Society, Culture & Environment
Contemporary Studies at Laurier Brantford
Contemporary Studies is designed to provide students with a broad understanding of the issues, opportunities and problems of the twenty-first century and develop the skills to tackle them in an interdisciplinary and comprehensive manner.
The Contemporary Studies program emphasizes an innovative approach to learning which is problem centered, interdisciplinary, and emphasizes the basic skills essential to success in any field - the ability to communicate effectively, analyze and solve problems, to situate issues within appropriate cultural and historical contexts, and to use information technology effectively.
- Opportunity for independent studies and Internship
CT330* is an independent studies course. Full-time Contemporary Studies faculty whose discipline is closest to the topic will advise students. Students can choose from a variety of means of assessment. There is also the opportunity for students in Contemporary Studies to take a fourth year internship in the Brantford area.
Students interested in Contemporary Studies can join the campus club that meets to enhance the members’ learning experiences. Faculty teaching in the Contemporary Studies program act as advisors to the club and assist in organizing events. From poetry readings, to drumming in the park, to wailing with student garage-bands along with the arts & culture partnerships downtown – e.g. Arts Block, there are all sorts of venues and activities that you as CT students can help to incite.
- Disease and Society
- The Media in a Global World
- War in the Contemporary World
- Children, Toys and Media
- Community Internship
|High School Admission Requirements||College Grad Admission Requirements|
4U English at 60%
Average in top 6 4U or M courses of low - mid 70's
4U English or college equivalent at 60%
Overall average upon graduation in mid 70%'s
Graduates of the Honours BA in Contemporary Studies at Brantford can look forward to a wide range of careers. Going on to advanced graduate studies in a wider range of interdisciplinary studies is also a choice for many of the grads from Laurier Brantford.
Excerpt from column by Rachel Phan in Brantford Expositor:
Last Saturday, I wrote my last exam at Laurier Brantford. As I walked out of the lecture hall, I was surprised to find that, instead of feeling overjoyed with ecstasy, there was a nagging sense of sadness in my belly.
I came to Laurier Brantford nearly four years ago as a naive 19-year-old from small-town southwestern Ontario. I couldn't do my own laundry, I couldn't cook and I couldn't imagine how I was going to survive. But I did – thanks to the help of the wonderful people I met in residence. For a full year, those of us on the fourth floor at Grand River Hall became a family. We stayed up late, we went to class in our sweats and we made questionable decisions. It almost felt like it would last forever.
I loved my time at Laurier Brantford. I've received a wonderful and comprehensive education here. The interdisciplinary contemporary studies core of our education has given me the chance to learn about a variety of things. While other students at other schools have had their noses to a specific grindstone, I've been learning about everything. This year alone, I've learned about science and its critics, gender theories, social documentary and, my favourite, mid-Victorian literature.
I'm going to miss this place – the beautiful buildings, the restaurants that are few in number but delicious in their offerings, and, above all, the wonderful people with whom I have shared laughter, conversation and smiles.
Growing up in the rural outskirts of Thunder Bay, Dr. Ken Paradis thought about studying science at university. But after finishing high school, he fell into an undergraduate degree in English, and that’s what captured his interest.
Though his background is in American literature and cultural theory, today his research revolves around contemporary American culture, or as he puts it, “movies, television and popular fiction.” Paradis teaches a contemporary studies course called Blockbuster Movies and Cultural Criticism, which he says “looks at mainstream movies for insight into how contemporary culture organizes our values and our assumptions.” Though he also teaches courses in traditional American literature, he often jokes that in some of his classes homework is watching television under the assumption that students have a pen in their hands and are thinking critically about it.
Much like all of the professors on campus, Paradis feels it is the interaction with the students and other faculty members that makes Laurier Brantford such a unique place. “The faculty tend to be young and open to new things,” he says. “And the students are enthusiastic, friendly and down-to-earth. They really see this as a hands-on, can-do place, and they feel they can make a difference in the life of the university.”
Justine Scriver is now an MA candidate, who graduated with a degree in Contemporary Studies with honours Criminology. “I have benefited greatly from having contemporary studies as a part of my undergraduate degree,” she says. “Having a CT background has allowed me to think in a more diverse manner and has improved my critical thinking. I am able to be critical about the principles that underlie certain theories. While some of my MA colleagues are more specialized in their undergraduate degree, I feel I am more able to apply the geographical, historical or cultural approaches to certain topics. The CT program was very rewarding for me.”