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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Arts
April 19, 2014
Canadian Excellence



Introduction to North American Studies

This course provides an interdisciplinary introduction to key themes in the shared histories, politics and cultures of Canada, the United States and Mexico. Topics may include: how revolutions and political models have shaped national identity; contact and conflict across border zones; and patterns of settlement and immigration. By comparing the three countries, the course will help students to look critically at the North American experience.

NO101 is open to all Laurier students. The course is required for students pursuing a joint-major honours program in North American Studies (in both the Canadian Studies and American Studies streams) or a minor in North American Studies.

In 2012/13, the course is offered in the fall term. NO101 meets for one weekly lecture, Wednesdays from 6:30 pm to 8:20 pm, and students must also register for a one-hour, weekly tutorial. The course is taught by Dr. Katherine Roberts.

Course Overview

Canada, the United States and Mexico share thousands of kilometers of borderlands, a free trade agreement and growing shared responsibilities in environmental management and security matters. In face of this increasing economic, political, and some say social integration, it is more than ever important to explore the complexity of the new and rapidly evolving North American reality and to understand our place within it.

NO 101, the core introductory course to the new North American Studies program, is designed to introduce students to key areas of comparison between Canada, Mexico and the United States through a dynamic comparative framework. Topics will include (but are not limited to) how revolutions and political models have shaped national identity, contact and conflict across border zones, patterns of settlement and migration, aboriginal rights, comparative language policy in North America, “national narratives” in film and literature, forms of popular culture and issues of security, trade and the environment.

Course Syllabus:

The current course syllabus, as well as course syllabi from previous years, are posted as they are available on the Course Outlines page of the program website.