General Education

AP/HIST 1095 6.0A: Streetlife: The Culture and History of European Cities

Special Features: This is a general education course.  It is also a course with international content as it is a study of Paris, France and London, England. NOTE: General Education courses cannot be used to satisfy our History Major Requirements

Calendar Description:
This course uses a diverse range of materials and approaches to examine the development of the modern European city in the contemporary world. It uses cultural sources such as film, photography, literature and music to see how the experience of the modern European city has been represented from the nineteenth century to the present day. The course also uses the history of the modern European city to explore historical issues such as the experience of war, poverty and wealth, social reform, and the growth of cosmopolitanism and multiracialism. It explores the material space of urban development by looking at architecture, urban planning and housing. The course reflects upon current social and political issues in the modern European city, such as gentrification, popular protest and globalization. Though the course will discuss the culture and history of European cities, it focuses upon the examples of Paris and London from the mid nineteenth century to the present day. The course will explore the human experience of modern European cities, including discussions of race, gender, sexuality and class in the modern city, the physical shape of cities, and the cultural representation of city life. Particular topics covered include popular culture from café life to dancehalls; the photography of twentieth-century Paris; cosmopolitanism and the modern city; class conflicts in the city; the city on screen; fashion and postwar Paris and London; and radical movements in the city. Sources include novels such as Therèse Raquin by Emile Zola and Absolute Beginners by Colin MacInnes, the photography of Robert Frank and Roger Mayne and documents on the London Blitz. The emphasis in this course is developing skills such as analytical thinking, reading and writing.

Note: This is an approved LA&PS General Education course: Humanities
Note: This course does NOT count towards the LAPS History major/minor requirement to complete 6 HIST credits at the 1000 level.

Expanded Course Description:
The course covers the following topics: Histories and Spaces: Paris and London, 1848-1914; ‘The Greatest of Adventures’: Living In and Moving Around the City in the 19th and 20th Centuries; Governing and Reshaping the Modern City: Haussmann, Marville and Paris in the 19th Century; The Camera and the City: Charles Marville and John Thompson; Rebellions, 1: The Paris Commune, 1870-1; Painting and the City: the Rise of the Everyday; The Entertaining City: Popular Culture; The Outcast City? Crime, Class, Ethnicity and Sex in East End London; Representing the City of Dreadful Delight: Sherlock Holmes’ London, Now and Then; Histories and Spaces: London and Paris, 1914-40; Women, Sexuality and Popular Culture in 20th Century London and Paris; Cinema, crime and the city in the 20th century; Cities at War, 1940-5: London and the Blitz, Paris and Collaboration; Histories and Spaces: London and Paris, 1945-90; The Postwar City: Race and Empire; The Postwar City: Youth; Rebellions, 2: Paris, 1968; Rebellions, 3: Brixton, 1981; Paris, 2005.

Readings include works by Jonathan Raban and David Harvey, as well as short stories by Virginia Woolf and Arthur Conan Doyle.  Texts include Violette Nozieres by Sarah Maza.

Tentative Grade Breakdown/Overview of Assessment:
Writing assignments:
Three short analytical essays: 30%
One primary source essay: 20%
Two exams: 35%
Tutorial participation: 15%

AP/HIST 1100 6.0A: Gladiators, Gods, Gigolos, and Goths: Reading Roman Society, c.200 BCE-500 CE

Note: This is an approved LA&PS General Education course: Humanities Note: This course will not fulfill a History majors 1000 level requirement.


Through a series of case studies concerning the social history of ancient Rome, this course introduces students to the written texts and other media that are used to understand human societies of all periods. Special emphasis will be given to the diverse interpretative approaches that one can bring to such texts and artefacts.

AP/HIST 1180 6.0A: Making Money

Special Features: Come spend a wonderful year learning and thinking about how we human beings make money meaningful. What is money?  How does it make us?  How does it make our world? “Making Money” is a General Education course.  It is open to all students; it requires no math skills, no prior experience (or even interest) in banking, economics or business.

Calendar Description: This course explores 12 distinct but interrelated questions about money, that elusive substance with which all of us are preoccupied, but to which few us have brought great amounts of critical intellectual attention. The course examines money from a range of disciplinary perspectives, including anthropology, archaeology, economics, history, literature, political science, psychology, religious studies, and sociology, devoting two weeks to each enduring and apparently simple question. As an introduction to one of the fundamental ideas/substances of human life, the course brings interdisciplinary knowledge, breadth, and a range of scholarly approaches to a particular subject.

Note: This is an approved LA&PS General Education course: Humanities
Note: This course does NOT count towards the LAPS History major/minor requirement to complete 6 HIST credits at the 1000 level.

Expanded Course Description:

What You Will Learn:

How and why is money meaningful?  This course examines money, the "stuff" with which all of us are preoccupied, but about which few have spent much time thinking critically. As an introduction to one of the core substances of human life, the course conveys the powerful and mind-bending notion that money is not a single “thing” but a construct that changes enormously over time, across cultures, and on account of the questions we ask about it. It explores a set of dazzling issues, problems, and themes from the dawn of human life to the digital age, including the tensions between risk & reward, freedom & security, individuals & systems, power & value.

How You Will Learn:

The course aims to develop some of the skills that are necessary for successful university careers: critical thinking, engaged reading, clear speech, and polished writing.  You will not need a calculator. The year of learning is divided into 12 distinct two-week units, each of which asks a deceptively simple question.  In order to answer these questions, the course draws on readings from a variety of print media and scholarly fields, as well as film clips, music lyrics, sources from far and wide, past and present.

The questions we’ll explore, two weeks at a time, include:

  1. Do I make money or does money make me?
  2. Why did money begin?
  3. How did time become money?
  4. Goes God hate money?
  5. Is there anything that money can’t buy?
  6. What’s the price of nature?
  7. More money, more happiness?
  8. Is there democracy without capitalism?
  9. How beautiful is money?
  10. How sick is gambling?
  11. When I think about money, what’s happening in my brain?
  12. Is digital money safe?

The readings for the course are diverse: there are articles and book chapters from popular books and magazines (like the New Yorker), as well as specialized but readable articles by research specialists, published in peer reviewed scholarly journals.  All of the readings are easily available, and they won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Improved your scholarly skills so as to:
    • Sharpen your critical thinking
    • Successfully write with a small set of distinct “voices”
    • Engage in various scholarly disciplines’ conversations
  • Acquired knowledge and insight so as to:
    • Be an active discussant in any non-technical discussion about money
    • Be able to apply what you know about money to new questions that arise about it in the future

Tentative Grade Breakdown/Overview of Assessment:

Fall Term:

  • Childhood Memories of Money Reflection (3pgs) 10%
  • One Unit, In Depth (4 pgs) 10%
  • Revisions of “One Unit” 10%
  • Participation 8%
  • Quizzes 12%

Winter Term:

  • Image of Money Analysis (3pgs): 10%
  • Comparing Two Units (4 pgs): 10%
  • Revisions of “Two Units” (4pgs): 10%
  • Participation: 8%
  • Quizzes: 12%