2023S WRDS 150A Topics

WRDS 150A is offered in a wide variety of topics from departments and instructors across UBC.

Course topics and descriptions are subject to change depending on the instructor and their availability. Below is the schedule for the upcoming 2023 Spring and Summer sessions.

2023S Terms 1 & 2

Below are course descriptions for each topic, as well as instructor and scheduling information.

Instructor: Kimberly Richards

Sections: 001

Available Times:  M/W  9:00AM-12:00 PM

From public apologies issued by politicians for historical violences to theatrical strategies activists deploy to draw attention to injustice, performance is an important mode and medium of political communication. In this course, we will study some of the ways that political actors use performative strategies on stage and in everyday life with real consequences in the world. We will examine how diverse actors use scripts, choreographies, rehearsal practices, acting strategies, stage design, and recording technologies to persuade audiences of their righteousness, legitimacy and authority, and gain social, cultural, political and/or economic power in the process of doing so. We will observe how scholars working in social movement studies, critical Indigenous studies, discourse studies, celebrity studies, gender and women’s studies, and critical media studies describe, analyze, interpret and critique how power is gained, invoked and maintained through performance analysis. Doing so will help us to become more attentive and engaged citizens.

Instructor: Kirby Mania

Sections: 002

Available Times:  T/Th 12:00-3:00 PM

This course focuses on scholarly discourse published on the topic of environmental justice (EJ). It will consider discursive practices ranging from critical race theory, ecofeminism, social movement theory, geography, sociology, political ecology, environmental studies, resource management, and economics. Emerging as a movement in the early 1980s in the United States, EJ—now considered a global movement and a matter of global concern—recognizes the unfair distribution of environmental hazards on marginalized populations. Studies have shown that environmental harms disproportionately affect vulnerable social groups (which includes, but is not limited to, people of colour, Indigenous communities, immigrants, women, minority groups, low-income communities, and climate refugees). EJ scholars research and monitor cases of socially produced environmental injustice and critically evaluate how multi-scalar policy decisions (such as neoliberal reform) continue to affect at-risk communities. EJ scholarship examines the social mobilization potential of communities against the uneven distribution of environmental hazards (or the lack of the fair distribution of environmental resources), and also considers how grassroots activists—in their campaign for greater recognition and participation in decision-making processes—hold governments and corporations accountable in their calls for justice. We will be tracing a number of scholarly conversations around the globalization of the Environmental Justice Movement (EJM)—looking at literature from the US, Canada, and other parts of the world—whilst discussing terms like environmental racism, climate justice, intersectionality, ecological debt, degrowth, food sovereignty, hydric justice, and environmentalism of the poor.

The course’s discursive approach invites students to engage with scholarly conversations and published research across a range of disciplinary perspectives. The course will entail writing about these research perspectives as well as producing research of your own.

Instructor: Jennifer Gagnon

Sections: 003 and 004

Available Times:  T/Th 3:00-6:00PM - online, T/Th 7:00-10:00PM - online

This section is scheduled to be taught online using synchronous and asynchronous components.  Online attendance is mandatory in this course.

Video games are neither “just for kids,” nor simple escapist entertainment. Indeed, video games are fast becoming one of the most profitable and innovative forms of creative and artistic expression today. Deeper study reveals that video games as a genre are heavily influenced by social and political understandings of ability, gender, race, sexuality, and identity. Issues related to diversity and inclusion such as who gets to play, whose stories are told, and who is represented, have taken centre stage in recent explorations of the future of gaming at the intersections of fun, profit, and politics. While video games let the player be in control, not everyone’s stories are represented. The theme of this course will explore how aspects of identity such as gender, race, ability, and sexuality, influence the ways that we experience and respond to the genre of video games as a media making and political practice.

Instructor: Jennifer Cowe

Sections: 005

Available Times:  T/Th 12:00-3:00PM

This course will aim to explore how different academic disciplines engage with the concept of nostalgia. Nostalgia is a word, or more usually a feeling, that most people have used or felt; however, very few understand its constant presence in everyday life. We will study nostalgia from its earliest appearance in academia as a form of mental illness in the seventeenth century and follow its growing influence over, and manipulation of, contemporary ideas of national identity, consumerism, class, social media and the environment. We will attempt to understand how the politics of memory, belonging and collective remembrance reflect and inform current political discourse.

Instructor: William Green

Sections: 006

Available Times:  T/Th 7:00-10:00PM - online

This section is scheduled to be taught online using synchronous and asynchronous components.  Online attendance is mandatory in this course.

WRDS 150 prepares you to understand, and participate in, the discourse practices employed by the university community in disseminating the results of research activities. Research writing exhibits a number of characteristics which are shared across disciplinary boundaries, constituting a distinct genre. This course will provide you with experience in recognizing the genre conventions and expectations of research writing through reading published professional scholarship in a range of fields, and in practicing deploying the rhetorical features of research writing through creating communications which detail the results of your own research project. This section of WRDS 150 focuses on the calculation of time. We will read a range of papers concerning the calculation of time from a variety of fields. Over the course of the term, you will complete a series of assignments, each building upon the next, to complete a research project dealing with the language and rhetoric of papers in a discipline of your choosing.

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