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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.

XBC 199Y1Y: Cross Breadth Categories, Count as Two Breadth Categories

Categories: CCR (1) & TBB (2)
Section Title College Time
L0221 Fiction and Women of Colour   Timetable
Categories CCR (1) & SII (3)
Section Title College Time
L0261 The Past Within the Present   Timetable
L0262 Journeys and Stories   Timetable
L0331 From Ray-Guns to Light Sabers: Science Fiction in Modern Culture Woodsworth Timetable
Categories TBB (2) & SII (3)
Section Title College Time
Cancelled Schools, Culture & Society St.Michael's Timetable
L0171 Ideologies and Social Movements in China’s Modern Transformation   Timetable
L0351 Ideologies and Social Movements in China’s Modern Transformation   Timetable
Categories LTE (4) & PMU (5)
Section Title College Time
L0241 Life and Death in the Solar System   Timetable
L0242 Thinking About Planet Earth   Timetable

Categories: CCR (1) & TBB (2)

XBC 199Y1Y         
Section L0221                                                               

Fiction and Women of Colour (1 & 2)

In this course, we will learn about the stories of visible minority women through their novels and their movies. We will read acclaimed books and watch award-winning movies. We will have thought-provoking discussions.  We will explore male-female relations, female-female relations, racism, sexism, slavery, etc.  Among the women we will study are : Ama Ata Aïdoo (Commonwealth Writers Prize), Maryse Condé (Grand Prix Littéraire de la Femme), Jhumpa Lahiri (Pulitzer Prize), Deepa Mehta (Oscar nominee), Toni Morrison (Nobel Laureate and Pulitzer Prize), and Arundhati Roy (Booker Prize).  We will try to answer some questions together: What makes a woman of colour’s work distinctive?  Does a woman from the developing world have anything in common with a minority woman in a developed country   Are women’s experiences so ‘universal’ that ‘race’ or ‘colour’ do not matter?  Are women of colour oppressed by men only?  How does the woman of colour represent masculinity in her work?

Instructor: G. Paray, French
Breadth categories: 1 Creative and Cultural Representations & 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

Categories: CCR (1) & SII (3)

XBC 199Y1Y         
Section L0261      
Trinity College                               

The Past Within The Present

"History is bunk!" This famous put-down of history by Henry Ford - creator of the automobile assembly line - has an ironic twist, because Ford also designed a "living-history" museum close to his factories. Far from hating history, he produced an historical interpretive experience to influence future generations. Whatever our perspectives may be, we, like Ford, seem to need the past immediately around us. What about Toronto? This cosmopolitan city has its own long history that provides us with a sense of place, but which now usually represents the actual history of a small number of the city's current residents. Why should Toronto's monuments and public buildings, its streetscapes and neighborhoods be valued? What is being preserved? What does the specific heritage of a unique district such as this university campus, or the larger region, contribute to Toronto as a cosmopolitan city? These issues are evident in other aspects of Canadian debates as well. What is history when written records and oral traditions differ, and First Nations' land claims or treaty rights are adjudicated by our courts? How do we develop interpretive historical exhibits that include our recent citizens? Are public apologies for the wrongs imposed by previous generations appropriate? Are they necessary? What if differing "histories" clash? This course explores such aspects of history's public face: how we use it, and why we need physical reminders of the past in our daily lives.

Instructor: B.W. Bowden, Trinity College & History
Breadth categories: 1 Creative and Cultural Representations & 3 Society and Its Institutions

XBC 199Y1Y         
Section L0262                                                               

Journeys and Stories

Across time and space, travellers have set out, returned home and told of their adventures. They have reported on activities and spoken of strange and strangely familiar lands, of monsters and beauties, and of harrowing escapes from danger. Storytellers might arouse hope, judge others, or empower criticism of their own society. Journeying also provided ways of escaping one’s deepest fears. Some of the earliest extant tales feature meaningful and entertaining journeys. Later monarchs of empires obliged literate travellers abroad to act as eyes and ears, reporting back on all they found. The Jesuit founder Ignatius de Loyola believed that it was the pilgrim who learned most. These older connections between travel and knowledge have seen modern thinkers contend that all narration is a form of travel, that truly valuable learning requires a “change of place.” Our seminar invites you to study the cultural mobility of people and things through their stories.

Instructor: K. Mills, History
Breadth Categories: 1 Creative and Cultural Representations & 3 Society and Its Institutions

Section  L0331     
Woodsworth College                       

From Ray-Guns to Light Sabres: Science Fiction in Modern Culture

This course examines science fiction as a literary genre, a sociocultural phenomenon, and a media industry, with attention to its key themes (for example, future history, artificial intelligence, the alien, and the hero), key works (including classic texts, such as Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy, and contemporary favourites, such as George Lucas’s Star Wars films), and ongoing debates about its place in contemporary culture (Does science fiction have relevance for all of society because it addresses vital issues, or is it essentially escapist entertainment serving a niche audience?).  The course will emphasize both prose science fiction and science fiction in other forms, including film, television, videogame, graphic novel and comic book; class discussions will focus on development of a critical vocabulary suitable for analysing all of these.  We will also examine science fiction fandom as a subculture and consider the role of fan activities in shaping science fiction’s impact and status.        

Instructors: W. B. MacDonald & T. Moritz, Woodsworth College
Breadth categories: 1 Creative and Cultural Representations and 3 Society and Its Institutions

Categories: TTB (2) & SII (3)

XBC 199Y1Y          
Section L0051  
St. Michael’s College                        

Schools, Culture & Society (2 & 3)

This seminar offers student an introduction to the development of education and schooling in Canada at the elementary, secondary and post-secondary level. The course will cover such themes as: the establishment of mass publicly funded education systems in Canada, the development of curriculum from the "3 Rs" to the age of the Internet, the intersection of language and schooling, home schooling, the development of teacher education programs, and the ongoing debate about educational quality in private and public schools. Of particular interest in the seminar will be the notion of faith-based education in Canada, both in private schools and in state-funded denominational schools. At its conclusion, students will examine the establishment and development of the Canadian university, both in its public and private forms.

Instructor: TBA, St. Michael's College
Breadth categories: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour & 3 Society and Its Institutions

XBC 199Y1Y         
Section L0171                                                               

Section L0351                                                               

Ideology and Social Movements in China’s Modern Transformation
This course has two main objectives. The first is to introduce students to the study of modern Chinese history. The second is to introduce a number of core concepts in social science, in particular, to explore the various meanings of the term ideology, focusing particularly on its embodiment in concrete social and political movements.  It will seek to understand how ideas shape politics, analyzing the programmatic and socio-political attributes of ideologically driven movements and regimes.  A consideration of modern China’s protracted revolutionary crisis from the mid-1800s to the present will serve as the raw material for this exploration. 

Instructor: V. Falkenheim, East Asian Studies & Political Science
Breadth categories: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour & 3 Society and Its Institutions

Categories: LTE (4) & PMU (5)

XBC 199Y1Y         
Section L0241                                                               

Life and Death in the Solar System (4 & 5)

Earth is the only planet in the solar system known to support life. Through directed readings, seminars, videos and lab visits, participants in this course will work with instructors whose own research tackles important questions concerning the origin of life on earth; the limits to life on this planet; implications for life under extreme conditions elsewhere in the solar system; and the life cycles of the planets themselves. What was the earliest life on earth like and how do we know? How deep does life exist in the earth’s oceans, and beneath the continents? Could life ever have arisen on Mars? How did the planets begin their own life cycles, and how have they evolved since? Why is Earth so different from Mars and Venus, and what can the other planets tell us about Earth’s ultimate fate?

Instructors: Fall - R. Ghent & Spring - B. Bergquist & J. Bollermana, Earth Sciences
Breadth categories: 4 Living Things and Their Environment & 5 The Physical and Mathematical Universes

XBC 199Y1Y         
Section L0242                                                               

Thinking About Planet Earth (4 & 5)

The Earth is an amazing blue planet because it has had large amounts of liquid water at its surface for at least the past 3,800 million years. Our planetary system is now known to be just one of many others related to some of the 200,000 million stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. Discs of dust and volatiles around other stars, from which planetary systems have formed, have been imaged and analysed. Through provided readings of recent scientific articles, student research projects, seminars, and student-chaired discussion groups, participants in this course will explore selected topics such as observations of circumstellar disks, extra-solar planets, the Solar System, prospects for the discovery of life on other planets, the Universal Phylogenetic Tree (Tree of Life), human origins and where humans may be headed in the future.

Instructors: G. Henderson & A. Maill, Earth Sciences
Breadth categories: 4 Living Things and Their Environment & 5 The Physical and Mathematical Universes