Core Courses CDST 350 and CDST 450

CDST 350 (Canadian Studies)

Students have the choice between two courses: one taught in English, one taught in French.

CDST 350-201   Linguistic Identity in Canada     3 credits

Term 2: Tue-Thu. 2:00-3:30 pm; Buchanan D316        Profs Rose-Marie Déchaîne and André Lamontagne

Canada is far from being a bilingual nation, and this despite the introduction of the Official Languages Act in 1972, which recognizes French and English as official languages. Moreover, the Act itself fails to recognize that Canada is much more than a bilingual country, as more than 200 languages are spoken on its territory, some for thousands of years, some on the verge of extinction. The nation-building narrative featuring the French, the English, and their descendants — encapsulated in titles such as Two Solitudes (Hugh MacLennan, 1945) and La guerre, yes sir ! (Roch Carrier, 1968) — is rooted in geographical, historical and political landmarks that extend from the Battle of the Plains of Abraham (1759), through to the 1960s Quiet Revolution which equated the “French fact” with the Québec territory, and onto the referenda on Québec’s independence (1980, 1995). The Official Languages Act has developed into a linguistic model that defines Canada both within its nation-state boundaries (reflected by unresolved tensions with multiculturalism and multilingualism policies and by ambivalence towards francophone communities outside of Québec) and beyond (including membership in the Commonwealth and in the Organisation internationale de la francophonie).

Going forward, how will linguistic identity in Canada present itself in the future? Factors on the horizon include the struggle for First Nations and Metis’ rights and the reconciliation dialogue, immigration trends (especially multilingual francophone and anglophone speakers from Africa), the effects of globalization, and the decreasing proportional weight of francophones. Through an interdisciplinary approach that combines Literature, Film, Linguistics, and Memory Studies, this team-taught course will look at what defines Canada in terms of language, both as a symbolic resource and as real tool in the performance and contestation of identity.

This course might also be of interest to students specializing in fields other than Canadian Studies, such as First Nations Studies, African Studies, International Relations, Political Science, and Linguistics.

CDST 350A-001, cross-listed with FREN 330-101 (Selected Works of Quebecois Literature). 3 credits

Term 1, Tue-Thu  11:00-12:30    Prof. André Lamontagne     This course is taught in French.

Relation originale du voyage de Jacques Cartier au Canada en 1534 (extrait)

Abbé Casgrain, ‘‘Le mouvement littéraire en Canada’’ (extrait)

Louis Hémon, Maria Chapdelaine

Anne Hébert, Kamouraska

Guillaume Vigneault, Chercher le vent

Wajdi Mouawad, Incendies

CDST 450 (Senior seminar in Canadian studies) English-Canadian Science Fiction

Term 2, Thu  10- 1   Prof.  Margery Fee

In 1970, Phyllis Gotlieb characterized herself “as a Canadian poet and an American science fiction writer.” Canada has since developed a more robust SF infrastructure, but it is hard to pin its themes or styles to anything particularly “Canadian.” Certainly SF is very much a transnational genre. SF has been used to question Western science (which we will examine via some readings in science and technology studies) as well as to promote emergent non-dominant viewpoints (feminism, ecocriticism, genderqueer sexualities, anti-racism and Indigenous and Afro-futurism) and it is these questioning approaches that the course will foreground (the speculative “what-if” aspects of SF). Central to science fiction are definitional wars; Douglas Coupland has described it as a “nerd ghetto” and Margaret Atwood’s debate with Ursula Le Guin over the relative value of “speculative fiction” and “science fiction” open up the differences between popular and literary fiction. The course will begin with James De Mille’s A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder (1888), and include contributors to the “Golden Age” of SF such as Laurence E. Manning and A.E. Van Vogt. However, the focus will be on works written since 1964, when Gotlieb’s novel Sunburst (a “mutant-superman-telepath” novel) was published. Readings will include stories (Gordon R. Dickson, Manning, Judith Merril, Geoff Ryman, Eden Robinson, Richard Van Camp, Van Vogt, etc.) as well as William Gibson’s Neuromancer (1984), Robert Charles Wilson’s Darwinia (1998), Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake (2003), Nalo Hopkinson’s Midnight Robber (2000), and Larissa Lai’s Salt Fish Girl (2002). Critical readings will include feminist critiques of cyberpunk, Donna Haraway’s “Cyborg Manifesto,” and science and technology writing by Bruno Latour, Ian Hacking, and Sandra Harding. Coursework will include in-class oral seminars and writing, a research report, a summary of an academic article, and a research essay.