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.
For more information about this course, please see this syllabus, from which the course will be adapted.
Prerequisite: One full credit in Classics or History
NEW: GASB65H3/HISB65H3 West Asia and the Modern World
For those who reside east of it, the Middle East is generally known as West Asia. By reframing the Middle East as West Asia, this course will explore the region’s modern social, cultural, and intellectual history as an outcome of vibrant exchange with non-European world regions like Asia. It will foreground how travel and the movement fundamentally shape modern ideas. Core themes of the course such as colonialism and decolonization, Arab nationalism, religion and identity, and feminist thought will be explored using primary sources (in translation). Knowledge of Arabic is not required.
GASD01H3/HISD09H3 Senior Seminar: Topics in Global Asian Migrations - Topic: TBD
This course offers an in-depth and historicized study of important cultural issues in historical and contemporary Asian, diasporic and borderland societies, including migration, mobility, and circulation. It is conducted in seminar format with emphasis on discussion, critical reading and writing, digital skills, and primary research.
Prerequisite: Any 8.0 credits, including [0.5 at the A- or B-level in AFS, CLA, FST, GAS, HIS or WST courses] and [0.5 credit at the C-level in AFS, CLA, FST, GAS, HIS or WST courses]
NEW: GASD55H3/HISD55H3 Transnational Asian Thought
This course explores the transnational connections and contexts that shaped ideas in modern Asia such as secularism, modernity, and pan Asianism. Through the intensive study of secondary sources and primary sources in translation, the course will introduce Asian thought during the long nineteenth-century in relation to the social, political, cultural, and technological changes. Using the methods of studying transnational history the course will explore inter-Asian connections in the world of ideas and their relation to the new connectivity afforded by steamships and the printing press. We will also explore how this method can help understand the history of modern Asia as a region of intellectual ferment rather than a passive recipient of European modernity.
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: HISD03H3 Selected Topics in Historical Research - Topic: Fascism and the Far Right
This course examines the political, cultural and social history of fascism, from twentieth-century cases - Mussolini’s Italy, Hitler’s Germany, Franco’s Spain - to contemporary expressions of far-right populism (Trump, Bolsonaro and others). We will explore topics including intellectual origins, the mobilization of culture, the totalitarian state, and political violence. We will consider original texts, propaganda and film alongside recent scholarship.
Prerequisite: 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]
HISD14H3 Selected Topics in Modern European History - Topic: Biopolitics in Modern Europe
This seminar will investigate the concept of biopolitics and it will inquire into its historical development in Europe from the eighteenth century to the twenty-first century. This will involve studying the work of the French philosopher Michael Foucault, the person who developed the concept and first attempted to trace its historical development. In addition to inquiring about the relationship between biopolitics and related concepts we will read a wide range of scholarly works that look at the development of ideas of race, the politics of reproduction, the development of eugenic policies to transform populations, and several aspects of the Nazi’s biopolitical projects. We will conclude by looking at the state of biopolitics in the twenty-first century following the revolution in genetics and continuing globalization.
Prerequisite: 7.5 credits in HIS courses, including [(HISB90H3) or (HISB91H3) or (HISB92H3) or HISB93H3]
NEW: WSTB09H3 Gender, Race, and Colonialism
This course is an introduction to how the history of colonialism and the power relations of the colonial world have shaped the historical and social constructions of race and gender. The course considers political, legal, economic, and cultural realms through which colonialism produced new gendered and racial social relationships across different societies and communities. The ways in which colonial power was challenged and resisted will also be explored.
Prerequisite: 1.0 credit at the A-level in any Humanities or Social Science courses
NEW: CLAC94H3/HISC94H3 The Bible and the Qur’an
The Qur'an retells many narratives of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. This course compares the Qur'anic renditions with those of the earlier scriptures, focusing on the unique features of the Qur'anic versions. It will also introduce the students to the history of ancient and late antique textual production, transmission of texts and religious contact. The course will also delve into the historical context in which these texts were produced and commented upon in later generations.
Prerequisite: Any 4.0 credits, including [[1.0 credit in Classical Studies or History] or [WSTC13H3]]
NEW: GASC73H3/HISC73H3 Making the Global South
The course will explore the history and career of a term: The Global South. The global south is not a specific place but expressive of a geopolitical relation. It is often used to describe areas or places that were remade by geopolitical inequality. How and when did this idea emerge? How did it circulate? How are the understandings of the global south kept in play? Our exploration of this term will open up a world of solidarity and circulation of ideas shaped by grass-roots social movements in different parts of the world
Prerequisite: Any 4.0 credits, including 0.5 credit at the A- or B-level in GAS or HIS courses
GASD02H3: Senior Seminar: Topics in Global Asian Societies - Topic: TBD
This course offers a capstone experience of issues which confront Asian and diasporic societies. Themes include gender, environment, human rights, equity, religion, politics, law, migration, labour, nationalism, post-colonialism, and new social movements. It is conducted in seminar format with emphasis on discussion, critical reading, and writing of research papers.
Prerequisite: Any 8.0 credits, including: [0.5 credit at the A- or B-level in GAS courses] and [0.5 credit at the C-level in GAS courses]
NEW: HISC66H3/WSTC66H3 Histories of Gender and Sexuality in Muslim Societies: Between Law, Ethics and Culture
This course tracks the evolving histories of gender and sexuality in diverse Muslim societies. We will examine how gendered norms and sexual mores were negotiated through law, ethics, and custom. We will compare and contrast these themes in diverse societies, from the Prophet Muhammad’s community in 7th century Arabia to North American and West African Muslim communities in the 21st century.
Prerequisite: [Any 4.0 credits, including 0.5 credit at the A- or B-level in HIS courses] or [1.5 credits in WST courses, including 0.5 credit at the B- or C-level]
WSTC30H3: Special Topics in Women's and Gender Studies - Topic: Feminism through Game Design
An examination of a current topic relevant to women and gender studies. Students will have the opportunity to explore recent scholarship in a specific content area which will vary from year to year. Participation in a related project/practicum in the community may be incorporated into the course.
Prerequisite: WSTA01H3 and [WSTA03H3 or (WSTA02H3)]