Courses

1919: On the Edge of a Brave New World

Join us for a day of engagement with speakers from UVic’s Department of History as they look at these events and more in 1919 – the year the world roiled!

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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

In this session, illustrated with maps, paintings and photographs, you will 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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Archaeology and Textiles

Some of the oldest textiles in the world can tell us a lot about how people were living in the past. Unlike stone and metal, threads and cloth often break down fairly quickly at archaeological sites, and dyes and paints can disappear or change colour through time.

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Artificial Intelligence and You

Artificial intelligence (AI) has exploded over the news, provoking great optimism, pessimism, and confusion.

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Backyard Botany (at Mary Winspear Centre)

As a gardener, have you ever wondered why your plants behave the way they do? Why companion planting works so well? Or why some plants prefer shade but others full sun? This workshop will let you in on the science behind gardening.

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Canada and International Trade: The Evolving Policy Environment

In this session we will discuss Canada’s most important international trade relationships and how recent changes in the international policy environment may affect the Canadian economy.

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Cutting Edge Wisdom

Living in our rapidly changing world has become, for many people, a bewildering experience of uncertainty and anxiety about our individual well-being and collective survival.

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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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Dirty Money, Secret Sex: Political Scandals in Canada

There have been thousands of political scandals in Canadian history, but they have rarely been examined as a collective – it’s always been far too gratifying to witness the stumbles of the powerful to give much thought to the scandals after the fact.

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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 teach you how to create an individual profile for unidentified human skeletal remains in a medico-legal context.

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Ghosts and Legends of Victoria

As October draws to a close, people begin to think of Halloween. Historian John Adams has been collecting ghost stories from Victoria for 25 years and will share some of the classics and some of the most intriguing during this presentation.

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Global Poverty and Effective Altruism

For many of us, the recent coronavirus pandemic has raised the stakes for an already pressing question: what are our moral obligations to those in desperate need of help?

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Hagia Sophia through Centuries

By navigating through art history, culture, architecture, politics, literature and urban development, we will look at how this 1400 year old masterpiece witnessed the growth of civilizations and watched the city expand and surpass its contemporaries.

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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 Fairly Cheerful

The world has changed greatly since Plutarch’s time, but the tendency of humans to entangle themselves in unproductive anxiety and distressing emotions is more or less a universal burden, one that can be lifted not by drugs or by success but only by some form of insight and self-awareness.

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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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Monasteries and Manuscripts – An Austrian Odyssey (at Amica and UVic)

Austrian monasteries are not just architectural masterpieces on the outside, they are also amazing repositories of knowledge on the inside. These monasteries and abbeys house vast libraries of manuscripts (hand-written books) and incunabula (early printed books) that preserved the knowledge of the ancients through the troubles and turmoil of Church and State.

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Monasteries and Manuscripts II – An Austrian Odyssey (at Amica and UVic)

In this second of a multi-part series on Austrian monasteries, we’ll continue our investigations into the libraries, scriptoria and “cabinets of curiosities” that brought together and preserved the expanding universe of science and exploration for medieval and Renaissance Europe.

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Monasteries and Manuscripts II – An Austrian Odyssey (at Mary Winspear Centre)

In this second of a multi-part series on Austrian monasteries, we’ll continue our investigations into the libraries, scriptoria and “cabinets of curiosities” that brought together and preserved the expanding universe of science and exploration for medieval and Renaissance Europe.

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Once and Future Germs: COVID-19 and Perspectives from the Past

How will the response to COVID-19 shape our world, and especially the role of public health science in society? Past disease outbreaks offer some clues. In the twentieth century, tuberculosis, influenza, polio and HIV/AIDS influenced attitudes about hygiene and personal space.

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Recent Warm Anomalies in the Ocean (at Mary Winspear Centre)

In late 2013, the Northeast Pacific Ocean gradually warmed relative to our historic records. By February 2014, a patch of over a thousand square kilometres and 100 metres deep was nearly three degrees Celsius warmer than usual. The effects of this "blob" were experienced across North America, and lingered in the coastal waters of the Salish Sea for nearly three years.

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Stories in Stone: Rock Art Around the World (at Mary Winspear Centre)

For thousands of years, paint and stone have been used all over the world to make art. From painting on rock surfaces, to meticulous grinding of pigments and stone, rock art in the form of pictographs and petroglyphs is one of the most intriguing cultural expressions.

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Stories in Stone: Rock Art Around the World (at UVic)

This introductory class will examine rock art as a worldwide phenomenon, and then focus on the rock art of First Nations on the Central Coast of BC. There will be a hands-on component where we will try some of the techniques discussed, so be sure to wear old clothes.

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The Great Trail - A National Treasure; A Regional Opportunity (at Mary Winspear Centre)

Come and find out more about The Great Trail, the only cross-country trail connecting Canadians from sea to sea to sea. On Vancouver Island, the trail is in your backyard and accessible for short or long treks. Learn more about the pioneering vision, the making of The Great Trail, the route on Vancouver Island, and key opportunities to walk or bike along the trail in the Capital Region. Discover this gem and set your sights on your next adventure, be it hiking, biking, horseback riding or, in some areas, canoeing, cross-country skiing, or snowmobiling!

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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 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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Trouble with Peace: A History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (at Mary Winspear Centre)

When Gaza orchestrated its Great March of Return in 2018 we were reminded  that 70 years after its inception, the State of Israel still does not have peace with its neighbours, and the Palestinians still do not have an independent country, even though there have been strenuous efforts in recent years to find  solutions to this vexing problem.

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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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What’s New in Education? (Spring Term)

Children’s Health: Powered by Community

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What’s New in Engineering? (Fall Term)

Artificial Intelligence for Machine Vision

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What’s New in Engineering? (Spring Term)

Decarbonizing Canada’s Electricity System

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What’s New in Fine Arts? (Spring Term)

The Disembodied Stage: Blending Virtual Reality and Theatre

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What’s New in Grad Studies? (Fall Term)

Indigenous Language Revitalization: Why and How?

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What’s New in Grad Studies? (Spring Term)

The Low-Carbon Energy Revolution and its Land Area Challenge

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What’s New in Human and Social Development? (Fall Term)

Factors that Influence Quality of Life in Older People

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What’s New in Human and Social Development? (Spring Term)

Shifting Families: Conceptions of the African Family in the Context of Migration

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What’s New in Humanities? (Fall Term)

Arguing Piety, Class and Romance in Muslim Southeast Asia

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What’s New in Humanities? (Spring Term)

Good Food, Bad Sex: A History of Illicit Appetites, 1750 - Today

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What’s New in Law? (Fall Term)

Please note there will be no Deans' Lecture in Law in the 2019 Fall term

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What’s New in Law? (Spring Term)

two this term: "Law of the Feast Hall, Law of the Courts: Teaching Indigenous Law" and "On Gaia Democracy: Seeing Ourselves as Citizens of the Living Earth"

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What’s New in Science? (Fall Term)

Building Artificial Cells on a Chip

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What’s New in Science? (Spring Term)

The Sea Inside the Seed: Cycad Sperm Gotta Swim

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What’s New in Social Sciences? (Fall Term)

Economic Inequality: Causes, Consequences and Remedies

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What’s New in Social Sciences? (Spring Term)

Space-based Observations of the Rapidly Changing Arctic Ocean

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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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