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New and Special Topics Courses

This page contains descriptions for new and special topics offered in the Department of Historical and Cultural Studies. Special topics courses are developed to complement existing courses, and cover emerging issues or specialized content not represented in our main curriculum. Please see the UTSC Timetable for the course days and times.

Fall 2020

NEW: GASD54H3/HISD54H3 Aqueous History: Water-Stories for a Future
This upper-level seminar will explore how water has shaped human experience. It will explore water landscapes, the representation of water in legal and political thought, slave narratives, and water management in urban development from the 16th century. Using case studies from South Asia and North America we will understand how affective, political and social relations to water bodies are made and remade over time.

Prerequisite: Any 8.0 credits, including: [0.5 credit at the A- or B-level in GAS or HIS courses] and [0.5 credit at the C-level in GAS or HIS courses]

NEW: HISB63H3 Muhammad to the Mongols: Islamic History 600-1300
This course explores the history of early and medieval Islamic societies, from the rise of Islam in the seventh century up to the Mongol invasions (c. 1300). The course will trace the trajectory of the major Islamic dynasties (i.e.: Umayyads, Abbasids, Seljuks, Fatimids, and Ayyubids) and also explore the cultural and literary developments in these societies. Geographically, the course spans North Africa, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and Central Asia.






NEW: CLAC67H3/HISC67H3 Early Islam: Perspectives on the Construction of a Historical Tradition
This course examines the history and historiography of the formative period of Islam and the life and legacy of Muḥammad, Islam’s founder. Central themes explored include the Late Antique context of the Middle East, pre-Islamic Arabia and its religions, the Qur’ān and its textual history, the construction of biographical accounts of Muḥammad, debates about the historicity of reports from Muḥammad, and the evolving identity and historical conception of the early Muslim community.

Prerequisite: Any 4.0 credits, including 0.5 credit at the A- or B-level in HIS courses

NEW: WSTD09H3 Race, Gender, and Islamophobia
An in-depth examination of Islamophobic discourses, practices and institutionalized discriminatory policies, and their impact on Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim. Themes include the relationship between Islamophobia, gender orientalism and empire; Islamophobic violence; Islamophobia in the media; the Islamophobia industry; the mobilization of feminism and human rights in the mainstreaming of Islamophobia. Equal attention will be paid to resisting Islamophobia through art, advocacy, and education.

Prerequisite: WSTB11H3 and 1.0 credit at the C-level from courses listed in requirements 5 and 6 of the Major program in Women's and Gender Studies


Winter 2021

NEW: FSTC43H3 Social Geographies of Street Food
This course uses street food to comparatively assess the production of ‘the street’, the legitimation of bodies and substances on the street, and contests over the boundaries of, and appropriate use of public and private space. It also considers questions of labour and the culinary infrastructure of contemporary cities around the world. (Same as GGRC34H3)

Prerequisite: FSTA01H3 or GGRA02H3 or GGRA03H3
Exclusion: GGRC41H3 (if taken in the 2019 Winter and 2020 Winter sessions), GGRC43H3

NEW: HISB64H3 The Making of the Modern Middle East: Islamic History 1300-2000
This course explores the political and cultural history of early modern and modern Muslim societies including the Mongols, Timurids, Mamluks, and the Gunpowder empires (Ottomans, Safavids and Mughals). It concludes with the transformations in the Middle East in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: European colonialism, modernization, and the rise of the nation-states.

NEW: HISC06H3 Futures of the Past: Introduction to Digital History
In the oft- titled “Information age” how has historical practice changed? How will researchers analyze the current moment, which produces ever more, and ever-more fragile information? This third-year seminar explores the foundations of digital history by understanding the major shifts in historiography and historical research that have occurred through computing. Students taking this class will be prepared to take HISD18 and further extend their knowledge of digital methodologies.

Prerequisite: Any 4.0 credits, including 0.5 credit at the A- or B-level in HIS courses

NEW: HISD65H3 The Good in Islam: Ethics in Islamic Thought
What is good and evil? Are they known by human reason or revelation? How is happiness achieved? How is the human self-cultivated? This course will explore the diverse approaches that Muslim thinkers took to answering these perennial questions. Beginning with early Islam (the Qur’an and Prophet Muhammad), we will examine ethical thought in various intellectual traditions (e.g.: Islamic law, philosophy, mysticism, literature). Finally, we will analyze contemporary ethical dilemmas (e.g.; Muslim political, sexual, and environmental ethics).

Any 8.0 credits, including: [0.5 credit at the A- or B-level in HIS courses] and [0.5 credit at the C-level in HIS courses]

NEW: WSTC26H3 Critical Race and Black Feminist Theories
This course focuses on the theoretical approaches of critical race theory and black feminist thought this course examines how race and racism are represented and enacted across dominant cultural modes of expression and the ideas, actions, and resistances produced by Black women. The course will analyze intersections of gender subordination, homophobia, systems and institutions of colonialism, slavery and capitalism historically and in the contemporary period.

Prerequisite: WSTA03H3 and WSTB11H3 and an additional 1.0 credit in WST courses
Exclusion: WGS340H5