Fall 2018

Course offerings for the Fall 2018 semester include selections in Art, Classics, History, Literature, Music, Philosophy, Religious Studies and Theology, Social Science and Writing.


ART


Refus global - 70 ans après

12 semaines, les lundis , 18:15 - 20:15

Il y a soixante-dix ans cette année, paraissait Refus global, un manifeste artistique radical publié en août 1948, par Paul-Émile Borduas et un groupe d’artistes, de poètes, de danseurs, de philosophes, tous regroupés autour du mouvement automatiste. Si Refus global rejette les contraintes imposées par la tradition artistique, il expose aussi ses revendications contre l’obscurantisme imposé à l’époque par le gouvernement conservateur de Maurice Duplessis, période dite de la « Grande noirceur ».



CLASSICS


Women in & Reading the Classics

12 weeks, Mondays, 1:30 PM-3:30 PM

What dynamic conception of women and womanhood inhabited the imagination of ancient Greek and Roman poets and dramatists? Why are female figures so prominent in classical mythology, epics, and tragedy, yet nearly absent in philosophy and the public life of the polis? Beyond the horizon of traditional male scholarship, what necessary insights do women scholars bring today to our appreciation of classical literature?


The Classic Greek Historians (Part I)

12 weeks, Wednesdays 6:15 PM- 8:15 PM

This course will focus on fifth-century BCE Athens. Surveying Athens from the Greek-Persian wars to the beginning of its decline during the Peloponnesian War, we will ask: What justifies the claim that Herodotus and Thucydides are the fathers of history? What are the differences in their approaches to factual recording, narrative style, and portrayal of personality? Why are their works still studied today? And why is the period of Athenian glory for which these two provide an almost continuous account considered to be a turning point in Western civilization?


La Grèce au féminin: mythes, histoires, ideologies (Partie I)

12 semaines, les jeudis 13:30- 15:30

La littérature grecque, très majoritairement produite par des hommes, nous permet-elle d’entendre véritablement la voix des femmes ? Les Grecs ont produit une abondance de discours sur les femmes, et dans divers genres littéraires ou philosophiques. Les mythes grecs ont-ils placé les femmes au centre de leurs intrigues seulement pour les marginaliser? La société grecque faisait-elle une place réelle aux femmes, aux plans social, politique, religieux?



HISTORY


The Will of the People (Pointe-Claire)

Address: St. John the Baptist Church, 233 Sainte-Claire Ave.

12 weeks, Mondays, 1:30 PM-3:30 PM

What constitutes the will of the people and how do we see it expressed in political revolutions? What accounts for the variety of outcomes different peoples experience with revolutionary movements? How do the social and economic conditions prevalent in countries prior to revolutions influence the resulting changes to the government and the capacity of the new government to fulfill the revolutionary will of the people?

 


The Challenge to US Hegemony

12 weeks, Thursdays, 1:30 PM-3:30 PM

When a rising power threatens to displace a ruling one, history tells us that the most likely outcome is war. It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable, according to the Greek historian Thucydides. This so-called inevitability is now known as the Thucydides Trap. In today’s world, a rapidly rising economic power, China, is already challenging US economic supremacy, and is testing the reach of US military hegemony through its actions in the South China Sea.

 



LITERATURE


Silencing the Writer: Book Banning, Censorship, and the Denial of Free Speech (Part I)

12 weeks, Wednesdays, 1:30 PM-3:30 PM

Do certain books create problems in society or do they reflect problems that are already extant? Or can they do both? Is censorship effective? How does censorship affect book sales? How can one account for so many canonical works among those which have been censored or banned? How does one decide which books are not fit for public consumption? How have sensibilities and social norms changed over the years in the matter? 



MUSIC


More About Music (Part I)

12 weeks, Mondays, 1:30 PM-3:30 PM

Have you ever wondered what music was like before Mozart and Bach? Perhaps you have even thought about music in  ancient Greece? You may have wondered why you find music of the twentieth century so baffling? Above all, do you feel that you would like to gain insight into the music you already love, and discover new forms? 

 


More About Opera

For 10 weeks every 2 weeks, Fridays, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Following on last year’s overview of the history and development of opera, we will continue exploring this fascinating world through recordings of prominent singers and by examining the lives of major opera composers and the origins of their works. As the upcoming season of The Met: Live in HD series (Aida, Adriana Lecouvreur, Carmen, Les Dialogues des Carmélites, etc.) is divided between the Italian and French repertoires, we will also examine the similarities and differences (historical and literary sources) of the two countries.



PHILOSOPHY


Am I That Name? An Exploration of Gender Identity

12 weeks, Mondays, 6:15 PM - 8:15 PM

In which senses might it be fruitful to consider that a human being is not simply born with a particular gender but becomes one, that gender is acquired or adopted, on an ongoing basis, after it is assigned and the customary announcement is made that “It’s a girl/boy”?


Invitation to Philosophy: At the Existentialist Café

12 weeks, Wednesdays, 6:15 PM - 8:15 PM

Where does meaning come from? Do we make it for ourselves, and if so, how? According to existentialism, “existence precedes essence”: first we come to be, then we (must) define the meaning of our being. What is the freedom to make meaning worth if we don’t have the option of refusing it? How can radically free beings act responsibly? If freedom is the definitive quality of human being, what then of aspects of our lives over which we have little or no control, such as love, death, suffering, ignorance, passion?

 



RELIGIOUS STUDIES AND THEOLOGY


Talmudic Horizons: An Invitation to Interpretation

12 weeks, Tuesdays, 6:15 PM - 8:15 PM

We are all interpreters. As your eyes run over this text you weave meaning from many threads: Whose voice is speaking? Am I its audience? An eavesdropper? What demands does this text make on me, and do I assent? Questions of interpretation become more vital still when placed at the heart of our religious encounters. This course will look at the sixth-century Jewish corpus known as the Talmud, the outcome and engine of interpretive practices that lie at the heart of Rabbinic Jewish life.


Revisiting Islam: Visions, Voices, and Veils

12 weeks, Tuesdays, 6:15 PM - 8:15 PM

Islam is the world’s fastest-growing religion. How do we distinguish between the religion of Islam and the culture of Muslims? How does Islam fit in a secular society? This course presents both a historical background for Islam and an exploration of its modern expressions. Classes will discuss Mohammed, the Qu’ran, the essential beliefs of Islam, the relationship between the monotheistic religions, and the competing versions of an Islamic worldview developed over fourteen hundred years.



SOCIAL SCIENCE AND SCIENTIFIC THOUGHT


Rise of Populism and Nationalism: Has Democracy Failed?

12 weeks, Tuesdays, 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM

This course will look at a recent phenomenon in the US and the UK that has caused informed observers to seriously question whether democracy, as practiced in Western Europe and North America, has fallen short in responding to the needs of the people. The role played recently by disaffected voters in the US and UK came as a surprise to most observers.


Montreal`s Indigenous Urban Trees

6 weeks, Wednesdays, 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM

There is a growing perception of the value of trees, both as living organisms of interest in their own right and as key contributors to the quality of the urban environment. Yet how many of us know much about the trees that surround us?

 



WRITING


Fiction Writing Workshop

12 weeks, Thursdays, 6:15 PM - 8:15 PM

Are you an aspiring fiction writer? This introductory workshop for new and emerging writers of fiction will help you to develop compelling characters and tell their stories in vivid, entertaining prose. Through weekly short assignments, readings, and in-class discussions, we will explore the many elements of good fiction, such as character, dialogue, setting, point of view, and plot. The final assignment, a short story, will build on and combine all of these elements.

 


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