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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.

Refer to the 2016-17 Arts & Science Timetable for the schedule information of each offering.

2016-2017 CCR 199Y1Y: Creative and Cultural Representations (1) | View All


Title College
L0041 The Vikings and Their Descendants Trinity
L0191 The Environmental Imagination  
L0221 More Than Just a Dinner Party. High Style and Serious Attitude in the Literary Salon of 1830s Paris Trinity
L0251 Poets and Power, Art under the Nazis  
L0271 From Manuscript to Print, Print to Electronics  
L0272 "The Fine Art of Murder: Reading Detective Fiction"  
L0331 Fatal Attraction: The Lure of Villains (and now Vampires!) In Literature Woodsworth
L5071 We are What We Eat: the Example of French Cuisine New


2016-2017 CCR 199Y1 Creative and Cultural Representations: Category 1

CCR199Y1Y | Section L0041 | Trinity College                               

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                                                               

The Environmental Imagination
This class will explore how North American writers, thinkers, and artists have represented the human relationship to the natural world through fiction, poetry, essays, political action, film and new media. Looking back in history through the lens of our contemporary environmental crisis, we will ask how the stories our culture has told about our relationship to the earth on which we live have shaped the ways in which we encounter, enjoy, destroy, restore, use and abuse the natural world. The course will be divided into units (such as creation, wilderness, pastoral, food and agriculture, pollution and apocalypse), each followed by experiential student presentations that will take us beyond our books into encounters with the material world outside our classroom, prompting us to begin the urgent project of discovering new ways of imagining the earth and our role within it.

Instructor: A. Most, English
Breadth category: 1 Creative and Cultural Representations

CCR 199Y1Y | Section L0221 | Trinity College                               

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 (25%), term test (15%), 2nd term essay (25%), 2nd term test (20%), overall assessment (15%).

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

CCR 199Y1Y | Section L0251                                                               

Poets and Power: Art under the Nazis
Did you know that Hitler was a failed artist? Goebbels a poet? Göring a collector of art? That there was an orchestra in Auschwitz? Why did art have this peculiar prominence under Nazism? In this course we will examine how politics and aesthetics interlace in various ways: the fascist cult of beauty; the theatrics of political propaganda; anti-Semitic “entertainment” film; and the eroticization of the Führer-figure. We will investigate this marriage between beauty and violence, and ask ourselves: what made Nazism so attractive to so many? We will begin by examining the great aesthetic movements from the pre-Nazi era through to Hitler’s 1937 ban on “degenerate,” modern art—in favor of returning to Greek and Roman images of beauty. 
Throughout the course, we will consider some of the high points of German culture—in philosophy, music, and literature—and ask: How did a society that produced such works of genius also create Nazism and the Holocaust? Are there any similar mixtures of art and politics in our world today?

Instructor: J. Zilcosky, Germanic Languages and Literatures
Breadth category: 1 Creative and Cultural Representations

CCR 199Y1Y | Section L0271                                                               

From Manuscript to Print, Print to Electronics
The course deals with the two major cultural transformations of the past millennium. It focuses on the patterns of development of manuscript, print, electric and electronic technologies. The scope is to make students aware of the changes occurred, in the classroom as well as in the general cultural environment, because of technology.

Instructor: F. Guardiani, Italian Studies
Breadth Category: 1, Creative and Cultural Respresentations

CCR 199Y1Y | Section L0272                                                               

“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 L0331 | Woodsworth College                       

Fatal Attraction: The Lure of Villains (and now Vampires!) in Literature
Why is it that literary villains and vampires such as Satan, Iago, Heathcliff, Dexter, and Dracula get all the best lines? Villains and vampires are usually intelligent, devious, scheming, and nefarious, often eloquent or even charismatic. The defining characteristic of many of these characters is that they know they are villains and are often proud of it, yet as Tillyard comments "to be greatly bad, a man [or woman] must have correspondingly great potentialities for good." Villains and vampires are not only compelling as fictional characters, but their wrongdoings often begin and drive the plot. In this course, we will examine some remarkable villains and vampires, including some female characters, selected from literature. After identifying some archetypal characters and themes, students will observe how villains have been reshaped over the centuries and what role women play in the villainous impulse. Films will be integrated with written texts where appropriate. This seminar will assist students develop skills in critical reading and thinking, academic writing, and seminar presentations. Evaluation will be based on reading response entries and a final analysis assignment, two in-class identification tests, one group presentation, and class participation.

Instructor: J. B. Rose, Woodsworth College
Breadth category: 1 Creative and Cultural Representations

CCR 199Y1Y | Section L5071 | New College                                   

We are What We Eat: The Example of French Cuisine
The study of French cuisine reveals a culture rich in controversy and conflicting narratives. When did it begin? Was it imported from Italy? Who invented champagne? Were Paris restaurants a product of the French Revolution? Did croissants come from Vienna? Is there really a French paradox? This course is an interdisciplinary probe into this rich and troubled history by considering, even sampling, things rare in university courses: baguettes, foie gras, cheese, madeleines, chocolate, pâtisseries. We also examine its darker side: legacies of colonialism and slavery, famines and inequalities that triggered revolutions, a pest that nearly killed all the vineyards in France, controversial treatment of animals. Students develop various research, writing and presentation techniques to demonstrate what is left of this reputation in an era of globalization and to compare the French example with those of other cultures right here in Toronto.

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