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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.

TBB 199H1F: Thought, Belief, and Behaviour (2): 2016 Fall Offerings | View All

Section

Title College
L0221 Music, Language & the Human Experience  
L0281 Language and Politics  
L0282 Language Diversity  
L0321 Ethics and Fiction  
L0322 Representation, Art, and Photography: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Art  

TBB 199H1S: Thought, Belief, and Behaviour (2): 2017 Winter Offerings | View All

Section Title College
L0041 The Age of Love: An Invitation to Medieval Culture Trinity
L0101 Tragically Unhip: Great Thinkers of the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries  
L0131 Innovative Teaching Methods in Chemistry  
L0281 Language and Advertising  
L0282 Languages of Canada: Identity and Culture  
L0321 Philosophy and the Modern World  
L0361 The Individual and Society  
L0381 Literature and Censorship  
L0382 Popular Legends of the Slavs  

 

TBB 199H1 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour (Category 2): 2016 Fall Offerings

TBB 199H1F | Section L0221

Music, Language & the Human Experience
Understanding what it means to be human is not only a fundamental part of scientific inquiry but also of our own coming to know ourselves. In this seminar, we will explore many aspects of the human experience by comparing and contrasting music and language. Guided by a series of core questions, we will reflect on the way(s) we think (To what extent are music and language structured similarly as systems? Do we process them with the same parts of our brains?), construct our personal and collective identities (What does the way we speak or the music we listen to reveal about who we are – our age, gender, socio-economic background? How do others – authority figures, advertisers, political institutions – use them to try to shape who we are?), and experience the world and universe (To what extent is our emotional and spiritual experience mediated by different types of language and music?).

Instructor: J. Steele, French
Breadth categories: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

TBB 199H1F | Section L0281

Language and Politics
The way people speak and write is often subject to overt commentary, most of it negative. Due to this fact, linguistic discrimination is rampant in the world, and it is often used to marginalize certain sectors of the population, particularly youth, sexual, racial and ethnic minorities. When the media, press and governments get involved, language issues can have personal, cultural and economic consequences. Sociolinguistics, the study of language and society, will give us a lens to examine this situation in the world, to try to understand it more clearly and to generate possible tools for change.

Instructor: S. Tagliamonte, Linguistics
Breadth categories: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

TBB 199H1F | Section L0282

Language Diversity
There are estimated to be about 5000 languages currently spoken in the world. What do they have in common? In what ways are they different? This course will explore these questions, covering such topics as meaning, sound systems, the structure of words, the order of words in sentences, question formation, concepts such as subject and object, tense systems, pronoun systems among others. We will also address issues such as language loss and revival, and attitudes to language variation. Examples will be drawn from a wide range of languages, but there will be a focus on Austronesian, Canadian, and European languages.

Instructor: D. Massam, Linguistics
Breadth categories: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

TBB 199H1F | Section L0321

Ethics and Fiction
The goal of this seminar is to investigate ethical questions by means of fiction, primarily novels. The idea is not to see fiction as a pedantic vehicle for ethical argument, but rather to consider how, and with what effect, fiction functions as an ethical medium. We will not simply judge characters as ‘likeable’ or ‘relatable’; rather, we will reflect on what fiction can teach us about the pressing challenges of choice and responsibility, and how it can (perhaps) enhance empathy.
The focus is on issues of individual identity and integrity: creating and maintaining oneself as a moral whole within environments hostile or indifferent to that end. All the works considered are novels from the period between about 1900 and 2015—for convenience, the ‘modern’ age, though we will analyze that notion. Class discussions will be enriched by visits from practising novelists, who will address the role of ethical insight in their own work.

Works to be studied will include a number of critical articles on the subject (e.g., Richard Posner, Jenny Davidson) plus a subset, still to be finalized, of the following novels:
Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth (Penguin), Evelyn Waugh, Vile Bodies (Penguin), Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye (Vintage), Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead (Signet),
Graham Greene, The Quiet American (Vintage), Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange (Penguin), Ian McEwan, Saturday (Vintage), Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale (Seal),
Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (Vintage), Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Random House), Rick Moody, The Ice Storm (Little, Brown), Miriam Toews, A Complicated Kindness (Vintage), Russell Smith, Girl Crazy (Harper)

Instructor: M. Kingwell, Philosophy
Breadth category: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

TBB 199H1F | Section L0322

Representation, Art, and Photography: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Art
This seminar will be a discussion-driven and case-study-based introduction to the Philosophy of Art. In the first part of the seminar we will look at classic philosophical accounts of the nature and value of art, and of the relation between art and representation. The second part of the seminar will be grounded in a number of key readings in the Theory of Photography (including Benjamin, Barthes, and Sontag). Starting from these readings and from examples taken from the work of twentieth and twenty-first century photographers and artists using the photographic medium we will attempt to answer questions such as the following: What is a photograph? What makes a photograph a work of art? What is the difference between the ways paintings and photographs represent the world? Are photographs inherently more realistic than paintings?

Instructor: Francesco Gagliardi, Philosophy
Breadth category: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

TBB 199H1 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour (Category 2): 2017 Winter Offerings

TBB 199H1S | Section L0041 | Trinity College

The Age of Love: An Invitation to Medieval Culture
How do human beings respond when it feels like their world is falling apart? The complex culture that we call "medieval" (c.500–c.1500) arose out of the ruins of the late Roman Empire. The medieval response to the passing away of all that seemed good and civilized can be traced through three paths, each emphasizing different virtues: the way of the warrior (strength and courage), the way of the monk (humility and renunciation), and the way of the philosopher (learning and reason). This course will examine representative writers from each of these strands, exploring how these three ways converged, despite the reality of violence and apparent futility, in a vision of love as the path of true human fulfilment. We will begin with two foundational texts written in the midst of the Roman collapse: the Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius (d. c.524), the principal source for medieval philosophy; and the roughly contemporary Rule of St. Benedict, the principal text for western monasticism. A study of the "way of the warrior" (and the related culture of feudalism) will focus on the career and literary afterlife of Charlemagne. We will then move to the twelfth century, when all three strands begin to converge on "love" as a supreme value: in war, the romances of Chretien de Troyes; in monasticism, the writings of St. Bernard of Clairvaux; and in philosophy, the career of Peter Abelard and his lover Heloise. This medieval "triumph of love" finds its synthesis in Dante's Vita Nuova, which strongly recalls the Consolation of Boethius, functioning as a "book-end" for the course. We will look at these writings alongside other contemporary artistic products, especially manuscript art (illustrated from University of Toronto collections) and music.

Instructor: J. Billett, Trinity College
Breadth categories: 2. Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

TBB 199H1S | Section L0101

Tragically Unhip: Great Thinkers of the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries
An in-depth look at great thinkers and ideas in anthropology that have influenced Western concepts of the Individual and Exotic Other. The course considers the paradox of classical ideas that pervade our view of the world yet remain controversial.

Instructor: G. Gillison, Trinity College
Breadth categories: 2. Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

TBB 199H1S | Section L0131

Innovative Teaching Methods in Chemistry
Good teaching is effective communication that engages the audience. Innovative methods, by definition, are engaging. To ensure that they also communicate effectively, we'll investigate the nature of science, how scientific knowledge is built, and what makes certain concepts in science problematic to the learner. We will then synthesize our understanding to develop communication tools for engaging our learners and communicating scientific ideas effectively. Students will read and discuss relevant articles in newsmagazines, popular science sources, and the educational literature. They will design and deliver mini lessons to communicate specified scientific concepts. As a major course project, students will eventually develop a communication tool that integrates pedagogical know-how with leading edge chemical discoveries to produce an accessible teaching unit that can be used by Ontario teachers.

Instructor: C. Kutas, Chemistry
Breadth categories: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

TBB 199H1S | Section L0281

Language and Advertising
This course examines how language is used in advertising. The goal is to understand both how advertisers use language in creating persuasive messages, and how we, as the target audience, unconsciously process these messages. The course will introduce and explore tools of linguistic analysis from semantics, pragmatics and psycholinguistics which will be used in the critical evaluation of advertisements.

Instructor: D. Heller, Linguistics
Breadth categories: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

TBB 199H1S | Section L0282

Languages of Canada: Identity and Culture
Canada is extraordinarily rich in languages: over 60 aboriginal languages, two official languages, and a multitude of heritage languages brought by more recent immigrants.  Language rights have played an important role in this nation’s history and speakers have strong feelings about the preservation of their own language.  In this course we will explore the relationship between language, culture and identity with respect to the languages of Canada.

Instructor: E. Gold, Linguistics
Breadth category: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

TBB 199H1S | Section L0321

Philosophy and the Modern World
Over the past 20 years we have seen significant advancements in both science and technology. Unfortunately, understanding of these disciplines has not grown in tandem. The aim of this course is to foster a critical perspective of science and technology through a philosophical lens. We will focus on six topics: non-science and the rise of climate change deniers and anti-vaxxers; pseudoscience in healthcare; scientific discoveries such as the Higgs boson; Anonymous and social justice; digital privacy and the government; and biological patents of seeds and genes. Making sense of these issues is to understand the world that we live in today.

Instructor: Alex Koo, Philosophy
Breadth categories: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

TBB 199H1S | Section L0361

The Individual and Society
How does one develop a sense of individuality? Can individual will and freedom be reconciled with the interests of society? Are we determined by society or culture or do we, in some important sense, determine our own behavior and futures? In this course, we will use classic and contemporary readings from psychology, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, and law to explore general characterizations of the individual and society. Basic questions will be examined in light of these characterizations such as: Is there a universal human nature? Who is a “person”?, and What is the ideal society? We will examine these questions in light of various social issues, such as debates about multiculturalism and democracy, whether children have rights to freedom of speech, and women’s equality in society. Throughout the course, the emphasis will be on the different views of the person underlying and informing contrasting perspectives on important social questions.

Instructor: C. Helwig, Psychology
Breadth category: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

TBB 199H1S | Section L0381

Literature and Censorship
This class considers the dynamics between literature and the practices of cultural and social regulation. Through the study of controversial and banned texts, we will examine the themes of literature and the law; obscenity and the regulation of sexuality; political and ideological censorship; blasphemy and religion. We will also interrogate different ways of conceptualizing censorship itself. No knowledge of languages other than English is required.

Instructor: D. Obradovic, Slavic Languages and Literatures
Breadth category: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour

TBB 199H1S | Section L0382

Popular Legends of the Slavs
In this course we study a wide range of popular folkloric legends found among the Slavic peoples of Russia, Ukraine, the Balkans, and Eastern Europe. These mythic accounts (many of which persist into the early 20th century) exist alongside of and at times enrich mainstream religious, pre-scientific, and historical narratives. They include dualist creation myths, apocryphal religious tales and lives of the saints, elements of folk astronomy, mythic descriptions of magical birds and plants, and semi-historical or imaginary accounts of the deeds and misdeeds of tsars and princes. We will consider the texts in their broader historical and cultural context, treating questions of origin and the interest that these texts generated among Slavic and other European anthropologists, students of comparative religion and the nascent discipline of comparative literature. In addition to texts in translation, we explore the visual manifestation of the legend corpus in folk and high art.

Instructor: J. Schallert, Slavic Languages and Literatures
Breadth category: 2 Thought, Belief, and Behaviour