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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Arts
April 16, 2014
Canadian Excellence



Canadian Studies: Global Perspectives

This lecture tutorial course examines attempts to develop a distinctive Canadian approach to international relations. Key themes addressed include multilateralism; Canada in the Cold War; foreign aid; peacekeeping; the role of provinces, especially Québec, in the shaping of Canadian foreign policy; refugee and immigration policy; globalization, and North American security and defence.

NO110 is open to all Laurier students. The course is required for students pursuing a joint-major honours program in North American Studies (the Canadian Studies stream) or a minor in Canadian Studies. Exclusions: CA100, CA102, CA200.

In 2012/13, the course is offered in the winter term. There is a two-hour lecture on Wednesdays from 12:30 to 2:20 pm, and students must also register for a one-hour, weekly tutorial. The course is taught by Dr. Kevin Spooner.

Course Overview

NO110 introduces students to the interdisciplinary study of Canada, critically assessing the construction and development of national identity from global, continental, national and 'sub-national' perspectives. What is Canada's place in the world? In what ways is Canada different or similar to other countries? Is it possible to speak of a single Canadian identity, even at the level of international relations? These are a few of the central questions this course will raise.

Each week during the course, we will begin by examining the life of an individual Canadian and then extrapolate from that lived experience to explore some of the significant themes and ideas that have emerged as Canadian identities developed. As a nation in its own right, Canada did not fully emerge from the British Empire onto the world state until the early twentieth century. And, some would say that Canada broke free of British international entanglements only to succumb to those of our continental neighbour to the south - the United States. Has Canada, then, existed entirely in an age of empires? If so, how has such an existence shaped the way we perceive ourselves? Migration, race, colonialism, regionalism, class, gender, sport, citizenship, language, economics and globalization, terror: these are lenses through which we can critique and assess the meaning of 'being' Canadian.

In keeping with the interdisciplinary approach of Canadian Studies, readings will be drawn from a variety of disciplines (e.g. History, Political Science, Sociology, etc.) so that students can pursue avenues of discussion in tutorials that will encourage a synthesis of ideas that goes beyond the limitations of individual disciplines. Lectures and films will complement this interdisciplinary mode of inquiry.

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.