New Undergraduate Courses

100-Level Courses


Global Capitalism (AMS100H1F) 

Thursday, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Instructor: Rick Halpern

This course explores the rise of capitalism – understood not simply as an economic system but as a political and cultural one as well. It aims to acquaint students with the more important socio-economic changes of the past 600 years with an eye towards informing the way they think about problems of the present time: globalization, growing disparities of wealth, and the exploitation of natural resources. It seeks to foster a critical approach to the way in which the world is organized. A dual mission stands at its centre: it utilizes a focus on capitalism as a tool of scholarly understanding of the way the world has evolved, and it assists students in developing a critique of capitalism as a system.

Check out the course trailer here.


Introduction to Contemporary Asian Studies (CAS100H1S)

Monday, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm 

Instructor: TBA

This course provides an introduction to Contemporary Asian Studies, focusing on the rapid social, political, economic, and cultural changes taking place in the dynamic regions of East Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.

Revolutions (MUN120H1S)

Tuesday, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm 

Instructor: Lucan Way

This course transcends time and place to delve into the overarching dynamics of revolution. This exploration of revolutions goes beyond simple chronology to uncover common threads that unite these transformative events. From the spirit that ignited the English Revolution to the fervor of the American Revolution, the course navigates through the social and political forces that reshaped societies. Students will dissect the emergence of radical change, tracing its evolution from the French Revolution to the Revolutions of 1848 and the birth of modern political ideologies. The course then navigates through the 20th century, from the Russian and Chinese Revolutions to the Cuban Revolution and the intricate web of Latin American revolutionary movements. Comparative analysis delves into the universal and unique aspects of these revolutions, offering students an understanding of the power and influence of these transformative moments.

200-Level Courses


Depression Era America: History, Politics, Culture (AMS220H1S)

Thursday, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm 

Instructor: Rick Halpern

This course explores the 1930s on a number of interconnected levels, prompting students to link the economic, political, and cultural planes of Americans’ lived experience in an informed way. It starts with the impact of the 1929 Crash, looking at the ways this reshaped values, and conceptions of race and gender, and also allowed unprecedented critiques and organizational forms to emerge. It then considers local and federal responses to economic catastrophe, emphasizing the emergence of regulatory mechanisms that further reshaped social relations. With this foundation in place, the course turns to consider three forms of artistic production in which the social dynamics of the age found powerful echo: FSA photography and WPA murals; experimental literature; and cinema.

300-Level Courses

Fall 2024 COURSES

Approaches to American Studies: US Democracy at a Crossroads: The 2024 Election in Historical Perspective (AMS310H1F)

Thursday, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Instructor: TBA

What is U.S. democracy? As our neighbor to the south lurches toward another presidential election, U.S. Democracy seems to be at a crossroads. For some Americans, the very survival of democracy is on the ballot. In this seminar, we will examine key periods of U.S. history where Americans defined and contested the meaning of U.S. democracy—periods in which some struggled to expand U.S. democracy while others fought to restrict it.

Tearing Down Monuments: Controversies in Public Memory (AMS320H1F)

Monday, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Instructor: Alexandra Rahr

As statues are kicked off their pedestals all around the world, this class reckons with the legacy and future of public memory cultures. We’ll consider the history, geography, aesthetics, bureaucracy, ecologies, and ideologies of both local and U.S. American memorials. And we’ll examine the birth, life, death, and afterlives of both conventional monuments and emerging forms of material and digital alt-memorialization.

Special Topics in Public Policy: Data and Applications in Conflict and Justice (PPG310H1F)

Tuesday, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Instructor: Paola Salardi

This course introduces students to reading, interpreting, and communicating data relevant to issues in peace, conflict and justice. Students will develop concrete skills such as understanding data sources in conflict and justice, exploring applications of data, and methods of data collection. They will reflect on how social constructs can be operationalized into variables that can be employed for qualitative and quantitative analysis in research and policy, and learn how to use visualizations and descriptive statistics to support arguments and research. Through this course, students will develop a set of essential skills to work on real-world questions related to issues in peace, conflict and justice, while engaging with existing data and their applied research findings to understand their policy relevance.

Special Topics in South Asian Studies: Environmental Cultures and Politics in South Asia (SAS390H1F)

Tuesday, 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm 

Instructor: TBA

This interdisciplinary course provides a broad overview of the major debates and issues in South Asia about the intermeshing of environments and societies. It will review mainstream and subaltern perceptions of and engagements with the environment in South Asia, including religious ideas, their critique, the 'colonial watershed' thesis, and conflicts between the state and local communities. This is an interdisciplinary course, drawing from anthropology, history, and human geography.

Winter 2025 COURSES

Approaches to American Studies: Asia in America (AMS312H1S)

Tuesday, 10:00 am - 12:00pm 

Instructor: TBA

This course explores the transnational connections between the US and Asia from a unique interdisciplinary perspective. It is open to Students from both American Studies and Contemporary Asian Studies. 

Transnational America (AMS330H1S)

Tuesday, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Instructor: Leah Montange

This course involves a week-long international field trip to San Diego and Los Angeles during the February Reading Week. This trip will cost students $200 plus their own discretionary spending. Scholarships are available. Enrollment is limited. Students who would like to register for the course, including those who join a wait list, should email Professor Montange: For full course descriptions please visit our website:

Special Topics in European Affairs: Transnational History of the USSR (EUR300H1S)

Wednesday, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Instructor: TBA

This course will explore the rise, transformation, and demise of the Soviet Union. As a broad survey, the course will not examine particular events or personalities in isolation but rather place these within a wider historical context. It will conclude with an assessment of the Soviet legacy.

Special Topics in Public Policy: The Politics of the Internet (PPG310H1S)

Monday, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm 

Instructor: Sverrir Steinsson

This course explores how the internet and digital technology affect politics, as well as how politics affect the internet. In this course, students will explore different ways in which the internet affects the relationship  between states. The course will focus on a variety of topics, such as the creation of new governance structures to regulate the internet, the usage of the internet for malicious purposes, and how the internet is used to coerce adversaries. Furthermore, the course will explore the changing markets and the challenges faced by governments, businesses, and the labor market. This course explores how states, corporations, and users compete to gain control of technology platforms such as Facebook, Google, and Wikipedia, which play a pivotal role in shaping the global public sphere.

400-Level Courses

Fall 2024 COURSES

Topics in American Studies: A Nation of Immigrants? (AMS400H1F)

Wednesday, 1:00 pm- 3:00 pm

Instructor: Leah Montange

This course examines the US’s patterns of welcoming, restricting, including, and excluding immigrants. In doing so, we will interrogate the relationship between immigration and American exceptionalism, nationalism, and empire. We will attempt to approach this theme interdisciplinary, by engaging both scholarly works written by historians and social scientists, as well as watching films and reading personal narratives and literary works created by immigrants to America. For the first half of the course, we will cover the broad arc of immigration and immigration policy making from the 19th through 21st centuries. In the second half of the course, we will study four immigrations to the US: Vietnamese, Haitian, El Salvadoran, and Filipino/a/x. In doing so, we will unpack major concepts and themes in the study of immigration in the Americas, including integration, exclusion, criminalization, asylum, labour, racialization, gender, nationalism, and transnationalism.

Advanced Topics in Public Policy: Inequality and Growth (PPG410H1F)

Wednesday, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Instructor: TBA

Neoliberal thinking has dominated economic policy advice for decades. Such thinking is premised on the notion that policy makers should “go for growth” because a rising tide lifts all boats. Politicians increasingly reject such advice as being at best politically naïve and at worst responsible for outcomes that have not been inclusive (some boats rise much higher than others with the tide—higher inequality). Policy makers need to make choices about both the level of economic growth and the inclusiveness of such growth, taking account of interactions between the two variables, including the extent to which high inequality undercuts the sustainability of healthy economic growth. This course will familiarize students with a range of empirical evidence on the growth experience of both advanced and developing countries; about the nexus between economic reforms and growth; and about the drivers of rising inequality, including policy drivers. It will also cover the political economy of reform, including how to design pro-growth policies that do not contribute to an electoral backlash.

Winter 2025 COURSES

Asia and Canada (CAS413H1S)

Wednesday, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

Instructor: TBA

This course is an interactive, participatory seminar. It will provide an opportunity to complement theoretical understanding about Asia acquired in other courses through hands-on research and experiential learning. The course will enable students to link studying Asia and Canada to career trajectories in the field of development and research.

Advanced Topics in Public Policy: Causes and Consequences of Civil Conflicts and Violence (PPG410H1S)

Wednesday, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm 

Instructor: Paola Salardi

The course examines the complex links between violent conflict and socio-economic development. Students will explore the macro- and micro-level processes that lead to conflict and how political violence impacts individuals and communities, particularly in terms of education, health, and labor outcomes. The course will also delve into how these micro-level effects relate to broader political, social, and economic issues, including governance and institutional development. To investigate these topics, the course will integrate theoretical frameworks and empirical data, utilizing both country-specific and cross-country evidence to critically analyze the origins of conflict and its far-reaching consequences.

To enrol and learn more, visit:

Areas of focus - Victor Dementiev/Unsplash



Undergraduate Program Coordinator