A&S logo

A few First-Year Seminars give preference during the first round of enrolment to students with membership in the college offering the course - if this is the case, the college name will be listed beside the course title. During the second round of enrolment, first-year students at any college may enroll if space is available.

CCR 199Y1Y: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

Section

Title College Time
L0041 The Vikings and Their Descendants Trinity Timetable
L0191 Reading and Writing Poetry Victoria Timetable
L0221 More Than Just a Dinner Party. High Style and Serious Attitude in the Literary Salon of 1830s Paris Trinity Timetable
L0251 Our Vampires, Ourselves   Timetable
L0271 Italian tales from the Age of Shakespeare   Timetable
L0272 �The Fine Art of Murder: Reading Detective Fiction�   Timetable
L0273 Sorrows and Joys of the Immigrant Experience and the Myth of America   Timetable
L0401 Babel: The Myth of a Universal Language and the Reality of Linguistic Diversity   Timetable
L5071 Myths of French Sensuality New Timetable

 

CCR 199Y1 Creative and Cultural Representations: Category 1

CCR199Y1Y          
Section L0041      
Trinity College                               
Timetable

The Vikings and Their Descendents

Views on the Vikings are as mixed today as they were throughout the medieval period, and it can be hard to find an unbiased perspective: the Vikings themselves left few contemporary written records, and the reliability of oral accounts allegedly transmitted across many centuries is open to question. By contrast, the Vikings' victims were often literate and often Christian, and sought to depict their attackers as instruments of diabolical wrath. What is clear is that the Vikings used their swift and efficient ships to penetrate almost every corner of the then-known world, and indeed to push the boundaries further, heading East deep into Russia, South into the Mediterranean and to Byzantium and beyond, and West as successive settlers of Iceland, Greenland, and (for a time) North America. Moreover the descendants of the Vikings had a deep impact in many lands, not least in England (where they seized the crown), in Normandy (where they seized power and branched out again to conquer England), and in the expanded Scandinavian homelands of Denmark, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden where they still remain. This course will cover aspects of the histories, cultures, languages, and literatures of these remarkable peoples across more than a millennium.

Instructor: J. Herold, Trinity College and Centre for Medieval Studies
Breadth category: 1 Creative and Cultural Representations

CCR 199Y1Y         
Section L0191      
Victoria College                             
Timetable

Reading and Writing Poetry

This course aims to contribute to the next generation of readers and writers of poetry, by making the experience of poetry as compelling and as eclectic as possible.  We will be reading, discussing, writing, and exchanging poems in a stimulating but relaxed atmosphere designed to combine the free creative expression of a workshop approach with the breadth of input available through university study.  We will build on the students' previous acquaintance with poetry and its means of expression (often drawn from non-literary areas such as popular music, photography, and cinema), and we will open up new possibilities by reading and discussing a broad range of mostly contemporary poetry and poetics. Class discussion will arise both from focus-questions directed to assign readings and from work shopping one another's creative efforts.  Although an introductory text on the workings of poetry will be used as a common resource, the main emphasis will be on learning by doing -- becoming more sophisticated readers and writers of poetry by reading and responding creatively to the wealth of poetic resources available in our culture and our community.  In addition to reading such contemporary Canadian poets as Don McKay, Dennis Lee, Sue Sinclair, and Matt Robinson, and such European and Latin American poets (in translation) as Yves Bonnefoy, Tomas Transtromer, Czeslaw Milosz, Pablo Neruda, and Jorge Borges, we will take advantage of the flourishing city poetry scene and attend some of the many live poetry readings in Toronto.  Students will be expected to read, look, and listen widely, to write freely, and to give their most enlightened and helpful attention to one another's works.

Instructor: J. Reibetanz, Victoria College & English
Breadth category: 1 Creative and Cultural Representations

CCR 199Y1Y         
Section L0221      
Trinity College                               
Timetable

More Than Just a Dinner Party: High Style and Serious Attitude in the Literary Salon of 1830s Paris.

Money, Love, Heroism, the Occult, War, Revolution, Royalism and Opium; such were the variety of subjects explored in a literary salon in Paris around the year 1830. In an age of uncertainty (the Napoleonic Age over, the restored Monarchy faltering under a mad king), a generation of writers, artists and musicians were searching for meaning. Several met regularly in the elegant drawing room of the Arsenal library in Paris, creating what is called a salon. Along with exquisite food, music and dance, they took a steady diet of wit, debate, humour and passion. We will explore their works as well as the literature, music and art of those who inspired them. Victor Hugo, Balzac, Stendhal, a young Franz Liszt, the artists Delacroix and David d'Angers all had attended. Finding inspiration in Byron's poetry, Hoffmann's tales, Goethe's and Scott's legendary works and the music of Berlioz and Chopin, their ideas about artistic style and conviction have influenced Western culture to this day. Readings are in English or English translation.
Evaluation: 1st term essay (20%), term test (15%), presentation (20%), 2nd term essay (30%), overall assessment (15%).

Instructor: B. Ferguson, Trinity College and French
Breadth category: 1 Creative and Cultural Representations

CCR 199Y1Y         
Section L0251                                                               
Timetable

Our Vampires, Ourselves

This course examines the figure of the vampire as a potent cultural metaphor showing how every age embraces the vampire it needs and gets the vampire it deserves. Our course consists of three parts: (1) First we focus on the best-known and most influential vampire novel: Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897). We critically engage with the Stoker paradigm and learn about Victorian times, issues of race and colonization, sex and gender, illness, religion and the Enlightenment. (2) Next we investigate a German novel that introduces an unusual vampire figure: Patrick Süskind's The Perfume (1985). Instead of drinking people's blood, he inhales the scents of girls. Where Dracula represented an archaic past, Süskind’s protagonist personifies the dark side of Enlightenment. (3) Finally we probe contemporary representations of the vampire. This part is mainly driven by student presentations, which allows participants to develop and share their own interests, as well as raise questions. Throughout the course we reflect on issues of self and society and develop a structured approach to critical thinking.

Instructor: E. Boran, Germanic Languages and Literatures
Breadth category: 1 Creative and Cultural Representations

CCR 199Y1Y         
Section L0271                                                               
Timetable

Italian Tales from the Age of Shakespeare

Storytelling was born with man himself. It is one of the most basic activities in which humans engage for leisure. In the early modern era, Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375) was the first to elevate storytelling to an art form in his masterpiece, the Decameron. This course will start with a selection from Boccaccio’s one hundred tales and continue with their many reincarnations in the 15th and 16th centuries, in order to explore the dawn of the modern era – the Renaissance –, a period known for its many geniuses (Leonardo Da Vinci, Machiavelli, and Michelangelo, to name but a few) who elaborated a vision of humankind that is central to Western culture to this day. Students will learn from the protagonists of that age, in a literary form – the short story – that was suited better than others to depict reality, how Renaissance men and women felt about love, sex, and death, marriage and family, religion, the Church, and other political institutions.
In all cases, the stories will be selected either because they are famous in and of themselves or because in subsequent centuries the tales were re-elaborated by more powerful imaginations (Shakespeare, for instance).

Instructor: M. Scarci, Italian Studies
Breadth Category: 1, Creative and Cultural Respresentations

CCR 199Y1Y         
Section L0272                                                               
Timetable

“The Fine Art of Murder: Reading Detective Fiction”

Since its inception in the Nineteenth century, detective fiction has been one of the most popular literary genres, immediately recognizable in spite of the many changes it has undergone. While Sherlock Holmes, with his scientific approach to investigation, remains one of its most enduring archetypes, he has little in common with the morally complex private eyes of the “noir,” with the cops of the procedural novel, or with the socially engaged sleuths of feminist mysteries, to name just a few permutations of the figure of the detective. This course will explore the many faces of detective fiction, addressing questions such as: Why does crime hold such a fascination for modern audiences? What kind of pleasure do we derive from reading stories that often follow established conventions and rules? What do these novels about crime and punishment tell us about broader social and political issues?

Instructor: L. Somigli, Italian Studies,  
Breadth Category: 1, Creative and Cultural Respresentations

CCR 199Y1Y         
Section L0273                                                               
Timetable

Sorrows and Joys of the Immigrant Experience and the Myth of America

This course will examine the way North America was seen by Italians in the first half of the twentieth century and the living conditions that led entire villages to seek their fortunes in the new world. It will also examine the economic and psychological difficulties the new Italo Canadian immigrants experienced in a search for a new home and a new identity. In the first term the image of America will be studied through the novels and films of Italian writers of the thirties and forties who projected both positive and negative feelings on it (Vittorini, Carlo Levi, Silone, Pavese). The new country was seen as a land of freedom, opportunity and economic growth, with a strong and vibrant culture, but also as the home of crass capitalism, shameless profiteering, economic inequality and ethnic discrimination. In the second term the novels and poetry of Nino Ricci, Gianna Patriarca, Mary di Michele and other contemporary Italo Canadian writers will be studied to examine the feelings of nostalgia, isolation and difficulty in adapting to Canadian culture they and other immigrants experienced, as well as their successes and triumphs in the new country. (All readings and films will be in English or with subtitles)

Instructor: G. Katz, Italian Studies
Breadth category: 1 Creative and Cultural Representations

CCR 199Y1Y         
Section L0401                                                               
Timetable

Babel: The Myth of a Universal Language and the Reality of Linguistic Diversity

This course examines multiple textual representations of the myth of a universal language and analyzes them in the light of contemporary linguistic theory. We discuss the original formulation of the myth of Babel and its literary recreations (Dante, Swift and Borges), and compare them with philosophical (Plato) and linguistic analyses.

Instructor: A. Limanni, Spanish & Portuguese
Breadth category: 1 Creative and Cultural Representations

CCR 199Y1Y         
Section L5071      
New College                                   
Timetable

Myths of French Sensuality

Why did the French develop a reputation for sensuality, whether in luxuries like fashion, perfumery, food, wines and the fine arts or in sexual behaviours ranging from sophisticated seduction to public displays of affection? The refined indulgence of all the senses has been long associated with Frenchness. Throughout history the French have both embraced and bemoaned this identity, and others have variously envied, admired or condemned it. This course is an interdisciplinary probe into this rich and troubled history by considering, even handling, things rare in university courses: perfumes, pastries, paintings, postcards, popular songs; chocolate, cheese, courtesans, couturiers, shopping arcades. We also examine the darker side of this glittering world of delights: legacies of colonialism and slavery, inequalities that triggered revolutions, diseases that accompanied sexual adventurism. Students develop various research and presentation techniques to demonstrate what is left of this reputation in an era of globalization.

Instructor: D. Clandfield, New College
Breadth category: 1 Creative and Cultural Representations