Canadian Studies Courses for 2023-2024
Canadian Studies may be completed as a Minor or Major Please see the 2023-2024 Undergraduate e-Calendar for information about program requirements.
For any general questions, please contact David Roseman at david.roseman [at] mcgill.ca
PLEASE NOTE the opportunity for community-engaged learning internships in well-known Montreal organizations as part of the courses CANS 300/QCST300 and CANS413/QCST440. Both are open to all McGill students.
Please also note that the course syllabi posted here are for reference purpose only. Official course syllabi will not be posted until start of classes.
CANS 200 Understanding Canada(CRN 1557) Instructor: Dr. Jodey Nurse
What is Canada? Canadians have not always agreed on what Canada is: what its national symbols should be, where its borders are, what stories its history should include, what central values it promotes. Indeed, what Canada represents is not a stable idea, but a debated concept wielded by various actors in the past and the present to legitimize divergent agendas or beliefs. In this course, we will explore these different ideas about Canada by examining some of the country’s defining events and institutions and interrogating many important topics such as colonialism, liberalism, nationalism, identity, multiculturalism, race, the welfare state, human rights, gender equity, public health, international affairs, climate change, and reconciliation. Throughout this investigation, we question what stories we tell about Canada and why, while also exploring the voices and experiences that have commonly been silenced. The assignments for this course are specifically created to allow for a strong overview of these important subjects but also to encourage you to focus on more specific topics for which you have a particular interest. Throughout the course, you will develop important interchangeable skills such as critical thinking and persuasive writing in an inclusive and collaborative environment and gain a greater understanding of Canada.
CANS 300 Topics in Canadian Studies 1 (CRN 1565) Cross-listed with QCST 300 Instructor: Dr. Jodey Nurse Topic: Canada and Food: Connecting Food, Society, and the State
In this course, we will focus on Canada broadly, and Quebec in particular, as we investigate how our food choices are informed by cultural, religious, social, environmental, health, economic, and political contexts. When thinking about our contemporary food cultures and systems in Canada, we need to understand the mediating forces at play, from culinary traditions and material conditions to cultural politics and state policies. Today, discussions of food security, sustainability, and sovereignty are increasingly important, and recent crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, rising inflation, and Russia’s war in Ukraine, have affected the production and distribution of foodstuff and stimulated important conversations about our food supply chains and the related systems that influence the stability of our food sources. This course offers you an interdisciplinary approach to better understand how Canadians’ food choices (past and present) have shaped the nation. Important themes will include the connection between food and colonialism, immigration, national and regional identities, social identities, economic conditions, concerns about safety and security, and ideas about health and the environment.
Note about the ExCELR Placement opportunities offered in this course: For the first time this year, this course will offer an opportunity for a select number of students to participate in an Experiential Community-Engaged Learning and Research (ExCELR) placements with a community organization in Montreal that is working to address food related issues. This opportunity will require participating students to commit to a total of 40 hours over the course of the term. These placements offer an invaluable opportunity to gain practical experience and sector knowledge alongside the implementation and development of course-based knowledge and ideas.
CANS 306 Topics in Indigenous Pub Affrs (CRN 1566) Instructor Christopher Reid
CANS 308 Sex and Gender in Canada (CRN 1592) Instructor Jodey Nurse
This course provides an overview of selected topics that consider sex and gender in Canada’s past to better understand these topics in Canada today. While the focus is on important historical events and social movements, the everyday lives and diverse histories of people’s experiences will be considered. Gender and sexuality (and the connection between the two) will be the main categories of analysis, but other important categories include race, class, ethnicity, and age. Throughout, we will consider how gender and sexuality are important lenses through which to view operations of power in the past and present.
CANS 315 Indigenous Art and Culture(CRN 1567) arth_315_final_syllabus.pdf
CANS 301 Topics in Canadian Studies 2 (CRN 1441) Instructor: Instructor: Dr. Jodey Nurse Topic: Leadership in Canada Who are Canada’s leaders? What is the source and legitimacy of their power? What is the relationship between those who lead and those who follow (or resist following)? In this course you will investigate the notoriously slippery subject of leadership and analyze the topic as it relates to both individuals and groups in Canada’s past and present. Central elements of investigation will include the social, cultural, political, and economic sources of power that have legitimized different methods of leadership and types of leaders; the relational, structural, and systemic forms of power that exist in these relations; and the existence of arenas for contestation and collaboration. Case studies of leadership during times of crisis, including during the COVID-19 pandemic, will also be used to highlight how leadership has been practiced and the resulting outcomes.
CANS 307 Canada in the World (CRN 1443) Instructor: Prof. Andrew Potter Topic: Canada in Afghanistan The takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban in the fall of 2021, shortly after the American exit from the country, shocked the world and raised serious questions about what the West had to show for the twenty year long war it fought there. While most of the attention has focused on the American leadership and NATO’s performance, Canada's own effort in Afghanistan demands scrutiny. Canada’s mission in Afghanistan between 2001 and 2014 began as part of our response to 9/11 and the “global war on terror,” and became the site of the longest combat mission in our history and our most ambitious foreign adventure since the Second World War. This course will examine the various facets of this mission, including the combat deployment, nation-building, and humanitarian aspects of the mission itself; the place of the deployment in our relationship with our allies; the domestic politics of the mission (with special focus on the so-called “detainees scandal”); and finally, what our Afghan adventure says about our place in the world and what lessons we can apply from this to the current war in Ukraine.
CANS 312 Topics in Cdn Public Affairs 2 (CRN 6965) Instructor: Dr. Jodey Nurse Topic: Values and Public Affairs What are Canada’s core values? How are these values reflected in our society? In what ways are these values taught and communicated? These are just some of the questions you will encounter in CANS 312. In this course, you will investigate a variety of Canadian public affairs topics to examine what they reveal about Canadian values. This will include analyses of Canadian political institutions, policies, media, corporations, non-profits, community groups, and citizens. You will explore what Canadians purport to value in their society, how those values are reflected in public and private institutions and organizations (or not), and how values are taught and communicated more generally. You will also examine how sets of values or attitudes in Canada have changed over time and the resulting effect. These topics will be discussed in lectures and group discussions and addressed through persuasive writing and research assignments that allow you to develop your knowledge, critical thinking, and writing and communication skills.
CANS 406 Canadian Studies Seminar 6(CRN 1445) poli_427_mcgill_social_policy_course_outline_fall_2021.pdf
**Note: CANS 408, 480, 481, 492D1, 492D2, 499 - students must find their own supervisor for these courses. For any questions, please contact David Roseman at david.roseman [at] mcgill.ca. Please note that all students considering an internship (CANS 499) need to follow procedures outlined here: https://www.mcgill.ca/arts-internships/students/credit.