Global Citizens

Stream Overview

Do you consider yourself a citizen of the world? Do you ever wonder how the literature and geography around you shape the world that you inhabit, or how society and politics are constructed? Do you wonder about the possibilities and limits of globalization? If so, the Global Citizens stream should be the perfect first-year program for you! You will also have the opportunity to work with a community organization to engage in a variety of projects. Through a study of literature, sociology, geography and political science, this stream seeks answers to various questions including:

  • What does it mean to be a citizen? How have forces of globalization changed the meanings and practices of citizenship?
  • How are we shaped by, and how do we identify with, our local, ethnic and national communities?
  • On both a local and global scale, what are our responsibilities and obligations as citizens, in thinking about and representing others and ourselves?
  • Which stories and memories are heard in particular places and times, and which others are silenced?

If any of these questions interest you, consider joining the Global Citizens stream!

The increasingly interconnected nature of the world today requires us to re-imagine ourselves both as individuals and as participants in a global community. This stream considers issues of globalization and associated forms of modernization, as well as the personal, social, and ethical opportunities and responsibilities that come with those processes. You will be introduced to the different intellectual perspectives associated with the disciplines of Geography, Political Science, Sociology, and English – and you will be challenged to draw connections across and within these academic approaches.

Issues and themes associated with Global Citizenship include identity, citizenship, social responsibility, political participation, environment stewardship, memory, trauma, and urban life. The way in which we perceive the world around us is often informed by a Western viewpoint, and the courses in this stream seek to illuminate and challenge this standpoint.

This stream may be of particular interest to students who plan on majoring in English, Political Science, International Relations, Geography, or Sociology.


Courses

All course descriptions and information are subject to change.

In your first term, you will enroll in Arts Studies, Sociology, and Political Science to learn how society and politics play a role in our global lives in issues of power, representation, and structure. You will be introduced to features and techniques of academic writing in your courses, and exhibit them in a research paper in your political science course.

Arts Studies (ASTU) 100 Seminar

(6 credits/2 terms) – First Year CAP Seminar: Focuses on writing and reading, including both literature and introduction to academic scholarship. This course provides an interdisciplinary foundation for academic writing and related research communicative practices within an interactive learning environment. Topics for each section vary by according to faculty.

Students will choose one out of four different sections (G01/G02/G03/G04), based on their scheduling needs and academic interests, and stay in the same section for both terms.

Timeslots:
G01: Tues & Thurs 09:30-11:00
G02: Mon, Wed & Fri 11:00-12:00
G03: Mon, Wed & Fri  14:00-15:00


  • ASTU 100 Section G01 -  Getting Lives: The Global and Local Work of Contemporary Life Narratives
    Dr. Laurie McNeill
    laurie.mcneill@ubc.ca

How do people make meaning of their own and others’ experiences? What do personal stories of historical and contemporary events and issues help readers or viewers understand? Whose stories will be heard, or not, and why? How do our own practices of producing and consuming life stories shape society and culture? This section of ASTU 100 will take up these and other questions relevant to the Global Citizens stream by thinking about contemporary life narrative in various forms. By analyzing texts including digital lives (social networks, blogs, websites), memoirs, comics, documentaries, and archives, we will think about the work that life narratives can do in the world, as they travel across cultures, experiences, and readerships. We will consider how the study of life narrative engages the concerns of Global Citizens, such as ethics, adopting a global perspective, and questioning traditional power structures and social norms. We will use our focus on life narratives to shape our understanding of how we as scholars work: how we do research, join scholarly conversations, and create new knowledge. Alongside our life narratives, we will therefore read academic writing by others, and produce our own scholarship in different forms, including blogs, research essays, collaborative projects, and conference papers. By the end of the course, students will be able to produce their own analyses of literary and cultural texts that contribute to public and scholarly knowledge.


  • ASTU 100 Sections G02, G03 - Literature and/as Memory
    Dr. Moberley Luger
    mluger@mail.ubc.ca
    604-822-9558

In this course, we will explore what it means to be a “global citizen” in the 21st century by looking at how literature represents our relations to one another. We will do this by focusing on a particular topic in literature: “memory.” This topic will prompt us to ask questions like these: How does literature function as a record of history? What obligations does literature have toward “truth” – and what kinds of truths does it convey or suppress? Who “owns” a story and who can tell a story? Should we only speak for ourselves, or must we also speak for others? The texts on our reading list will explore these questions through literature that remembers both local events (e.g. the internment of Japanese Canadians and the colonization of Indigenous peoples in B.C.) and global ones (e.g. 9/11 and the Iraq War). Here are some sample texts: Sarah Polley’s Stories we Tell (film); Joy Kogawa’s Obasan (novel); Jordan Abel’s Injun (poetry); Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis (comic), and Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist (novella).

And, because this is a course that encompasses both Literature and academic writing, we will not only practice our skills as readers—but also develop our skills as writers. Students will learn the conventions of knowledge-making and writing in Arts disciplines. This means you will join in the scholarly conversations you read and contribute new knowledge to them. To do this, you will produce a writing in the form of blogs, literature reviews, research essays, editorials, and/or conference papers.

 

 

Sociology (SOCI) 100 - Introduction to Sociology

(6 credits/2 terms)
Dr. Kerry Greer
kerry.greer@ubc.ca

Committed to cultivating engaged students, Professor Greer emphasizes participatory learning both inside and outside of the classroom. Students can expect a mix of lectures, in-class discussions, and activities during the three 50-minute class meetings each week. Students are evaluated based on their performance on several (5-6) examinations (multiple choice, short answer, and as the term comes to an end, essays), a series of 6 assignments that require students to engage with new material, reflect, and write (students select 4 to turn in), participation (both in and out of the classroom), and their work in either a weekly tutorial (where emphasis is placed on research methods and writing a full research paper) or participation in a weekly service-learning experience off campus (which is structured and supported by the UBC CCEL office with monthly meetings with other student participants and the instructor, along with written reflections). (Students will learn more about this opportunity on the CAP website, and in August will receive details to help them decide which option suits their interests better.)

Students can expected that this year-long course will help anchor them throughout their first year at UBC and that the skills they gain in terms of reading and engaging with challenging texts, writing academically, managing deadlines, and taking notes from a lecture will increase their success during their time in university. Student learning is supported through careful skill development in the course, and by the mentoring and leadership of two teaching assistants and the Global Stream CAP student mentors.

Political Science (POLI) 100 - Introduction to Politics

(3 credits/ 1 term)
Instructor Chris Erikson

Introduction to Politics: what is power? What is justice? What does it mean to be free? What is the role of violence in politics? How do I make sense of politics? These are powerful questions that influence the ways in which we think about and shape politics. This class will introduce students to the themes and dilemmas of politics.

Together, we will learn how all of us as citizens can create change in the world through seeing problems, critical reflection, and informed action. We will examine different understandings of democratic citizenship in historical perspective, as well as identify problems in global citizenship and analyze how effective citizen action can occur both at home and on a global level. We will critique and respond to works by: Plato, Aristophanes, Alexis de Tocqueville, Mary Wollstonecraft, Hannah Arendt, Will Kymlicka, Frantz Fanon, Mike Davis, and more. Students will be expected to apply their learning as they identify traits and actions of good citizens in their college courses, in their residence halls, in their homes, in their communities, in organizations, and in our shared world. Planned course activities will challenge students to identify ways that they, either acting in groups or as individuals can change and improve our world. Together, we will embrace practices of engaged citizenship.

In your second term, you will continue your studies in Arts Studies and Sociology, as well as be introduced to the lens of Geography, where you will learn more about our globalising and modernising world and how literature plays a part in both shaping and resisting the structures surrounding our world.

Arts Studies (ASTU) 100 Seminar

(6 credits/2 terms) – First Year CAP Seminar: Focuses on writing and reading, including both literature and introduction to academic scholarship. This course provides an interdisciplinary foundation for academic writing and related research communicative practices within an interactive learning environment. Topics for each section vary by according to faculty.

Students will choose one out of four different sections (G01/G02/G03/G04), based on their scheduling needs and academic interests, and stay in the same section for both terms.

Timeslots:
G01: Tues & Thurs 09:30-11:00
G02: Mon, Wed & Fri 11:00-12:00
G03: Mon, Wed & Fri  14:00-15:00


  • ASTU 100 Section G01 -  Getting Lives: The Global and Local Work of Contemporary Life Narratives
    Dr. Laurie McNeill
    laurie.mcneill@ubc.ca

How do people make meaning of their own and others’ experiences? What do personal stories of historical and contemporary events and issues help readers or viewers understand? Whose stories will be heard, or not, and why? How do our own practices of producing and consuming life stories shape society and culture? This section of ASTU 100 will take up these and other questions relevant to the Global Citizens stream by thinking about contemporary life narrative in various forms. By analyzing texts including digital lives (social networks, blogs, websites), memoirs, comics, documentaries, and archives, we will think about the work that life narratives can do in the world, as they travel across cultures, experiences, and readerships. We will consider how the study of life narrative engages the concerns of Global Citizens, such as ethics, adopting a global perspective, and questioning traditional power structures and social norms. We will use our focus on life narratives to shape our understanding of how we as scholars work: how we do research, join scholarly conversations, and create new knowledge. Alongside our life narratives, we will therefore read academic writing by others, and produce our own scholarship in different forms, including blogs, research essays, collaborative projects, and conference papers. By the end of the course, students will be able to produce their own analyses of literary and cultural texts that contribute to public and scholarly knowledge.

 


  • ASTU 100 Sections G02, G03 - Literature and/as Memory
    Dr. Moberley Luger
    mluger@mail.ubc.ca
    604-822-9558

In this course, we will explore what it means to be a “global citizen” in the 21st century by looking at how literature represents our relations to one another. We will do this by focusing on a particular topic in literature: “memory.” This topic will prompt us to ask questions like these: How does literature function as a record of history? What obligations does literature have toward “truth” – and what kinds of truths does it convey or suppress? Who “owns” a story and who can tell a story? Should we only speak for ourselves, or must we also speak for others? The texts on our reading list will explore these questions through literature that remembers both local events (e.g. the internment of Japanese Canadians and the colonization of Indigenous peoples in B.C.) and global ones (e.g. 9/11 and the Iraq War). Here are some sample texts: Sarah Polley’s Stories we Tell (film); Joy Kogawa’s Obasan (novel); Jordan Abel’s Injun (poetry); Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis (comic), and Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist (novella).

And, because this is a course that encompasses both Literature and academic writing, we will not only practice our skills as readers—but also develop our skills as writers. Students will learn the conventions of knowledge-making and writing in Arts disciplines. This means you will join in the scholarly conversations you read and contribute new knowledge to them. To do this, you will produce a writing in the form of blogs, literature reviews, research essays, editorials, and/or conference papers.

Sociology (SOCI) 100 - Introduction to Sociology

(6 credits/2 terms)
Dr. Kerry Greer
(kerry.greer@ubc.ca)

Committed to cultivating engaged students, Professor Greer emphasizes participatory learning both inside and outside of the classroom. Students can expect a mix of lectures, in-class discussions, and activities during the three 50-minute class meetings each week. Students are evaluated based on their performance on several (5-6) examinations (multiple choice, short answer, and as the term comes to an end, essays), a series of 6 assignments that require students to engage with new material, reflect, and write (students select 4 to turn in), participation (both in and out of the classroom), and their work in either a weekly tutorial (where emphasis is placed on research methods and writing a full research paper) or participation in a weekly service-learning experience off campus (which is structured and supported by the UBC CCEL office with monthly meetings with other student participants and the instructor, along with written reflections). (Students will learn more about this opportunity on the CAP website, and in August will receive details to help them decide which option suits their interests better.)

Students can expected that this year-long course will help anchor them throughout their first year at UBC and that the skills they gain in terms of reading and engaging with challenging texts, writing academically, managing deadlines, and taking notes from a lecture will increase their success during their time in university. Student learning is supported through careful skill development in the course, and by the mentoring and leadership of two teaching assistants and the Global Stream CAP student mentors.
 

Geography (GEOG) 122 - Geography, Modernity, and Globalisation

(3 credits/1 term)
Dr. Trevor Barnes              Dr. Jim Glassman
tbarnes@geog.ubc.ca       jim.glassman@geog.ubc.ca

Geography 122 is an introduction to human geography and to the history and character of our modern, globalising, interdependent world.  The course deals with the emerging human geography of globalization beginning from the fifteenth century through to the present.  The broad aims of the course are twofold.  The first is substantive which is to examine how the world has changed geographically over the last more than five-hundred years.  We examine the full range of spatial scales to interpret geographically the themes of modernisation and globalisation, their consequences, their changing expressions, and the reactions against them.  The second is to introduce a particular disciplinary approach to understanding the world, the geographical, which is synthetic, case-based, pitched at a mid-level of abstraction, and integrative.  Each of the substantive topics of the course are presented through the lens of a given geographical idea.  You will learn both geography and how geographers think.  The course is divided into two main parts.  The first is concerned with the period from the beginnings of European exploration, imperialism and settler colonization through to the Second World War.  Here we discuss the uneven development of industrial capitalism and social power relations throughout the world from 1492 to 1945, including development of the state power and the forces of production. The second half of the course is about the period from the end of WWII to the present.  We focus especially on the character of the contemporary globalized economy and urbanization, forms of current environmental distress, and a series of case studies of particular regions that have undergone a profound transformation because of market-led internationalization.

 

 


Timetable

Please note that you will only register in one ASTU 100 seminar, and one SOCI 100 and POLI 100 discussion section. This timetable is subject to change.

Please note that you will only register in one ASTU 100 section, and one SOCI 100 and GEOG 122 discussion section. This timetable is subject to change.


Sample Projects

ASTU 100

Archival Project

Working with materials in the UBC Rare Books and Special Collections, including letters, photographs, comics, and newspapers, students will write an essay considering issues of representation and cultural memory in archives. This assignment helps students develop skills in undertaking primary research, and creating and pursuing research questions about such materials.

Literature Review Presentation

As students prepare to write a typical scholarly research assignment—the literature review—they will also have the opportunity to begin their research and discuss it in a group setting. For this project, students work in small groups to locate how scholars debate and discuss an important course concept (for example “national memory”). Students then present their findings to the class as everyone helps each other build useful bibliographies that will support their research all term.

SOCI 100

Engaging with Community through Trek

Students who opt to participate in the Trek Program in lieu of the weekly discussion section spend about 2 hours a week at a community partner site engaged in a variety of projects from helping to distribute food to persons and families in need, tutoring a child in reading or mathematics, providing mentorship in afterschool programs, to helping women regain their sense of security and confidence through self-care. Students learn to navigate Vancouver, engage with the broader community, and see how the social realities we discuss in the classroom play out and are reproduced every day, everywhere. Students still meet regularly with each other and with the professor, as well as participate in additional programing through Trek. Read directly from students about their experience by visiting the blog site.

Written Assignments

Throughout the year students are required to complete 4 out of 6 written assignments. These assignments range from asking students to watch TED Talks and reflect on who gets to define who we are in society, to exploring who gets to go to a university like UBC, to challenging students to consider how their consumptive habits impact the environment. Each assignment is designed to deepen understanding of course material, extend learning to a broader context, and provide students with the opportunity to hone their critical thinking and writing skills.