Faculty of Arts Departments and Programs
Anthropology opens students to the rich cultural diversity of the contemporary world's peoples and their societies. It teaches them to appreciate the differences and similarities in how people in various places go about the task of being human both individually and collectively. Anthropology promotes cross-cultural understanding and uses this understanding as a background against which contemporary social problems can be viewed.
Archaeology is the study of the remains of past civilizations, from the most ancient to the very recent. It is a discipline which analyzes contexts together with artifacts from those contexts in order to determine the experience of human cultures based on their physical remains, most typically of buildings, pottery, bones and worked stones.
Communication Studies is the interdisciplinary study of language, media, and culture. How we communicate provides the foundation for forms of community, our institutions and modes of governance, and interaction in the local and global economies. We live in world where our everyday lives are shaped and influenced by a constant engagement with various media forms and practices. Our lives are, in fact, media/ted lives in which we do not simply interact with media but interact through media. This means that the media we use and how we understand them will have profound consequences for how we will experience our interactions with others.
Cultural Studies is interested in the analysis of art and literature, science and technology, media and popular texts, and the meanings and practices that constitute ordinary life. It understands that such phenomena cannot be studied in isolation, but must be related to larger issues in society, such as class, gender, sexuality, race, power, and the shape of history.
The English program offers students a chance to explore British, American, Canadian, and other literatures from the Medieval period to the present. Our undergraduate courses are organized in various ways according to historical periods, nationalities, genres, themes, and theoretical issues.
Environmental Studies is an interdisciplinary program that examines the interaction between humans and their environment through the study of such subjects as ecology, economics, geography, geology, meteorology, politics and sociology.
The Film Studies program places an emphasis on the international history of film, the analysis of individual films as texts, and film theory and criticism. Students are introduced to films from Hollywood to Hong Kong, from silent to sound, from film noir to war films, and from classical film theory to contemporary.
Geography is a discipline that studies relationships between humans and their environments by seeking to understand patterns on Earth and the processes that created them. Our program emphasizes human geography, physical geography and geomatics.
Challenge yourself. What do studying for a term in Africa, helping at an orphanage in Nepal for six weeks, and learning to speak Arabic have in common? These are all things a Global Studies graduate may have done during their program at Laurier.
The basic aim of History is to teach students how to think for themselves, to analyze fairly the works of others and to improve their oral and written powers of expression. History provides a methodology for research and critical thinking which is widely applicable in most professions and walks of life. History is also an ideal discipline to acquaint students with important concepts, events and people.
The Department of Languages and Literatures is proud to offer a wide array of innovative language, literature, linguistics, and culture courses that challenge students to think critically while building language proficiency. The Department offers three programs: 1) Honours BA in French; 2) Honours BA in Spanish; and 3) Honours BA in Languages. The Department also offers minors in Arabic Studies, French, German Studies, Italian, Spanish, Business Spanish and course offerings in cultural perspectives, Mediterranean studies, and linguistics.
Medieval Studies is a multi-disciplinary category of study that analyzes cultural materials from the era c. 500-1500 AD. These materials include myths, philosophy, history, heroic stories, theology, combat, visual arts, music, language and many other disciplines including medievalism, that is, the study of the representations of medieval cultures in modern or contemporary cultures.
The new Honours BA in North American Studies (in Combination) is an interdisciplinary program which explores the extent to which we can consider “North America” – including Canada, the United States and Mexico – a historical, cultural, political and economic entity, and North American borders as cultural and policy spaces. Laurier’s North American Studies program is the first of its kind in Canada.
Philosophy is the study of fundamental ideas. Philosophers are concerned with such questions as, “Does God exist?” “Are human beings free?” “Is there such a thing as a soul, or are we entirely physical beings?” “What is truth?” “Which actions are morally good?” These questions deal with fundamental ideas in the sense that how we answer them has important implications both for what we should believe and how we should act.
Political Science is the systematic study of power and authority, especially in the public realm. Political scientists work at the broad intersection of the social sciences and humanities, and at Laurier we treat the study of politics as an integral part of a liberal arts education.
Religion and Culture trains students in direct observation, textual analysis, critical thinking, and cross-cultural understanding of religion on the world stage.
Opening minds to critical thinking about taken-for-granted beliefs, Sociology offers theoretical and methodological tools for analyzing socially constructed realities and for grasping the complexities of social life. From local and global perspectives, Sociology engages current debates on the processes that construct our identities and our institutions, and the dynamics that foster resistance and social change.
Women and Gender Studies is an approach to knowledge which places women at the centre of analysis. It challenges the androcentric view which sees men’s experiences as representative of all.