Courses focused on Canada more broadly

See the list below for courses that focus on Canadian topics and issues…

(F= Fall-term 2022; S=Winter-term 2023)

St Paul’s Anglican Church, Trinity, Newfoundland. Photo: Jessica Mace

CDN197H1-F – Inventing Canada

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. Restricted to first-year students. 

CDN198H1-S – Canada, Colonialism, and Settler Relations

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.

FOR200H1-F – Conservation of Canada’s Forests (P. James and D. Puric-Mladenovic)

Forest conservation issues in Canada; fundamentals of forest biology and ecology; forest biodiversity; development of forest management philosophy in Canadian forested regions; concepts of sustainability. Sustainable forest management strategies; forest policy and economics in a Canadian context; forest certification; protected areas.

INS200H1-F – Introduction to Indigenous Truth and Resilience (TBD)

This course is an interdisciplinary introduction to the historical and contemporary experiences of Indigenous peoples in Canada, with an emphasis on local lands and peoples. The course will explore Indigenous resilience, relationships with settlers and settler states, and principles and ethics of Indigenous Knowledge. Tutorials will focus on critical discussion and experiential learning.

JPI201H1-S – Indigenous Politics in Canada (D. Sherwin)

This course explores key issues in Indigenous politics in Canada. Provides students with an overview of historical and contemporary socio-political issues in Indigenous societies and institutions such as Indigenous self-governance, land claims and treaty negotiations.

ENG215H1-F – The Canadian Short Story (S. Caskey)

An introduction to the Canadian short story, this course emphasizes its rich variety of settings, subjects, and styles.

POL224H1-S – Canada in Comparative Perspective (R. Haddow)

This course introduces students to aspects of Canadian political life by comparing them with those that prevail in other advanced democracies. Themes covered will include the Canadian constitution, federalism, parties and elections, political culture and social and economic institutions and policies.

FAH248H1 F: Canadian Painting 1665-1960 (J. Mace)

An introductory survey of the history of painting in Canada from the 17th to the 20th century.

CHC 365H1  – Christianity, Art and Architecture (TBD) 

An exploration of visual arts and architecture as mediums for expressing Christian faith. The course will examine notable developments in Christian history, the proliferation of new forms in the contemporary period, and important local works, such as the Donovan Collection and/or the rich legacy of church architecture in the GTA.

INS261H1-F – Contemporary Challenges Facing Indigenous Communities (TBD)

This is a survey course focusing on the contemporary challenges faced by Indigenous peoples in Canada. In this course students research specific challenges facing Indigenous communities today. This includes specific challenges that arise out of the broader topic areas of language and culture, land rights, economics, governance, youth, education, health, social services, environment, violence, healing, community development, repatriation of cultural property, and decolonization.

HIS262H1-S – Canada: A Short History of Here (TBD)

Designed for non-history students, this introductory survey fulfills the Society and Its Institutions breadth requirement.  It is open to all who want to know more about Canada.  Topics will include First Nations/newcomer relations (including treaties and the Truth & Reconciliation report), French/English relations (including Quebec separatism), regionalism, the North, economic history, constitutional developments, and the development of Canadian identity, including common symbols associated with Canada. 

HIS264H1-F – Critical Issues in Canadian History (S. Penfold)

This course introduces key issues in Canadian history and foundational principles of historical analysis. It is primarily designed for potential History majors/specialists. It is not a comprehensive survey. Examples serve to deepen analysis and introduce important methods and debates, preparing students for upper year courses in Canadian history.

HIS265Y1-Y – Black Canadian History (F. Aladejebi)

This course explores the historical experiences of persons of African descent in Canada. We begin by examining the presence of free and enslaved Africans in New France and British North America move into twentieth century themes exploring Black liberation, immigration and resistance in Canada. The course brings into sharp focus the historical production of racial categories and racist thought and practice in Canada and examines the experiences of Black Canadians within the context of ‘multiculturalism.’

HIS266H1-S – Asian Canadian History (L. Mar)

The course examines the history of Asian Canadians from the mid-1800s to the present by analyzing their contributions to the socio-cultural, economic, and political development of Canada. It explores how Asian Canadian history reconfigures prevailing understanding of race, migration, multiculturalism, and national identity through intersectional, comparative, and transnational frameworks.

FAH473H1-S Studies in Canadian Architecture and Landscapes (J. Mace)

*A Canada Constructed course!*

An in-depth study of themes in the history of architecture and landscape in Canada, this course will explore how the built environment in Canada has been written, studied, and preserved, with particular attention paid to which narratives have been privileged and which have been suppressed. Through a series of themes and case studies, we will unveil histories and narratives in the architecture of Canada that have been hiding in plain sight by using various critical lenses to reveal issues of race, religion, public space, heritage, gender, class, and more. Through an immersive and collaborative semester-long research project, students will carry out original research while gaining practical experience in writing and publication for a partner organization.

GGR308H1-F – Canadian Arctic and Subarctic Environments (S. Peirce)

We will explore the climate geomorphology, soils, hydrology, biogeochemical cycling, limnology and food web structures of the Arctic and Subarctic. Current stresses of climate change and pollution are discussed along with scientific and political solutions.

HIS312H1-F – Immigration to Canada (L. Mar)

From the colonial settlement to 21st century, immigration has been a key experience and much debated in Canadian life. Drawing on primary sources, as well as historical and contemporary scholarship, this course will discuss migration, citizenship and belonging as central features in Canada’s experience of immigration. This course focuses on the individuals, groups, and collectives who built, defined, contested, and reimagined this country, to help make and remake Canada through immigration.

HIS314H1-S – Language, Empire, and Encounter in Francophone Canada (S. Mills)

This course will explore the history of Francophone Canada from the late 19th century until today. In addition to looking at more traditional themes focused on nationalism and constitutional politics, we will also look at the history of encounter between groups of different backgrounds and origins. As such, we will place a large emphasis on colonialism and Indigenous history, and the politics of language, race, and immigration. 

ECO322H1-S – Canadian Economic History, 1850-1960 (TBD)

This course applies the tools of economics – theoretical and empirical – to study Canada’s historical growth experiences. Topics include: the variation in well-being among Indigenous peoples (both pre and post contact), migration and indentured servitude, colonial money, child labour and education, and the rise of factories. The impact of colonial institutions on Canada’s economic success is studied in a comparative context.

JIG322H1-F- Indigenous Worlds, Worldviews and the Environment (H. Dorries)

Explores the diverse ways of understanding and responding to the world that emerge from indigenous cultures around the world. Examines how indigenous ways of being and relating to their natural environment can help us understand and address the current environmental crisis. Using examples of indigenous activism from Canada and around the world, examines how colonial histories shape dispossession and marginalization and inform visions for the future. Topics include traditional ecological knowledge, place-based social movements, environmental concerns of indigenous peoples, bio-cultural restoration and decolonization of nature-human relations.

JSU325H1-S – Queerly Canadian (S. Rayter)

This course focuses on Canadian literary and artistic productions that challenge prevailing notions of nationality and sexuality, exploring not only how artists struggle with that ongoing Canadian thematic of being and belonging, but also celebrate pleasure and desire as a way of imagining and articulating an alternative national politics.

CDN325H1-S – Asian Canadian Space & Place (TBD)

A comprehensive examination of how Asian Canadian communities shape urban and suburban environments. Explore how urban planning and peoples’ local decisions interact to create space, place, and culture. The course applies a multidisciplinary lens, with an emphasis on culture and heritage, place and identity formation, diasporas, multiculturalism, and nationalism.

CDN335H1-F – Black Canadian Studies

An interdisciplinary course that interrogates the constitution of blackness in Canada. Students will study race and ethnic relations, alongside other identity formations such as class, gender and sexuality. Topics to be addressed include media, education, law, immigration and mobility, urbanism, work, political representation and the arts.

EDS358H1-S – Residential Schools and Education in Canada (J. Hamilton-Diabo)

An exploration of Residential Schools in Canada and their impacts on education and lives of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples. This course investigates the historical educational ideology of residential schools and their relationship to colonization, the role of government and organized religion in the residential school system, and contemporary strategies that encourage stable and trusting relationships with Indigenous communities. This course will also explore aspects of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action.

HIS366H1-S – Indigenous Histories of the Great Lakes from 1815 to the Present (TBD)

Explores the history of Aboriginal peoples (Indigenous and Metis) living in the Great Lakes Region after the Great Lakes were effectively split between British North America (later Canada) to the north and the united States to the south, when a rapidly increasing newcomer population on both sides of the border marginalized Indigenous peoples and settled on their land. Topics include a comparative examination of Indigenous experiences of colonialism, including treaties and land surrenders as well as the development of government policies aimed at removing and/or assimilating Great Lakes peoples. This course will also study resistance by First National and Tribal Councils to those programs over nearly two centuries and assess local strategies used for economic and cultural survival.

FAH446H1 S – Arctic Anthropocene? Image Cultures of Arctic Voyaging (I. Gapp)

‘Arctic Anthropocene’ examines the extensive visual culture of voyages in the Arctic in the long 19th century. We will probe both Western and Inuit perspectives on the search for the Northwest Passage, whaling, and scientific understandings of the exotic meteorological, human, and animal phenomena of this region through its complex image culture. To underscore ecological understandings of the Arctic in the 19th century and today, we will frame our investigation of the visual culture of this place and time with an interrogation of the notion of the ‘Anthropocene.’

HIS466H1S- Topics in Canadian History: Upper Canada: Creating a Settler Society (C. Morgan)

This course explores selected topics in the history of Upper Canada, such as its formation in the crucible of transatlantic and imperial warfare, relationships with Indigenous people, the creation of multiple institutions, and colonial leisure and culture. As well as having its own particular local characteristics and features, not least its proximity to the United States, Upper Canada was one of a number of settler societies within the British Empire. The course is intended to explore various dimensions of these aspects and, wherever possible, to consider the relationships between local dynamics and imperial currents. Although the colony became ‘Canada West’ in 1841, our readings and discussions will stretch beyond that conventional political boundary, moving us into the 1850s and 1860s.

HIS318H1-S The “Wild” West in Canada (L. Bertram)

What happens when histories of Canada begin in the West? This course examines the critical challenges that the myths and legacies of the West pose to Canadian history, from pre-contract to 1990. Themes include First Nations and colonialism, immigration, racism, economic development, regionalism, prostitution and illegal economies.

CDN385H1-F – Re-Imagining Canada: Creative Visions of Our Past, Present, and Futures (TBD)

Artists and writers are re-imagining Canada, exploring alternate pasts, presents, and futures, often critiquing systemic inequities by positing “what ifs” of resistance and renewal, while reclaiming agency, voice, and power for those who are disadvantaged in society. This course will examine these re-imaginings across various media such as fiction, poetry, graphic novels, films, multimedia installations, performance art, paintings, virtual reality works, and video games. Examples will be drawn from a wide variety of genres such as speculative fiction, Afrofuturism, Indigenous arctic horror, trans, queer, Indigenous and Indigiqueer perspectives.

This project is supported by the Learning & Education Advancement Fund at the University of Toronto

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