World Literature and Culture Studies

This program is not accepting any new admissions at this time.

General Information

The Program in World Literature and Culture Studies is dedicated to the study of literature and cultures in a broad interlingual, intercultural and interdisciplinary framework. It offers students the opportunity to explore various cultures and literatures through the study of texts, either in their original language or in translation and to develop a more global consciousness and awareness through cultural literacy. World Literature and Culture Studies introduces students to:

  1. The literature of two or more languages and cultures
  2. Questions and theories about literatures and cultures
  3. Contemporary and/or historical perspectives on two or more cultures

The study of different texts and cultures will enrich and enhance students' understanding of their own as well as of other cultures. This process is facilitated by the systematic comparison of such questions as literary genres, periods, movements, and dominant themes and motifs, or in the context of the mutual impact of two or more national or regional cultures.

Why World Literature and Culture Studies 

Globalization, democratization, and post-colonial forces continue to powerfully shape our increasingly complex and interconnected world. World Literature and Culture Studies provides a valuable opportunity to study these relationships as expressed in literary and other cultural texts from a variety of perspectives.

Those who would otherwise choose to study one national or regional literature may find here a broader frame of reference for their interest. Students have the opportunity to read intriguing and challenging texts from around the world while discovering the connections between literature and other disciplines and among the various literatures studied in the program; this program offers students the possibility of exploring the relations between literature and such areas as ideology, colonialism, film and other visual arts, gender studies, political thought, and International Development Studies.

World Literature and Culture Studies allows students to improve their analytical and critical thinking skills, develop their abilities in expository writing and oral communications, expand the context of functionality in a second or even third language. Finally, students not only gain perspective on the world, but also deeper insights into their own culture.

Programs of Study

General Program Requirements

Students planning to major in World Literature and Culture Studies will normally take the following sequence of courses, with adjustments for Honours or combined programs:

Year I

  • Either 6 ch in World Literature (WLCS 1001 and 1002) or 6 ch in Introductory Culture courses. (Both alternatives count as Humanities for first-year Arts requirements)
  • 6 ch in a second language (Introductory level)

Year II

  • Either 6 ch in World Literature (WLCS 1001 and 1002) or 6 ch in Introductory WLCS Culture courses (depending on which of the two were taken in Year I)
  • 6 ch in a second language (Intermediate level)
  • 3-6 ch recommended (but not required) in related courses, incl ANTH1001, CLAS 1003, 1403, 1413, 1503; HIST 2015; IDS 2001

Year III/IV

  • 30 upper level credit hours including at least 9 ch WLCS; HIST 3701 (Approaches to Cultural Studies) or equivalent; 18 ch from Groups A and B of which no less than 6 ch will be from each, and the total will be drawn from no less than three disciplines,. In addition, students are strongly encouraged to continue in the study of at least one second language

MINORS, MAJORS AND HONOURS

Minor

A Minor in WLCS consists of a total of 24 ch and must include: 

  1. Either 6 ch in (one) second language OR 6 ch of introductory courses in culture
  2. WLCS 1001 and 1002
  3. 12 additional upper-level ch in literature, culture and/or film courses taken from the Department of Culture and Language Studies 

Majors 

  • WLCS 1001/1002
  • 6 credit hours in Introductory Culture courses 
  • 12 credit hours in a second language 
  • 30 credit hours in advanced-level courses including: 
    9 ch WLCS courses
    HIST 3701 or equivalent
    18 ch from Groups A and B, of which no less than 6 ch will be from each, and at least 3 disciplines will be included in total

Double Majors

The same as for majors except:

  • 24 credit hours in advanced-level courses including:
    6 ch WLCS courses
    HIST 3701 or equivalent
    15 ch from Groups A and B, of which no less than 6 ch will be from each, and at least 3 disciplines will be included in total

Honours

The same as for majors except:

  • 36 credit hours in advanced-level courses including: 
    15 ch WLCS courses including WLCS 5000 (Honours Thesis)
    HIST 3701 or equivalent
    18 ch from Groups A and B, of which no less than 6 ch will be from each, and at least 3 disciplines will be included in total

Joint Honours

The same as for majors except: 

  • 30 credit hours in advanced-level courses including:
    12 ch WLCS courses including WLCS 5000 (Honours Thesis)
    HIST 3701 or equivalent
    15 ch from Groups A and B, of which no less than 6 ch will be from each, and at least 3 disciplines will be included in total

WORLD LITERATURE AND CULTURE STUDIES (WLCS) COURSES

Notes: 

  1. All readings and lectures are in English.
  2. 1000-level courses are open to all students, and have no prerequisites.
  3. Upper-level courses are open to all students who have completed at least 30 credit hours of university or by permission of the instructor. 

Introductory Culture Courses 

(See under German, Russian, Spanish for course descriptions) 

WLCS 1013/SPAN 1013 The Culture of Spain and Latin America I 3 ch (3C) [W]
WLCS 1014/SPAN 1014 The Culture of Spain and Latin America II 3 ch (3C) [W]
WLCS 1043/ RUSS 1043 Russian Culture I 3 ch (3C) [W]
WLCS 1053/RUSS 1053 Russian Culture II 3 ch (3C) [W]
WLCS 2021/MAAC 2021 Popular Culture 3 ch (3C) [W]
WLCS 3061/ GER 3061 From Tribes to a Nation: German Cultures before 1900 3 ch (3C) [W]
WLCS 3071/ GER 3071 German Today: German Culture from 1900 to the Present 3 ch (3C) [W]

Group A

Any advanced-level literature courses from the following disciplines: Classics, English, French, German, Greek, Latin, Russian and Spanish as well as courses in Film Studies. Individual departmental prerequisites must be met. Course selection should be discussed with and approved by the Chair of the Department of Culture and Language Studies.

Group B

Approved courses (listed below) from other university departments. Individual departmental prerequisites must be met. Other courses may be appropriate for this group as well. Course selection should be discussed with the Chair of the Department of Culture and Language Studies. 

ANTH 3413 Language and Culture
ANTH 3434 Cross-Cultural Communication
ANTH 3694 Latin America
ANTH 3704 South America
ANTH 4224 Anthropology of Religion
CLAS 3913 Love and Sexuality in Greece and Rome
HIST 3015 Racism in the West from Antiquity to the Enlightenment
HIST 3016 Racism in the West from Enlightenment to Today
HIST 3716 Renaissance Art
HIST 3729 Art Now
HIST 3735 The History of Modern Art
HIST 3905 History of the Physical Sciences
PHIL 2074 Introduction of Classics in Aesthetics
PHIL 3311 19 Selected Topics in Existential and Postmodern Philosophy
POLS 3323 Cities in the Urban Century
POLS 3731 Governments and Their Spies
POLS 3417 Politics and Music
POLS 3471 When Bards are Bothered: Political Critique in Literature
POLS 3715 The Critique of Alienation
POLS 3831 Contemporary China
SOCI 3243 Sociology and Culture
SOCI 3252 International Media, Culture and Communications
SOCI 3253 Sociology of Media
SOCI 3706 Sociology of Colonialism and Post-Colonialism
SOCI 4225 Language of Society