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Arts & Science Program

2023-24 Courses

Most course outlines can be found in the Simple Syllabus online portal. Outlines not posted in the Simple Syllabus portal will be made available to students before the start of classes (e.g., via the relevant course page in Avenue to Learn).


2023-24 Courses

ARTSSCI 1A03 | Practices of Knowledge

An examination of significant themes in intellectual history through a reading of major works in philosophy and literature that shed light on the conceptual foundations of contemporary life.

Instructor: Dr. Manuel Vasquez Villavicencio
Term: 1

ARTSSCI 1AA3 | Contemporary Indigenous Studies

This course will explore the relationship between Indigenous peoples and mainstream society in the 20th century with regard to governmental policy, land claims, economic development, and self-determination.

Instructor: Dr. Rob Innes
Term: 2

ARTSSCI 1B03 | Writing

This course aims to develop students’ ability to use language in written communication, with a focus on academic writing in particular. Students will develop their writing skills through assignments and activities that ask them to produce, analyze, and reflect on written work in a range of genres.

Instructor: Dr. Stacy Creech de Castro
Term: 1

ARTSSCI 1BB3 | Argumentation

This course provides students with some of the conceptual tools needed to recognize, understand, evaluate, formulate, and attack arguments. Students will have the opportunity to develop such skills in their oral and written work.

Instructor: Dr. Alexander Leferman
Term: 2

ARTSSCI 1C06 | Global Challenges Inquiry

This inquiry course, designed to develop skills basic to the systematic, evidence-based investigation of public issues, focuses on issues relevant to global development, with attention to theoretical frameworks and empirical actualities.

Instructors: Dr. Alina Sajed (Term 1), Dr. Beth Marquis (Term 2), and Dr. Mat Savelli (Terms 1 & 2)
Term: 3

ARTSSCI 1D06 | Calculus

This course aims to provide a thorough understanding of the principles and major applications of differential and integral calculus of functions of one variable, as well as an introduction to multivariate calculus and differential equations.

Instructor: Dr. Jenna Rajchgot
Term: 3

ARTSSCI 2A06 | Social and Political Thought

Development of political, moral and religious thought in the writings of such major figures as Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Adam Smith, Burke, Marx, Mill, Weber, von Hayek, Nietzsche, Freud and Arendt.

Instructor: Dr. David L. Clark
Term: 3

ARTSSCI 2D06 | Physics

Exploring many of the great concepts of physics in a quantitative way. Beginning with Newtonian mechanics, it moves into Einstein’s relativity, wave phenomena, atomic physics, quantum mechanics and cosmology. Selected laboratory projects will be carried out.

Instructor: Dr. Alan Chen
Term: 3

ARTSSCI 2E03 | Economics: Principles & Policy

An introduction to the core principles of economics with the objective of helping students to apply economic reasoning to issues that are central to modern societies, such as: the role of government in a market-oriented setting; equity and efficiency; growth and the environment; and fiscal and monetary stability.

Instructor: Dr. Anastasios (Tasos) Papanastasiou
Term: 1

ARTSSCI 2R03 | Applied Statistical Inference

Inferential statistics, with an emphasis on applications. Topics include data description, graphical methods, probability, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, one-way ANOVA, analysis of categorical data, regression and correlation. Use of a statistics software package.

Instructor: Dr. David Lozinski
Term: 2

ARTSSCI 3B03 | Technology and Society I

The Culture of Technology. Technological practices and approaches are studied as cultural activities in the contexts of beliefs, philosophies, values and social structures both past and present.

Instructor: Dr. Beth Marquis
Term: 1

ARTSSCI 3BB3 | Technology and Society II

The Social Control of Technology. The dominant mechanisms of the social control of technology will be studied, with attention to the role of ethics.

Instructor: Dr. David Goutor
Term: 2

ARTSSCI 3CL3 | Theatre, Self, and Society

Theatre skills are life skills. Throughout this course, class exercises, creative work, and online discussions will allow students to explore the practice and ethics of Applied Drama and to learn how theatre can be used as a tool for social development and change.

Instructor: Prof. Hartley Jafine
Term: 1

ARTSSCI 3C03 | Coding Inquiry

This course focuses on computer programming as both a technical and a social practice. Students will have an opportunity to learn and apply basic coding skills; to consider the intersections between coding and user experience; and to explore ways in which software design might contribute to addressing (or exacerbating) social challenges.

Instructor: Dr. Luis Navarro Del Angel
Term: 2

ARTSSCI 3CU3 | Alumni Experience Inquiry

Using an inquiry methodology, students will explore the practical applications of an interdisciplinary degree through interaction with, and mentorship from, graduates of the Arts & Science Program. Emphasis will be on problem-based learning, with the professional experiences of alumni informing the exploration of complex and multifaceted issues.

Instructor: Dr. Mark Busser
Term: 1

ARTSSCI 3F03 | Experiential Project in Teaching and Learning

This course allows students to explore in depth an issue related to teaching and learning in higher education under the supervision of faculty/staff affiliated with the MacPherson Institute. Students may propose research questions of their own or contribute to the development of existing initiatives within the Institute.

Coordinator: Dr. Beth Marquis
Term: 3
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ARTSSCI 3GJ3 | Global Justice Inquiry

Using an inquiry methodology, students will explore issues pertaining to global justice through an interdisciplinary lens. More information about global justice can be found on our Speakers & Workshops page.

Instructor: Dr. Paul Emiljanowicz
Term: 2

ARTSSCI 3RL3 | Religion and Law

The notion of law has deep roots in religious thought and writing. This course will survey the historical development of law in the western world in connection with various religious traditions, with a focus on Judaism and Christianity. It will also address some contemporary issues and tensions between religion and law in pluralistic, secular societies.

Instructor: Dr. Meirav Jones
Term: 2

ARTSSCI 3S03 | The East Asian Religious Tradition

Readings of East Asian texts in translation will centre around themes such as culture vs. nature, virtue vs. power, social responsibility vs. personal cultivation, bookish learning vs. meditation.

Instructor: Dr. James Benn
Term: 1

ARTSSCI 3TR3 | Trees and Their Histories

Inspired by the trees on McMaster’s campus, this course examines trees and their significance through a number of different lenses and from a variety of discipline perspectives: biology; colonial and economic histories; visual, material, and performing arts practices; psychology; indigenous and environmental studies; poetry and prose.

Instructor: Dr. Alison McQueen
Term: 1

ARTSSCI 3X03 | Individual Study

This course consists of study under the supervision of a McMaster faculty member. See here for more information.

Coordinator: Dr. Beth Marquis
Term: 3
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ARTSSCI 4A06/9 | Individual study

This course consists of study under the supervision of a McMaster faculty member. Proposal deadline is March 1. See here for more information.

Coordinator: Dr. Beth Marquis
Term: 3
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ARTSSCI 4C06/9 | Thesis

This course consists of original research under the supervision of a McMaster faculty member. Proposal deadline is March 1. See here for more information.

Coordinator: Dr. Beth Marquis
Term: 3
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ARTSSCI 4CF3 | How Science Speaks to Power

A case study approach is used to examine how science is shaped by politics and how science advice is filtered by political processes. Possible case studies include Mad Cow disease, the ozone hole, and genetically modified foods.

Instructor: Dr. Lovaye Kajiura
Term: 1

ARTSSCI 4CI3 | Diversity and Human Rights Inquiry

This course explores issues of diversity and the role of human rights protection regimes in both Canadian and international contexts.

Instructor: Dr. Clare Warner
Term: 1

ARTSSCI 4CP3 | Media Inquiry

This course consists of four sections dealing with theoretical and analytical perspectives, political economy of the media, news media, and entertainment media and their cultural effects.

Instructor: Dr. James Gillett
Term: 1

ARTSSCI 4CT3 | Medical Humanities Inquiry

This course exposes students to the rapidly developing international field known as medical humanities. It explores the interconnections between health, medicine, the arts, and the humanities, with a particular focus on issues of medical ethics and narrative in medicine.

Instructor: Dr. P.K. Rangachari
Term: 2

ARTSSCI 4EP3 | Environmental Policy Inquiry

This course provides a critical analysis of the relationship between public policy making and environmental issues. Students will engage in critical discussion of a range of literature that has direct bearing on explaining how environmental issues, scientific evidence, and the policy process converge. The course also includes a current policy case study designed to help students gain further insight into how course themes and concepts unfold in reality.

Instructor: Dr. Chris McLaughlin
Term: 1

ARTSSCI 4LI3 | Literature Inquiry I

As the first of two offerings dedicated to the interactive process of literary study, the course encourages students to participate in fresh, open-minded, and careful reading of literary works in various forms, and to claim for themselves the relevance of literary engagement as a practice of knowledge. The course can be taken on its own or paired with ARTSSCI 4LT3 (not offered in 2023-24).

Instructor: Dr. Jean Wilson
Term: 2

ARTSSCI 4ST3 | Selected Topics in Inquiry

Topics will vary from year to year in accordance with student interests and faculty availability. Students should consult the Arts & Science Program for information on topics to be offered.

ARTSSCI 4ST3 (C01): “Gandhi’s Politics” – Fall 2023

This course examines the political thought of M. K. Gandhi and its reverberations in 20th century political theories of nonviolence, civil disobedience, and passive resistance. We will (a) conduct an in-depth examination of Gandhi’s political thought, beyond Hind Swaraj, (b) read his critics and interlocutors, and (c) consider the downstream effects of his ideas in 20th century political theory.

Instructor: Dr. Inder Marwah
Term: 1

ARTSSCI 4ST3 (C02): “Beauty and Truth in Mathematics and Sciences” – Winter 2024

The beauty of a scientific theory is often held up as a sign of its possible veracity. This course consists of a philosophical exploration of this idea. The focus of our interest will be the relationship between beauty and truth in mathematics and sciences. To do so, we will discuss texts by philosophers and scientists from various eras and fields of expertise. The course will address questions such as what is beauty? What is truth? Is there a relationship between them? What is the intellectual role of pleasure?

Instructor: Dr.  Manuel Vasquez Villavicencio
Term: 2

ARTSSCI 4VC3 | Visual Culture Inquiry

This course allows students to explore the ways in which images and other visual texts intersect with issues of social concern. Drawing from a range of disciplinary perspectives, it considers histories, theories, and practices of the visual, and provides students with an opportunity to conduct self-directed, creative inquiry into visual culture.

Instructor: Dr. Kristin Patterson
Term: 2

ARTSSCI 4MN1 | Local Explorations

An experiential learning course, which offers students the opportunity to explore issues of local significance and global relevance. Students may pursue independent study options or, when available, participate in assorted modules.

Instructor: Various
Term: 3
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