Third Year Courses:
Special Topics in Interdisciplinary Studies (AH 3390 F/G to 3393 F/G)
Prerequisite: AH 2220E, AH 2220F/G and AH 2230F/G 3 hours/week; 0.5 course
Building on the theoretical and methodological knowledge and skills acquired in the first and second years of the Program, each of these half courses will focus on the specific research expertise of one of the Research Fellows teaching in the School. Possible topics are listed below. The purpose of each course will be to immerse students in an intensive and engaged research environment in order further to train students in the applied study of the Arts and Humanities. Course curriculum and assignments will be designed to reflect the requirements of the field, topic, and sub-topics particular to each Research Fellow, and will be tailored to encourage the kinds of independent and self-directed study that students will undertake exclusively in the fourth-year capstone seminar and experiential learning courses.
HOW YEAR THREE COURSE OFFERINGS WORK IN SASAH:
In Year Three you are required to take four 0.5 courses (2.0 total) for your Arts and Humanities major. Of these course offered through SASAH, you’re expected to take at least two of them, preferably three. You’re welcome to take an upper-level (Year Three or Four) course in your field of choice to fulfill the remaining 1 or 2 Year Three SASAH courses. Usually students will take these courses in fields covered by their second Major, usually within the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. We’ve done this on purpose as we don’t want to restrict your course choices in Year Three at a time when we want to encourage you to develop your own research interests.
The courses offered in Year Three in SASAH are always cross-listed with the Research Fellow’s home department. However, this does not mean you need to fulfill that department’s prerequisite to take this course. In all cases we ask the department to waive this restriction. These courses are designed to reach an interdisciplinary audience – i.e. you.
Finally, we’ve structured the Year Three courses this way so as to get students out and integrated into learning experiences across campus, in other departments, etc. Also, usually 6-7 students head abroad each Year Three, which means the SASAH cohort is smaller for that year.
Courses for 2018-2019
AH 3390G: Rwanda: Culture, Society and Reconstruction [cross-listed with French 3140B]
Professor Henri Boyi / Department of French Studies
This is an interdisciplinary Experiential Learning Course on Rwanda, based in the Department of French Studies. It provides students with an opportunity to learn about Rwandan society, and about themselves by engaging in an international social and cultural setting. The readings for the course will focus on issues related to Community Service Learning and the history and culture of Rwanda. The course will offer an in-depth look at a number of contemporary social issues that are common in the African Great Lakes region. Guest lecturers (Dr. Nanda Dimitrov, Prof. Alain Goldschlager, Prof. Amanda Grzyb, Prof. Jeff Tennant, Stephanie Hayne, Lise Laporte, and former participants, among others) will be invited to speak to the class. Five weeks of active and interactive community service in Rwanda will be required for the completion of the course.
Our main community partner in Rwanda is The College of Medicine and Health Sciences (former KHI), located in the capital city of Kigali. We will mainly work with three community partners : Centre Marembo, Les Enfants de Dieu, and Caritas. As we go so far to serve and learn in these community centres where we have developed extremely solid relationships and excellent work habits for the last six years, we also commit to the integrity and integrality of our team as ambassadors of Western University and Canada.
AH 3391F: Philosophy of Food [cross-listed with Phil 3010F]
Professor Benjamin Hill / Department of Philosophy
Nothing we do day-in, day-out is as value-laden as eating. We have greater moral impact on others, on our community, and on our world through our relationship with food than with anything else, except perhaps for familial and intimate relationships. Yet those values contained within or implicated by our food are almost always hidden from us, and almost always, it seems, by design. We ourselves are, moreover, almost always complicit in those values being hidden from us. This course is meant to challenge the hiddenness of food values and to challenge ourselves for our roles in their hiddenness. It is going to make you uncomfortable. It is supposed to be make you feel uncomfortable (hence the term “challenge” above) because the story about the food system, its values, and our responsibility for it is not a cheery story. This course is meant to be an intensely immersive experience exploring and challenging both the food values of our society as well as your own individual food values. The aim is to develop your abilities to think critically and philosophically about your food choices, about the connections between your food choices and our food system, and about ultimately yourselves and your own values. Issues dealt with in the course may include human rights, food justice, the treatment of animals, the environment, moral and political dimensions of genetically modified food, hunger and obligation to the poor, the role of food in gender, personal and ethnic identity, the role of food in shaping our community, and the role food plays in living the good life. The course is an “active learning” course, which aims to do this through philosophical discussions and investigative assignments.
AH 3392F: Bad Girls [cross-listed with WS 3153F]
Professor Laura Cayen / Department of Women's Studies and Feminist Research
This course will examine our recurring fascination with the figure of the “bad girl” in various forms of popular cultural production. The course will explore the various ways that “bad girls” have been produced within cultural production and interrogate the often complex and ambiguous relationships we have with these images and tropes. The first part of the course will concentrate on the theoretical work which informs the relationship between popular culture and dissident sexuality, while the second part of the course will look more closely at how specific types of sexual dissidence, particularly related to adolescent and young adult female bodies, is created,
controlled and contested in popular culture.
AH 3393F: Toronto: Culture and Performance [cross-listed with English 3581F, TS 3581F]
Professor Kim Solga / Department of English and Writing Studies
How does the theatre that appears on Toronto’s stages reflect, extend, challenge and question the City of Toronto’s global-city aspirations? This is just one of a host of questions we’ll be asking in this exciting new course, as we travel to Toronto regularly to see live theatre of all kinds, talk with actors, directors, and reviewers, and explore the city’s contemporary theatre ecology through readings drawn from performance studies as well as urban studies. Students can expect to make at least four class trips into the city to see live performance, and to read a handful of scripts from the city’s most recent theatre seasons alongside some contextual materials.
AH 3393G: Forms of Narrative [cross-listed with VAH 3395G]
Professor Nino Ricci / Department of English and Writing Studies
This workshop course will allow students to explore a range of narrative strategies in their storytelling, from the traditional short story to such genres as metafiction, microfiction, podcasts, graphic novels, and fan fiction. Students will be encouraged to consider how narrative informs a wide variety of other fields, from history and the social sciences to law, medicine, business and the natural sciences, and to draw on their own educational backgrounds and interests in exploring new directions for their creative work. Readings will include a selection of stories in various genres culled from a variety of sources. Grading will be based on the submission of at least two pieces of creative work as well as on class participation and on written critiques of fellow students’ work.
Courses for 2017-2018
AH3390F: Pre-Raphaelite Literature and Art: From Romanticism to Modernism [cross-listed with English3369F]
Professor David Bentley / Department of Visual Arts
Using as a focal point and lens the poetry, painting, and short fiction of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, this seminar will study the works and aesthetics of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (1848-53), its associates, and its successors. After situating the Pre-Raphaelites in the political, religious, and aesthetic contexts of the Victorian period and examining some of their principal paintings, the seminar will focus on Rossetti’s depiction of different female types: the Virgin Mary in such works as “Ave,” the prostitute or “fallen woman” in such works as “Jenny,” and the femme fatale in such works as Lilith. In addition to providing seminar members with a broad, detailed, and enriching understanding of Pre-Raphaelitism, the seminar will examine Rossetti’s later poetry and painting in the aesthetic and symbolist modes and chart the impact of Pre-Raphaelite art, literature, and ideas not only on William Morris, Walter Pater, Oscar Wilde, and other Victorians, but also on such major Modernists as W.B. Yeats, Ezra Pound, and T.S. Eliot.
AH3390G: Lessons by Design [cross-listed with VAH3390G]
Professor John Hatch / Department of Visual Arts
Design guides us through our life effortlessly when it is done well, or aggravates us to no end when poorly wrought (unless the goal of a particular design is to frustrate -- such as the square toilet paper roll). Design is invisible for the most part, seamless, when crafted for use; seductive when done for effect, when it wants to draw our attention. It helps us to think and function, taking over some of our tasks and concerns so that we can focus our thoughts and actions elsewhere. This course is an introduction to design, using a wide range of examples such as maps, the periodic table, chairs, flags, invented languages like Esperanto, the mechanical sounds on digital devices, door handles, public spaces, currencies, cities, movie credits, search engines, etc., all aimed at helping us arrive at a checklist of some of the most important lessons of design. We’ll also discuss the critical social and cultural implications of design, as any good design is essentially a tool for manipulating our everyday lives, for controlling our activities and sometimes how we think.Course Syllabus
AH 3391F: Classics and Pop Culture [cross-listed with CS 3800F]
Professor Kyle Gervais / Department of Classical Studies
In this course we’ll look at how Western pop culture in the 20th and 21st centuries has explored, adapted, and appropriated topics and themes from ancient Greece and Rome. Media considered in class and assignments may include: films, TV, novels, comic books, music, online media, or anything falling within a broad definition of “pop-culture”. Tentative topics for 2017 include: Hercules from comics to film to videogame, narratives of Roman decline and renewal in speculative fiction, and Classics in the age of Donald J. Trump.Course Syllabus
AH3392G: Table Work [cross-listed with TS 3208G]
Professor Joanna Devereux / Department of English
Students will close-read parts in plays in order to analyze a script’s vocal patterning, experiment with the pacing of a scene in terms of breath, silences, and “beats”, shape interpretations of character, tone, and motivation, and debate what constitutes textual “clues” to performance.
AH 3393F: The Ethics of Science [cross-listed with Phil 3993F]
Professor Gillian Barker / Department of Philosophy
It has often been thought that ethics and science inhabit separate realms and have little to say to one another. This course challenges that assumption by exploring the many ways in which ethical thought both informs and is informed by science. We begin by investigating the nature of both ethical and scientific reasoning. We then apply this understanding in examining a range of questions about ethics that arise in the pursuit and application of scientific knowledge. Particular issues to be addressed include the ethics of using animals and embryos in medical research; the implications of human evolutionary science and brain science for our understanding of ethics; what ecological science can teach us about our ethical relationship to natural ecosystems and other species; ethical issues that emerge as we apply new technologies in procreation and in food production; and the place of science in a democratic society. We apply the understanding we gain in real-world projects with community partners.
For their Year Three requirements SASAH students can also qualify to apply for a limited number of spaces in Special Topics courses offered outside of the School. Present and past courses include:
Classical Studies 4580F/G: Vindolanda Field School:
The Vindolanda Field School is an intense and very rewarding five-week study abroad experience for Western students in any discipline. A primary goal of the field school is for students to gain an appreciation for combining historical and archaeological material to further our understanding of past cultures, especially those effected by conquest and imperialism in the Roman provinces. The focus of the archaeological component is at the site of Vindolanda, an important Roman military fort along Hadrian’s Wall, and includes daily participation in all aspects of the project: excavation, survey of buildings and landscape, finds processing (ceramic and bone washing, environmental sampling), and data recording (stratigraphic context sheets, photography, section/plan drawing, etc.). An in-depth understanding of the archaeology at Vindolanda will be supplemented with trips to other sites and visits to active excavations around the north of Britain. The historical component focuses on the history of the Roman period in Britain with particular emphasis on the northern frontier and the role of soldiers and civilians within the province. The historical aspect of the course is achieved through evening lectures, field trips, on-site discussions and student presentations.
Vindolanda Archaeological Site Information
French 3140B: Rwanda: Culture, Society and Reconstruction:
This is an interdisciplinary Experiential Learning Course on Rwanda, based in the Department of French Studies. It provides students with an opportunity to learn about Rwandan society, and aboutthemselves by engaging in an international social and cultural setting. The readings for the course will focus on issues related to Community Service Learning and the history and culture of Rwanda. The course will offer an in-depth look at a number of contemporary social issues that are common in the African Great Lakes region. Guest lecturers (Dr. Nanda Dimitrov, Prof. Alain Goldschlager, Prof. Amanda Grzyb, Prof. Jeff Tennant, Stephanie Hayne, Lise Laporte, and former participants, among others) will be invited to speak to the class. Five weeks of active and interactive community service in Rwanda will be required for the completion of the course. Our main community partner in Rwanda is The College of Medicine and Health Sciences (former KHI), located in the capital city of Kigali. We will mainly work with three community partners: Centre Marembo, Les Enfants de Dieu, and Caritas.
As we go so far to serve and learn in these community centres where we have developed extremely solid relationships and excellent work habits for the last six years, we also commit to the integrity and integrality of our team as ambassadors of Western University and Canada.
A Season in Kigali - this video is a reflection of the experiential learning trip taken by Western students in May 2014. SASAH students Nicholas Pincombe and Rachel Goldstein were amongst the group of students that traveled with Prof. Henri Boyi and lived in Rwanda for five weeks. During their stay, the students were immersed in a number of community projects and initiatives while also learning about the culture and history of the country.
Theatre Studies 3900G: Destination Theatre
Students will have the opportunity to develop their drama education more deeply through the experience of theatre abroad, in London, England. Attendance at live performances will be complemented with daily lectures, workshops and seminars hosted by artists and scholars from the University of London, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. In addition, students will experience tours of theatres, archives, and do a theatre-themed walking tour of central London.