Courses focused on Public Art & History

See the list below for courses that focus on public art and public history in Canada…

(F= Fall-term 2021; S=Winter-term 2022)

Elevated Wetlands, Toronto, Noel Harding
Photo: Robert Taylor, Wikimedia Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Taylor_Creek_Park_2009_(2).jpg

NEW104H1-F – Creating Community: Art, Identity and Belonging

How is art implicated in the process of community building? How does art foster a sense of community identity and belonging? This course explores how communities, in Toronto and beyond, engage a variety of art forms including graffiti, spoken-word, hip-hop, digital art, traditional dance and music to connect people and express community identity. Students will have the opportunity to visit community arts projects. Restricted to first-year students. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.


FAH194H1-F – Public Art: Local and Global (M Cheetham)

We are surrounded by public art, whether in the form of official commemorative monuments or ephemeral (some say illegal) street art. We will examine the history and current practice of this important art form in Toronto and by comparison, globally. The focus will be on discussing the nature, roles, and issues pertaining to contemporary public art that we can see in situ in downtown Toronto. Restricted to first-year students.


SMC198H1-F – How to Study Video Games (F. Parker)

Games and play are a fundamental part of human society, and today digital games occupy a central place in popular culture, media industries, and the imaginations of players around the world. This seminar introduces students to the growing academic field of game studies, with an emphasis on close analysis of specific games as cultural objects. Through lectures, discussions, and in-class play sessions, students will build a critical vocabulary and toolbox of techniques for understanding the unique formal, aesthetic, narrative, and thematic properties of games in a variety of platforms and genres, and develop basic academic reading, writing, and research skills. No previous experience or expertise with video games is required to take this course. Restricted to first-year students. 


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

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


DHU235H1-F – Introduction to Digital Humanities (A. Bolintineanu, M. Price)

Digital Humanities (DH) studies human culture — art, literature, history, geography, religion — using computational tools and methodologies, and at the same time studies digital technologies and communities through humanist lenses, as complex cultural objects shaped by wider social and political concerns and the ways we construct knowledge and meaning.


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.


ENG356Y1-Y – African Canadian Literature (G. Clarke)

Black Canadian Literature (poetry, drama, fiction, non-fiction) from its origin in the African Slave Trade in the eighteenth century to its current flowering as the expression of immigrants, exiles, refugees, ex-slave-descended, and colonial-settler-established communities. Pertinent theoretical works, films, and recorded music are also considered.


CIN370H1-F – Canadian Cinemas (K. Banning)

History and diversity of Canadian and Québécois cinemas. Analyses of film and critical frameworks examine how co-productions, multiculturalism, and post-national arguments are re-shaping the production and reception contexts of national cinema. Annual emphasis will be placed on one of the following topics: the emergence of the feature film, Québécois cinema, documentary, or experimental cinema.


FAH499H1-S – Contemporary Art Movements: Art, Nature, and the Logic of the Aesthetic (D. Dunlop)

Selected aspects of the complex array of international contemporary art movements, their artists, objects, and critical discourses. Potential issues include the theoretical, philosophical, and political concerns addressed by given artworks and artists; the role of art journals, the private patron, and museum display.


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

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