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2023-24 Courses

SPRING

GENG-7105-001 Cultural Studies and Curatorial Practices Capstone Seminar
Prof. B. Cornellier
Wednesdays 1-4pm
05-08-2024 - 07-31-2024

This capstone seminar consolidates Master of Arts in Cultural Studies students' learning acquisitions and experiences, and offers a transitional experience into a variety of post-graduation fields. Students build their capacity for advanced study and application through developing high-capacity skills in research, dissemination, professionalization, peer engagement, and portfolio development. Through regular seminar meetings, students work in teams or sub-committees in all aspects of professional events and symposium planning, from programming and financing to advertising and scheduling. Course outcomes are suited to students in both streams of the program (Texts & Cultures and Curatorial Practices).

GENG- 7821-001 Topics in Visual Cultures: Architecture & Comics
Prof. C. Rifkind
Tuesdays and Thursdays 1-4pm 
05-07-2024 - 06-13-2024

Comics have been invested in architecture since their beginnings in 1890s newspaper strips about life in New York City tenements and the cityscapes of 1930s Golden Age superhero comics. This course studies how a variety of recent alternative (non superhero) comics from different regions (North America, Europe, Middle East, India, Australia) have drawn into view the histories, politics, economics, and cultures of built space, and how the comics page or screen is itself an imaginative architecture. Divided into three modules (“Houses and Buildings,” “Cities and Shelters,” and “Dreams and Desires”), we will study a range of comics genres, from memoir and realism to noir, fantasy, and horror, within an interdisciplinary critical framework.  

FALL/WINTER

GENG-7103-050 Research Methods & Practices
Prof. B. Cornellier
Wednesday 6-9pm

This course aims to equip students with an understanding of how an indefinite plethora of intersecting research skills and methodologies are relevant to and inform the critical, academic, and political project of cultural studies. It also includes discussions of some of the contemporary ethical, political, and material challenges (and potentialities) affecting the work of scholars, artists, and intellectuals in 21st Century academe, as well as other public institutions of knowledge production and dissemination simultaneously invested and troubled by critical cultural theorists, scholars, and curators.

During the Fall term, students will obtain certifications in CORE (TCPS 2) and Oral History Research and will develop a seminar presentation on a research methodology of particular interest to them. Over Fall and Winter terms, students will participate in a key aspect of being an active and engaged graduate students of cultural studies by attending a range of local events related to cultural studies/curatorial practices.

GHIST-7831 Practicum in Curatorial Studies
Prof. C. Mattes
Tuesday 2:30-5:15pm

FALL 2023

GENG-7104-001 Concepts in Cultural Studies 
Prof. C. Anyaduba
Thursday 10am-12:45pm

This course is an advanced introduction to cultural studies. Through readings in theories, criticisms, cultural texts, and practices, we explore the academic field/discipline of cultural studies, in part as a story, in part as a critical practice about struggle and difference, and about struggling with difference. We will think with the dominant story of cultural studies often told in Western academia. This story is a quintessential Christian tale: it tells us that the gospel of cultural studies originated in Britain sometime in the 1950s-60s and subsequently evangelized in the US (through such apostolic figures as Stuart Hall) in the 1970s/80s and on to the rest of the world. As this has become an influential tale of the discipline, we will give it its due as a fine story. We will think with and beyond the concepts and parameters made visible by this tale. We will equally consider concepts and parameters made visible in, at least, two other cultural studies tales: one based on the cultural practices and struggles against slavery and colonization in Africa and elsewhere in the world, and the other based on Indigenous peoples’ struggles against the colonial state (e.g., Canada). As this is a seminar course, readings will be complemented by seminar presentations, class discussions, and occasional lectures, all of which will be addressed to illuminating the radically critical and contextual projects of cultural studies. Key concepts, themes, and topics covered may include representation; ideology and hegemony; articulations [of gender, race, and sexuality]; Indigeneity; popular cultures and protest movements; colonialism and genocide; trauma, memory, & identity; decolonization; presentism. Among other things, we will explore these concepts and themes in (and in conversation with) texts and cultural practices in order to interrogate the economy and politics of and the obsession with struggle & difference that have defined the fields, practices, and projects of cultural studies.    

GENG-7112-001 Antonio Gramsci and Cultural Studies
Prof. P. Ives
Tuesdays, 2:30-5:15

Antonio Gramsci’s writings from his Italian Fascist prison cells between 1929-1935 contain ideas that have been incredibly influential across many disciplines including cultural studies and political theory. He insisted that the rise of fascism must be grasped in broad terms with roots deep in cultural phenomena such as the novels people read, that languages they speak and their general understanding of what he called ‘common sense’ (senso commune). Developing an old concept of ‘hegemony’ along several lines, Gramsci has provided scholars, activists, and many others with tools for understanding how consent is garnered and resistance is kept fragmented especially among marginalized and oppressed peoples. This course focuses on Gramsci’s writings and their relevance to contemporary culture and politics. We will pay particular attention to his analysis of ‘subaltern social groups’ and how his approach has been used by scholars such as Stuart Hall, Gayatri Spivak, Nancy Fraser and others to understand contemporary politics and culture.

GENG-7820-001 The Turn to the Supernatural in Art
Prof. S. Keshavjee
Thursday 2:30-5:15pm

Interest in ancient knowledge and hermetic philosophies developed from the Enlightenment onwards as a reaction to the rise of scientific positivism and increasing disenchantment with mainstream religions.  Marginal religious philosophes, ancient wisdom and alternative science added a layer of meaning as artists moved towards the abstracted art. This course examines the occult religious philosophies that were most significant for Modern artists, including Theosophy, Vitalism, Spiritualism, Witchcraft, Magic and the cult of Isis, etc. The course is coordinated with the exhibition The Undead Archive, curated by Dr Keshavjee, which features “ghosts” photos made in Winnipeg during the 1920s and contemporary artistic responses to them. The exhibition opens in Sept 2023 in 3 venues and will be a focus of the course work.

GENG-7820-002 South Asian Diasporic Film, Literature, and Theory
Prof. S. Ruprai
Monday 2:30-5:15pm

Topics in Visual Cultures: South Asian Diasporic Film (cross listed with WGS 4401) This course explores South Asian diasporic experiences and stories through an examination of film and feminist theory. After a discussion of key terms and considering our frames of reference, we will address the development of South Asian women’s film, blogs, and other controversial pieces by artists from the diaspora. The course will focus on the ways in which South Asian people have articulated their subjectivity, challenged, or reformulated societal and familial roles, negotiated traditions, responded to political and cultural demands, and formulated new South Asian feminist aesthetics. Specifically, we will explore the identities which the second-and third-born generations and/or those raised in the diaspora are cultivating.

WINTER 2024

GENG-7112-002 Speculative Fiction/Afrofuturism
Prof. I. Adeniyi
Wednesday 2:30-5:15pm

In this seminar course, we consider Afrofuturism as an intellectual framework, a cultural expression and movement, and a philosophical concept that articulate the histories and cultures of anti-Black racism, colonialism, and the racialization of science/technology vis-à-vis the past, present, and future of the modern world. We will consider Afrofuturism beyond the predominant focus on African American Blackness in the United States by examining the multiple evolving forms of Afrofuturism from different geographical, cultural, political, and identarian contexts. We will be examining some important works of different Afrofuturist artists/writers/scholars since the twentieth century with a focus on the intersections of Afrofuturist works and thoughts with science fiction, postcolonialism, feminism, eco-criticism, and posthumanism.

GENG-7820 The Idea of the Museum
Prof. S. Borys
Thursday 2:30-5:15pm

Museums and galleries do more than collect and exhibit objects; they participate in the packaging and presentation of the materials and ideas of culture, engaging with a diverse public and multiple stakeholders. Students examine the collecting, exhibiting and presentation practices of European and North American museums and galleries over the last two centuries with the goal of understanding their evolving role. The class explores how museums developed and are changing in response to the ideas of collecting and connoisseurship, the disciplines of art history and museology, and how these institutions reflect or relate to different ideologies, such as nationalism and colonialism.

GENG-7901-002 Topics in Gender, Culture, and Theory: Queer Theory
Prof. H. Milne
Thursday 10am-12:45pm

This course introduces students to some of the key thinkers, issues, and concepts in the field of Queer Theory. We will begin by reading Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble, Michel Foucault’s The History of Sexuality, and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s Epistemology of the Closet, three texts that helped to lay the foundations of the field. We will also examine how queer theory has evolved over the past twenty-five years in relation to social and cultural changes that have occurred within 2SLGBTQ* culture. The course will be divided into six interconnected modules: Foundations of Queer Theory; Queer Temporalities; Critiques of Homonormativity and Neoliberalism; Critiques of Homonationalism; Unsettling Queer Theory; and Queer Affect. Theorists covered in this course will include Sara Ahmed, Lauren Berlant, Judith Butler, Quo-Li Driskill, Lisa Duggan. Lee Edelman, Michel Foucault, Jack Halberstam, Jose Esteban Munoz, Jasbir Puar, Eve Kosofsky Sedgewick, and Riley Snorton.

GENG-7901-001 Feminism and Public Memory
Prof. A. Failler
Monday 2:30-5:15pm

This course explores the contested terrain of public memory through an intersectional feminist lens. Particular attention is paid to how conceptions of sex, gender, race, and nation are inter-implicated through practices of remembrance. Current debates surrounding monuments, memorials, and museums will facilitate our inquiry, including calls by decolonial, feminist, 2S+LGBTTQ and anti-racist activists to reimagine the memorial landscape and memorial culture. A set of key questions underpins this course: What is public memory? How is it formed? Where does it go/circulate? Who does it represent and serve? Public memory is approached here both critically and hopefully as a social process with the potential to contribute to more equitable and just forms of relating. In this sense, public memory is more than a record of history; it involves distributions of knowledge, power, and affect that shape how the past is made meaningful in and for the present.

Special Studies Forms

Directed Study Application Form

Advisor's Form

Course Outline Template: Instructors will use their department's template for the appropriate term.

*Please note that there are multiple time formats for Spring/Summer courses; your outline should indicate which one you are adhering to. See academic dates here.

The deadline for submitting final grades for Spring/Summer courses vary in accordance with time format, another fact to keep in mind as you design a special studies course. Faculty members are typically given two weeks after the end of the course to submit final grades, but they should consult the Coordinator for specific dates.