TOPICS WRDS 150A – Term 2

2022W Course Schedules & Course Descriptions

WRDS 150A is offered in a wide variety of topics for students in the Faculty of Arts
Course topics and descriptions are subject to change depending on the instructor and their availability. Below is the schedule for the upcoming 2022W Term 2 winter session.

Sections are scheduled in the following patterns.
Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays – MWF
Mondays, Wednesdays – MW
Tuesdays, Thursdays, – TR
Tuesdays – T
Wednesdays – W

 

MWF & W
Scheduling Patterns and  Course Descriptions

Instructor:  Dilia Hasanova

Sections:   342, 351

WRDS 150 introduces undergraduate students to academic research and writing practices. By reading a range of texts across disciplines and conducting a variety of writing exercises, students learn how to recognize and interpret methods of academic scholarship, and how to incorporate these methods into their own writing.

In this section of WRDS 150, we will explore the role of language in the construction of social identities. The course will focus not only on social factors that contribute to construction of multiple identities but also on how aspects of everyday language relate to social categorizations, such as class, age, gender, and ethnicity. The course also aims to broaden your understanding of language and society from sociolinguistic and sociocultural perspectives. The assignments (in-class and homework) will provide you with the opportunity to study current theories and debates in the field and to reflect on your own experience as a language user in a multicultural society.

This course will be a combination of interactive lectures, case studies, and in-class activities. The lectures will present information on basic linguistic concepts and how culture affects language. The in-class activities will allow you to put the information and skills you learn into practice. The activities require active engagement by students. You will be expected to contribute ideas and participate in active learning.

Instructor: Jennifer Cowe

Sections: 332, 353, 362

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, lifestyle choices and LGBTQ histories. Through the study of academic journal articles from a variety of fields (psychology, history, marketing, politics, media) we will examine the research and writing techniques used by different disciplines to understand such an esoteric concept.

Instructor:  Adrian Lou

Sections: 312, 322

Traditionally, metaphor has been understood as a stylistic device that poetically decorates language. Metaphorical expressions (e.g. my love is a rose) are thus thought to be statements that do not reside in the realm of everyday speech. However, contemporary research in cognitive linguistics has shown that many conventional expressions are inescapably metaphorical. Consider, for instance, how we rely on metaphors to talk about abstract concepts, such as love (e.g. you’re breaking my heart), illness (e.g. the patients are battling cancer), and time (e.g. we’re running out of time). In this course, we will read academic articles that evaluate the use of metaphors in biology, healthcare, psychology, Indigenous studies and politics in order to have a better understanding of how metaphors shape the way we think about the world around us. Ultimately, students in WRDS 150 will learn how to read academic papers in a critical way, identify the rhetorical strategies used in academic writing, and write an original research paper that draws upon ideas and concepts from the course.

Instructor: Krista Sigurdson

Sections: 442

In this WRDS 150A course we deconstruct our scientific and lived understandings of gender/sex and race as categories of difference. Through reading historical, philosophical, sociological and scientific research, we examine two facets of race and gender/sex as well as their interplay. First, we look at sex/gender and race as ways human bodies and behaviors have been organized, thereby informing us of historical origins of racism and sexism. Second, we look at these categories as used today to explain health or other inequities or to demarcate identity, belonging or exclusion. We will draw on Science and Technology Studies to guide our work and will take up examples in Indigenous science, medicine/health sciences, sport, psychology, economics and other areas of everyday life to unpack our very understandings of gender/sex and race. Throughout we will consider how scholars in a variety of disciplines study and write about gender/sex and race. What questions do they ask and what methods do they use? We will learn about a variety of conventions around knowledge making and rhetorical/discursive moves, including what conventions it makes sense for you to take with you into your scholarly work. No prior knowledge of gender/sex, race and science is expected other than a curiosity and willingness to learn and engage.

Instructor:  Rohan Karpe

Sections: 371

In this WRDS 150 section we explore behaviours, norms, and behavioural change.

How do various disciplinary researchers study behaviours, norms, and behavioural change. What research writing practices do they engage in to communicate their findings about behaviours, norms, and behavioural change? Using peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles, writing exercises, discussions, and critical feedback on writing assignments, you will be able to construct your own text-based research proposal and research paper on a behaviour, norm that you’re keen to study. Your paper will assist keen readers to change their understanding of your chosen topic.

Instructor: Diane Burgess

Sections: 321, 343, 352

From hashtag activism to meme communities to micro-celebrity influencers, social media networks have transformed our daily interactions, impacting how we gather and disseminate information. By definition, social media are both information conduits and networking technologies. Social media platforms (e.g.: Twitter, Instagram, WeChat, TikTok) facilitate content sharing — fostering connections, community formation, and virtual patterns of influence. At the same time, social media have altered the public sphere, challenging journalistic norms and impacting potential forms of political engagement. Drawing examples from media studies, marketing, journalism, and political science, this section of WRDS 150 explores how scholars approach the qualities of social media networks, their uses and their users.

Instructor: Mary Ann Saunders

Section: 333, 341

We will focus on transgender studies, a multidisciplinary research field which investigates the increasing visibility and importance of transgender people in contemporary culture. A fundamental premise of trans studies is that ethical research in this area must be attentive to and prioritize the voices and knowledge which trans people have about themselves and their experience. We will, therefore, cultivate such an attentiveness in our course. By studying trans research representing several academic disciplines you will develop a sense of how different disciplines approach this research area, and then apply this knowledge to research and writing projects of your own. What do trans people say about themselves and their lives? How can you, as apprentice researchers, ethically translate that lived experience into research scholarship of your own?

MW, TR, T
Scheduling Patterns and  Course Descriptions

Instructor: Jaclyn Rea

Sections: 433, 441 - These sections are scheduled to be taught online using synchronous and asynchronous components.  Online Attendance is required for this course.

Typically, sections of WRDS 150A are designed around a research topic — a concept or issue that has attracted both public interest and scholarly attention. In this section of WRDS 150A, we will focus on the commonplace but nonetheless complex phenomenon of humour from several disciplinary perspectives, including but not limited to psychology, social media studies, and cultural studies.

We will consider how scholars in these disciplines study and talk about humour. For example, what do these scholars say about humour’s functions and effects? More specifically, what might psychologists say about humour’s role in attraction and mate selection? What might cultural studies researchers say about humour’s role in the maintenance of normative social identities? What might social media studies scholars say about how humour can act as a form of resistance, a means of cultural persuasion, or a means of social participation and belonging? More importantly, how do scholars in these disciplines produce knowledge about humour – what methods do they use? And, most importantly, how is this knowledge-making activity represented in their writing?

Instructor: Stephen Dadugblor

Sections: 310, 320

The proliferation of digital technologies has enabled the generation, storage, and processing of data on unprecedented scales, with implications for our social and political lives. In this course, we will focus on social networking sites as an example of such technologies to examine how they shape citizens’ participation in politics and democratic processes. We will discuss key concerns regarding the practice of politics and democracy today: digital activism, fake news, misinformation/disinformation, and demagoguery, among others. We will read research by scholars across multiple disciplines who study the connection between social networking sites and political participation across cultures. As we discuss these scholarly articles, we will gain familiarity with knowledge-making in the disciplines, learn scholarly conventions of academic discourse communities, and participate effectively as apprentice members.

Instructor:  Kirby Manià

Sections:   411, 421, 431

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, media studies, geography, sociology, political ecology, 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: Alexis McGee

Sections: 412, 422 -- These sections are scheduled to be taught online using synchronous and asynchronous components.  Online Attendance is required for this course.

This course investigates the importance of voice as it is composed through a variety of forms. What does it mean to read voice within texts? How do we listen to voices? How can we craft voice when we write? In addition to seeking answers to these questions, this course builds working definitions for the features defining voice, loosely, by engaging with scholarly conversations across discourses (sociolinguistics, writing studies, postcolonialism, etc.). By the end of this course, students should be able to identify, develop, and understand of how voice can be used rhetorically.

Instructor: Adrian Lou

Sections: 413 - This section is scheduled to be taught online using synchronous and asynchronous components.  Online Attendance is required for this course.

Traditionally, metaphor has been understood as a stylistic device that poetically decorates language. Metaphorical expressions (e.g. my love is a rose) are thus thought to be statements that do not reside in the realm of everyday speech. However, contemporary research in cognitive linguistics has shown that many conventional expressions are inescapably metaphorical. Consider, for instance, how we rely on metaphors to talk about abstract concepts, such as love (e.g. you’re breaking my heart), illness (e.g. the patients are battling cancer), and time (e.g. we’re running out of time). In this course, we will read academic articles that evaluate the use of metaphors in biology, healthcare, psychology, Indigenous studies and politics in order to have a better understanding of how metaphors shape the way we think about the world around us. Ultimately, students in WRDS 150 will learn how to read academic papers in a critical way, identify the rhetorical strategies used in academic writing, and write an original research paper that draws upon ideas and concepts from the course.

Instructor: Meredith Beales

Sections: 360, 380 - MW / 391 - T

In The Lion King, on the BBC, on stages and classrooms around the world—the work of William Shakespeare is often encountered as a classroom text, theatre, or film.  But Shakespeare is now also used as inspiration for academic research ranging from history and film studies to archeology, mathematics, and cognitive science.  In this class, we will examine how this one sixteenth-century English playwright has galvanized research in a variety of disciplines beyond the traditional starting point of English literature.  We will ask why this particular writer has such a large impact on academic study, and whether, in research on, for example, supernovae or twenty-first century Afghan politics, Shakespeare has much to do with the research at all.  Does simply adding the name Shakespeare make it more likely to be taken seriously?  Does it matter that the motivation for an archeological dig comes from trying to prove Shakespeare wrong?  What, if anything, does Shakespeare have to do with the research done in his name?

No prior knowledge of Shakespeare is expected, nor will we be reading his literature (the plays or poems themselves) in WRDS 150.

On this page