2017-18 First-Year Seminars | CCR199Y1: Creative and Cultural Representations (Category 1)

A few First-Year Seminars give preference during the first round of enrolment to students with membership in the college offering the course - if this is the case, the college name will be listed beside the course title. During the second round of enrolment, first-year students at any college may enroll if space is available.

Refer to the 2017-18 Arts & Science Timetable for the schedule information of each offering.

2017-2018 CCR 199Y1Y: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)

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Section Title College
L0041 The Vikings and Their Descendants Trinity
L0191 The Environmental Imagination  
L0221 More Than Just a Dinner Party. High Style and Serious Attitude in the Literary Salon of 1830s Paris Trinity
L0331 There and Back Again: Exploring Tolkien Woodsworth 
L0332 Fatal Attraction: The Lure of Villains (and now Vampires!) in Literature Woodsworth
L5071 We are What We Eat: the Example of French Cuisine New

2017-2018 CCR 199Y1 Creative and Cultural Representations: Category 1

CCR199Y1Y | Section L0041 | Trinity College                               

The Vikings and Their Descendents
The Vikings first entered the annals of recorded history late in the eighth century, and the impression that they made on the civilized people whom they encountered was decidedly negative. Vikings were depicted by many of their contemporaries as bloodthirsty pagans, ferocious and crafty warriors with a diabolical ability to raid and pillage nearly anywhere throughout the then-known world. Although the brutality of Viking raids is undeniable, modern scholars of the Early Middle Ages have developed more nuanced perspectives on the Vikings by studying the characteristics of their material culture, the poetic and memorial texts that they composed, and by evaluating their accomplishments as explorers, pioneers and agents of inter-cultural commerce. The legacy of the Vikings’ activities can not only be traced in the historical development of present-day Scandinavian nations, but is also part of the heritage of the peoples of Britain, continental Europe, the Mideast and even the Atlantic coast of Canada. Aspects of Viking culture have—for better and worse—inspired artists, writers, composers, intellectuals, explorers and even politicians in the centuries since the last longship sailed, and images of the Viking persist in present-day literature, art, music, sport and popular culture. This course explores the history, cultures and literatures of the Viking Age, and considers how (and why) the Viking past remains part of present culture.

Instructor: J. Herold, Trinity College and Centre for Medieval Studies
Breadth category: 1 Creative and Cultural Representations

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CCR 199Y1Y | Section L0191

The Environmental Imagination
In this course, we will explore the stories we tell about the natural world around and within us. We will engage with a wide variety of drama, poetry, film and essays, music, food, and virtual and material landscapes in order to better understand how and why we enjoy, use and abuse the natural world. On the one hand, we will confront the hard facts about many of the stories we tell: that they have led us to the brink of environmental catastrophe. On the other hand, through interactive group presentations and creative final projects, we will begin the exciting project of writing new stories, imagining a new and healthier relationship between humanity and the earth which sustains us.
Required Reading: Novels, short stories, political essays and poems by writers such as William Shakespeare, Henry David Thoreau, Aldo Leopold, Robert Frost, Willa Cather, Rachel Carson, Wendell Berry, Margaret Atwood, Cormac McCarthy, Michael Pollan, Carl Safina, Elizabeth Kolbert, Bill McKibben, and Naomi Klein. We will also watch a selection of films such as Pocahontas, Wall-E, Merchants of Doubt, and This Changes Everything and encounter a wide variety of creation and apocalypse myths from ancient sources.
Method of Evaluation: Class participation (20%), Journals (20%), Group Presentation (30%), Final Project (30%)

Instructor: A. Most, English
Breadth category: 1 Creative and Cultural Representations

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CCR 199Y1Y | Section L0221 | Trinity College

More Than Just a Dinner Party: High Style and Serious Attitude in the Literary Salon of 1830s Paris
Money, Love, Heroism, the Occult, War, Revolution, Royalism and Opium; such were the variety of subjects explored in a literary salon in Paris around the year 1830. In an age of uncertainty (the Napoleonic Age over, the restored Monarchy faltering under a mad king), a generation of writers, artists and musicians were searching for meaning. Several met regularly in the elegant drawing room of the Arsenal library in Paris, creating what is called a salon. Along with exquisite food, music and dance, they took a steady diet of wit, debate, humour and passion. We will explore their works as well as the literature, music and art of those who inspired them. Victor Hugo, Balzac, Stendhal, a young Franz Liszt, the artists Delacroix and David d'Angers all had attended. Finding inspiration in Byron's poetry, Hoffmann's tales, Goethe's and Scott's legendary works and the music of Berlioz and Chopin, their ideas about artistic style and conviction have influenced Western culture to this day. Readings are in English or English translation.

Instructor: B. Ferguson, Trinity College and French
Breadth category: 1 Creative and Cultural Representations

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CCR 199Y1Y | Section L0331 | Woodsworth College

There and Back Again: Exploring Tolkien
In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” So begins the journey—there and back again—of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Bilbo Baggins across the invented landscape of Middle Earth. Since the mid-twentieth century, J.R.R. Tolkien’s Hobbit and Lord of the Rings have become classics of children’s and fantasy literature. In this course, we read Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. We investigate the world-building and imagined history that lies behind them. We trace how Tolkien’s own life experience informed his work—his experience as a soldier of the Great War and a civilian during World War Two; as a scholar of medieval language and literature, and of fairy tales; as a Catholic thinker; and as a lover of nature and the past. We also survey the afterlife of the novels in fantasy, film, video games, and the popular imagination.

Instructor: A. Bolintineanu, Woodsworth College
Breadth Category: 1, Creative and Cultural Respresentations

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CCR 199Y1Y | Section L0332 | Woodsworth College

Fatal Attraction: The Lure of Villains (and now Vampires!) in Literature
Why is it that literary villains and vampires such as Satan, Iago, Heathcliff, Dexter, and Dracula get all the best lines? Villains and vampires are usually intelligent, devious, scheming, and nefarious, often eloquent or even charismatic. The defining characteristic of many of these characters is that they know they are villains and are often proud of it, yet as Tillyard comments "to be greatly bad, a man [or woman] must have correspondingly great potentialities for good." Villains and vampires are not only compelling as fictional characters, but their wrongdoings often begin and drive the plot. In this course, we will examine some remarkable villains and vampires, including some female characters, selected from literature. After identifying some archetypal characters and themes, students will observe how villains have been reshaped over the centuries and what role women play in the villainous impulse. Films will be integrated with written texts where appropriate. This seminar will assist students develop skills in critical reading and thinking, academic writing, and seminar presentations. Evaluation will be based on reading response entries and a final analysis assignment, two in-class identification tests, one group presentation, and class participation.

Instructor: J. B. Rose, Woodsworth College
Breadth category: 1 Creative and Cultural Representations

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CCR 199Y1Y | Section L5071 | New College

We are What We Eat: The Example of French Cuisine
The study of French cuisine reveals a culture rich in controversy and conflicting narratives. When did it begin? Was it imported from Italy? Who invented champagne? Were Paris restaurants a product of the French Revolution? Did croissants come from Vienna? Is there really a French paradox? This course is an interdisciplinary probe into this rich and troubled history by considering, even sampling, things rare in university courses: baguettes, foie gras, cheese, madeleines, chocolate, pâtisseries. We also examine its darker side: legacies of colonialism and slavery, famines and inequalities that triggered revolutions, a pest that nearly killed all the vineyards in France, controversial treatment of animals. Students develop various research, writing and presentation techniques to demonstrate what is left of this reputation in an era of globalization and to compare the French example with those of other cultures right here in Toronto.

Instructor: D. Clandfield, New College
Breadth category: 1 Creative and Cultural Representations

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