporary arguments about citizenship. We explore the impact on higher education of globalization and what some call the “corporatization” of universities. Students will be encouraged to think, read, research and write about various models of higher education and explore questions suggested by these debates. Restricted to newly admitted first-year students. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.

Black star on blue background with text: Imagining Black America, Michael Wayne

UNI199H1: The Construction of Race in America: A History

Instructor: Michael Wayne

The course will explore the origins of racial categories in America, in particular Negro (later black), Indian, and white. Drawing on primary sources such as memoirs, film, and government records as well as writings by scholars, we will examine how beliefs about these categories changed over time and with what consequences for the unfolding of American history. Arriving at the present day, we will consider such contradictory developments as the accelerating influence of Black Lives Matter and the headline-grabbing white nationalism on display at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, August, 2017. Restricted to first-year students. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.

Portrait of Krista Barclay

CDN197H1: Inventing Canada

Instructor: Krista Barclay

This course explores the ways that Canadian history and identity have been commemorated, interpreted and experienced, now and in the past. The course focuses in particular on who has been included or excluded in commemorative efforts over time. Key topics include representations of women, Indigenous peoples, and political figures on screen and through public installations like museum exhibits, plaques and statues. Case studies highlighting a range of interpretive media will encourage students to work with and discuss a range of primary and secondary sources, build critical thinking and academic writing skills. Restricted to first-year students. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.

Photo of Melanie Sommerville

CDN198H1: Canada, Colonialism and Settler Relations

Instructor: Melanie Sommerville

A First Year Foundations seminar focused on exploring Canada's colonial history and recent efforts to enact appropriate settler relations through an interdisciplinary lens. Topics will include contemporary land claims and treaty-making processes, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, governmental apologies for the mistreatment of Indigenous peoples, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, land acknowledgements, practices of allyship through social movement such as Idle No More, and efforts to influence Canada's overseas mining practices. Restricted to first-year students. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.

Photo of Jack Leong

CDN199H1: Canada-Hong Kong Migration

Instructor: Jack Leong

This course surveys the effects of migrations and cultural connections between Hong Kong and Canada from the 1960s. Students will discuss and analyze the impact of migrations, and study the connection between the two locations from the perspectives of history, culture and literature, politics and democracy, economic and financial development and the network of people and community. Restricted to first-year students. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.