Courses

Current Courses (2020/21)

Please refer to the main York University website regarding most updated times, dates, locations etc. for the individual courses

NOTE: To enrol in courses, you must register as an "active student". Registration and Course Enrolment is done via the "Registration and Enrolment Module".

The courses listed below will be offered in 2020-2021. The Humanities Program is distinctive in its explicit focus on interdisciplinary scholarship in practice and in theory. It builds on the tradition in Humanities at York of reading a broad diversity of texts, both historical and contemporary, which range from works of literature, religion, philosophy, science, and politics to oral traditions, visual arts, and music.

Fall Term 2020

GS/HUMA 6149 3.0: Theorizing Cultural Translation

Professor: Susan Ingram

Course Description:

In this course we examine approaches to translation and explore how the concept of cultural translation differs from strictly linguistic translation, a position that has been taken up productively in a range of theory from deconstructive to postcolonial.

GS/HUMA 6152 3.0: Black Song: Introduction to African American Poetry

Professor: Leslie Sanders

Course Description:

A survey of African American poetry with an emphasis on its concern with the representation of black vernacular, colloquial forms and music. Focus on Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, Amiri Baraka, and Sonia Sanchez. (Crosslisted to EN 6616 3.0)

GS/HUMA 6156 3.0: Orientalism vs. Occidentalism: Envisioning the Other in Japan and the West

Professor: Ted Goossen

Course Description:

Just as Japanese stereotypes have predominated in the West, so have Japanese views of the West been shaped by often media-driven expressions of cultural and racial difference. By examining artistic, literary, and cinematic texts, as well as politically and commercially generated images, this course analyses how the two sides have envisioned the Other, and the ways those two visions interact.

GS/HUMA 6166 3.0: Human Rights in World Graphic Narratives

Professor: Alison Halsall

Course Description:

This course investigates how world graphic narratives probe the function and limits of word and image in the representation of human rights violations. The emerging field of world literature provides the critical/theoretical context for our investigations.

The transcultural reach of graphic narratives as a popular form of witnessing to
histories of trauma raises questions about the philosophical and ethical implications
of representation, the productive tension between the desire to “know” something
about the subject being represented and the limitations of that knowing. Graphic
images are frequently understood as objective perceptions rather than as
representations, the extraordinary vividness of graphic narrative encouraging readers
to become absorbed by its sensory field. Given that artists and human rights advocates  make use of the alleged simplicity and accessibility of the graphic narrative form to make human rights discourse and politics available to diverse audiences, this course  will explore the subjectivities for and subjects of human rights law, the visual narratives that are used to tell the tales that can inspire engagement and action, and the power relations that are generated in the process. This course encourages students to think about human rights literature not as a set of transparent texts, but as the outcome of reading practices that focus on the interplay of literary and visual representation(s) and juridical-political rights work, reaching across national boundaries.

GS/HUMA 6167 3.0: Imagining Slavery and Freedom

Professor: Christina Sharpe

Course Description:

This course engages a critical examination of Transatlantic slavery and its afterlife, and the ways in which the imagination functions in the articulation of a desired, but always elusive, Black freedom.

GS/HUMA 6336 3.0: Modernity and the Relationship between the Religious and the Secular: Reading Hegel and Kierkegaard

Professor:

Course Description:

The aim of this course is to provide students with an in-depth hermeneutical experience in reading central texts of Hegel and Kierkegaard, two of the most important thinkers in the European tradition of religion and philosophy. (Crosslisted to: GS/SPTH 6188 3.00)

GS/HUMA 6500 3.0: Advanced Practices and Methodologies in Humanities Research

Professor: Markus Reisenleitner

Course Description:

The course provides PhD students with advanced tools for interdisciplinary Humanities scholarship. As the capstone course in their degree, it ensures that students are well versed in conducting, presenting and publishing research, with an emphasis on qualitative methods. Students practice, and reflect on, the framing of research topics and fields as well as the design and conducting of courses. They explore what constitutes a field of inquiry in interdisciplinary Humanities research, investigate affordances and limitations of disciplinary traditions and boundaries, and learn to identify approaches to scholarship that are relevant for their selected areas. The course thus supports the preparation of comprehensive exam lists and dissertation proposals while also providing students with an advanced theoretical and methodological apparatus for Humanities research.

HUMA 6500 Course Description


(Note: The day/time/locations may change)

Winter Term 2021

GS/HUMA 6129 3.0: Black Women's Writing in the African Diaspora

Professor: Andrea Medovarski

Course Description:

This course examines a selection of black women's writing from four geographic locations in the African Diaspora: the Caribbean, United States, Canada and Britain. The texts, written after the 1970s, cover a wide generic range including novels, poetry, theoretical and autobiographical texts.

GS/HUMA 6135 3.0: The Making of Asian Studies: Critical Perspectives

Professor: Laam Hae

Course Description:

Offers a historical examination of the multiple, overlapping processes through which Asian identities and regions were constituted. It will also examine new directions in Asian studies in an era of intensified global flows, transnationalism, and the presence of Asian diaspora in Canada and elsewhere. (Crosslisted to: GS/GEOG 5700 3.00, GS/SOCI 6745 3.00, GS/ANTH 5500 3.00, GS/CMCT 6136 3.00, GS/HIST 5480 3.00)

GS/HUMA 6140 3.0: Western Thought of Empire

Professor:

Course Description:

Examines how empire has figured in the works of dominant seventeenth eighteenth and nineteenth century ‘Western’ social and political thinkers. Issues about race, civilization, progress and modernity, and imperialism, colonialism, etc., are critically assessed discursively, ideological, socio-politically. (Crosslisted to: GS/SPTH 6196 3.00)

GS/HUMA 6157 3.0: Comparative and World Literature Seminar: History and Practice

Professor:

Course Description:

Introduces students to the conditions of emergence and development of the discipline of Comparative Literature from its beginnings in nineteenth-century Europe to its most recent global iteration of World Literature. Students will experience how expanded understandings of cultural translation and textuality have radically altered and expanded the Eurocentric character of the discipline. Questions for investigation includes: How have the aesthetics and politics of Comparative Literature changed over the past two hundred years? What factors have influenced those changes? How is World Literature related to Comparative Literature? How do both relate to colonial, post-colonial, diasporic, cultural and translation studies and digital humanities?(Crosslisted to: GS/EN 6157 3.00, GS/TRAS 6157 3.00)

GS/HUMA 6160 3.0:Knowledge's Other: Epistemologies of Ignorance

Professor:

Course Description:

This course explores the different historical and contemporary varieties, senses, and figures of ignorance, and its overlap with other concepts. It will focus on the main ways in which ignorance has been analyzed, thematized, valorized, and employed heuristically, and introduce students to the emerging scholarly field of agnotology.
(Crosslisted to: GS/SPTH 6189 3.00)

GS/HUMA 6164 3.0:Visual & Verbal Portraiture in Nonlinear Life Writing

Professor: L. Wiseman

Course Description:

This seminar examines forms, functions, influence and effects of visual and verbal self-portraiture in contemporary life writing such as autobiographical narrative, diary, travelogue and poetry. It analyzes portraiture as ways of knowing (epistemology) and ways of showing (methodologies). It studies constructions of a multiplicity of selves, fragmented selves, and concepts of bios, performativity, alterity, and fluidity in non-chronological life writing. The course considers questions of the roles and reliability of visual and verbal images of self—whether photographic, iconic, illustrative or intertextual—and their relationships to texts in terms of  complement, supplement, [self]referentiality, [re]presentation, [re]liability, [de]stabilization and enrichment. Seminar participants investigate theoretical discourses in autobiographical writing,photography, painting, intertextuality and self-portraiture as the foundation for analyses of selected primary literary and visual works of nonlinear life writing.(Crosslisted to: GS/EDUC 5522 3.00)

GS/HUMA 6317 3.0:Publishing Humanities Scholarship in the Digital Era

Professor: Markus Reisenleitner

Course Description:

This course examines academic publishing of Humanities research from a historical as well as theoretical perspective by looking at academic knowledge economies, digital affordances of reviewing, commenting, and collective knowledge production, algorithmic knowledge retrieval, open access, and the possibilities of a knowledge commons. It also introduces students to the academic skills to situate, prepare, and submit their work for publication.

GS/HUMA 6319 3.0: Culture and Modernity/ The Subject in/and Culture

Professor: Steven Bailey

Course Description:

This course exams the theoretical and methodological importance of various concepts of subjectivity for humanistic inquiry. Starting with a short history of subjectivity through the modern period (including Descartes, Rousseau, Locke, and Hegel), the course then examines several critical theoretical paradigms in which subjectivity has been a deep and persistent object of intellectual reflection: neo-pragmatism (Mead, Dewey, Habermas), psychoanalysis (Freud, Fromm, Lacan), feminism (Kristeva, Irigaray, Butler), and post-colonialism (Fanon, Spivak, Spillars). Students will be encouraged to develop explorations of literature relevant to the issue of subjectivity as it pertains to their particular research interest


(Note: The day/time/locations may change)

Fall/Winter Term 2020-2021

GS/HUMA 5100 6.0 Core Practices and Methodologies in Humanities Research

Professor: Victor Shea

Course Description:

The course provides MA students with the core tools for interdisciplinary Humanities scholarship. It introduces basic techniques and methodologies of conducting, presenting and publishing research, with an emphasis on qualitative methods. Students practice, and reflect on, the process of planning, carrying out, and presenting research in ways that are adequate for specific contexts, topics, and problematics in the Humanities.

General Program Courses

  • Humanities 5000 3.0 & 6.0: Directed Readings for M.A. Students
    Permission of Program Director required.
  • Humanities 5100 6.0: Core Practices and Methodologies in Humanities Research
    The course provides MA students with the core tools for interdisciplinary Humanities scholarship.
    Mandatory course for MA students who are entering the program beginning Fall 2012.
  • Humanities 6000 3.0 & 6.0: Directed Readings for Ph.D. Students
    Permission of Program Director required.
  • Humanities 6500 3.0: Advanced Methodologies for Interdisciplinary Humanities
    PhD students will be required to enrol in this course as it is specifically targeted towards their Program Learning Objectives .
    Mandatory PhD course for students who are entering the program beginning Fall 2015.
  • Humanities 7000 0.0: PhD Dissertation Research
    No course credit.