Courses

A Cultural Study of Poverty and Homelessness

This online course invites students to consider the apparent homelessness crisis through the lens of Canadian social policy formulation. The focus is on the connections between policy decisions of the last half century and current problems, as well as evaluation of current policy solutions.

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A History of the James Bay Neighbourhood

Learn about the history of James Bay, Victoria’s oldest residential district, from the 1840s to today.

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An Introduction to Humanities

An introduction to the various ways in which scholars from different disciplines in the Humanities interpret, analyze and evaluate texts.

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An Introduction to the Art and Architecture in the Islamic World

This course will examine the development of Muslim religious and social practices that gave rise to a tradition of “Islamic” art and architecture. We will look at the requirements for educational and complexes of charitable foundations such as hospitals and soup kitchens, and the evolution of places for religious assembly, including mosques.

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America and the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

In this talk, Dr. Bunton will review the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Trump era, situating recent developments within both the broader context of US policy towards the Middle East over the last three decades, as well as changes in the regional dynamics among Arab states.

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Archaeology and Plants

Plants are fundamental to the food systems, and technologies, used by First Nations in BC in archaeological contexts. Perishable technology is often overlooked when analyzing archaeological data.

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Archaeology and Textiles

Some of the oldest textiles in the world can tell us a lot about how people were living in the past.

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Artificial Intelligence and You

Artificial intelligence (AI) has exploded over the news, provoking great optimism, pessimism, and confusion. In this course, we will cover the history of AI through recent developments including self-driving cars, get a useful understanding of just what AI is - and is not - and explore the positions of figures from Elon Musk to Ray Kurzweil.

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Black History in Victoria

February is Black History Month and Victoria has many associations with Black pioneers in British Columbia. In this talk, historian John Adams will discuss Governor Sir James Douglas’ Black ancestry and why there was an exodus of Black people, from California to Victoria in 1858 at the time of the Fraser River Gold Rush.

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Chinese Victoria: History of Victoria's Chinatown

Victoria's Chinatown is the oldest, permanent, urban Chinese community in Canada—dating back to the 1858 Gold Rush on the Fraser River.

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Conspiracy in the Age of COVID

The global COVID-19 pandemic has had significant impacts on our lives, and one of the most troubling aspects of this has been the sharp rise in COVID-related conspiracy theories.

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Dementia and Alzheimer’s: Current Research

Dementia is not a natural part of aging. It is an umbrella term that encompasses over one hundred neurodegenerative diseases that affect memory, judgment, and cognitive skills severely enough to interfere with daily life.

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Empire and Desire: The Ottoman Palace in Western Imagination

Topkapı Palace served as the seat of Ottoman imperial power for 400 years. Built in the 15th century following the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans, the Palace was not only the focus of political power, intrigues and riots.

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Forensic Anthropology of the Human Skeleton

This six-part series will examine topics of forensic anthropology and concepts relating to the recovery and analysis of unidentified human remains in a medico-legal context.

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Hagia Sophia through Centuries

The majestic Hagia Sophia, Divine Wisdom, built as the principal church of the Eastern Roman Empire in the 6th century in what is now Istanbul, saw empires rise and fall.

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Homer and Greek Archaeology: Excavating the Iliad and the Odyssey

The greatest poems of ancient Greece, Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, are not only foundational to the study of Greek literature, history, and religion, they are of key importance to the history of Greek archaeology as a field of modern research.

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How to be Guided by Love

Imagine the world filled with loving kindness, with no fighting, violence, hostility or prejudice. Changing the world starts with changing ourselves.

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How to be Your Own Protector

Buddha said: “You are your own protector, you are your own enemy." ...

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Human Evolution

Bringing together the evidence from the fossil record, recent genetic advances, and the archaeological data, we will examine the biological and cultural characteristics that define humans, as well as the major theories for how such characteristics evolved.

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Introduction to Canadian Contemporary Issues

An introduction to contemporary issues in Canadian society including: politics, economic and social structures, cultural and arts policy, science and technology, multiculturalism, bilingualism, First Nations and women's issues.

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Introduction to Canadian Culture

An introduction to the multidisciplinary study of cultural structures and expression in Canada, including such forms as literature, fine arts, mass media and communications.

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Issues and Ideas in Canadian Environmentalism

This course offers an opportunity to explore how the physical environment of this country shapes the Canadian people.

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Kids These Days and the Ongoing Evolution of Language

Current language practices are simultaneously a reflection of historical linguistic states and a window to future linguistic states. In this talk Dr. Alex D’Arcy explores this relationship between past, present and future, problematizing the fact that language change unfolds as a continuous succession of present moments.

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Networks and Borderlands: Bordering Processes in the 21st Century

In this first lecture, we'll establish the framework for our future discussions. What do borders look like in the 21st Century? Does it make sense to talk about borders in digital spaces, and if so, what do they look like? How do online social movements and ideologies engage in "bordering processes"?

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Networks of Rage: Far-Right Extremism Online

In this lecture, we will assess how far-right activism in North America has used digital landscapes to effectively transcend national borders. We will examine some of the ways that far-right ideologies emerge, how they use the internet and social media first to organize, and then to spread internationally.

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Stories in Stone: Rock Art Around the World

For thousands of years, paint and stone have been used all over the world to make art.

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The Art of Self-Acceptance

Buddhist teachings on self-acceptance show us how to be our own friend, teacher and guide. However, we are sometimes our own worst enemy, causing ourselves pain and torment.

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The Beginning of Colonialism in Mowachaht Territory

This presentation will give an overview of Spanish imperial activity at Nootka Sound in the summer of 1789 when Captain Esteban José Martínez built and dismantled a naval outpost on Nootka Island. As Great Britain and Spain came close to war, Chief Maquinna and the Mowachaht experienced the beginnings of European colonialism in their territory.

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The Big Melt? Canada’s Interests in a Changing Arctic

The Arctic continues to experience unprecedented ecological, political and social transformation, compounding the already dramatic changes of the 20th century.

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The Changing Face of Victoria's Chinatown in the 21st Century

In 1995 Victoria’s Chinatown was designated a national historic site of Canada because it is the oldest surviving Chinatown in Canada, it was the largest urban centre of Chinese population in Canada until the first decade of the twentieth centu

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The Sculpting of Myth and Imagination

The flat lands of Tuktoyaktuk to the ice cap of Greenland and … the little grub that defies hibernation.

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The Social Construction of Borders

Borders help to define citizenship and to exclude the unwelcome and Other. But what of culture? Does cultural identity stop (or start) at the border?

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The Storm Rises: Contemporary Extremism in North America

When Canadian extremists attack mosques and pedestrians in Canadian cities, there is often a digital trail that leads investigators to international, a-territorial networks. What are these groups? How do they recruit and who are their targets?

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The World of Russian Culture

In this course you will explore the world of Russian culture from its early classic art-form to today’s modern digital era. We will look at major cultural events and the most significant works by Russian writers, composers, painters and dancers.

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University 101

A desire to learn is all you need for University 101. This non-credit course in the humanities is for you if your economic and social circumstances normally pose obstacles to university education (e.g., low income, mental health challenges, single parenthood, homelessness).

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University 102

A desire to learn is all you need for University 102. This non-credit course in the social sciences is offered to people whose personal, economic and social circumstances might pose obstacles to university education (e.g., low income, physical or mental health challenges, work and family responsibilities or lack of opportunity).

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University 201

University 201 is a course for people who have completed at least one of the University 101 or 102 courses. The course runs in all three academic terms and covers a wide range of different topics on a monthly basis.

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Victorian Cities of the Dead

Some of BC’s most impressive 19th century cemeteries are located in Victoria, and instructor John Adams knows them intimately.

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What to do When Things go Wrong

When things don’t work out the way we want them to, our usual reaction is to become upset or disappointed. In this course you will learn how to cultivate the mind of patience that is able to bear suffering or harm.

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