Philosophy, Political Science, and Economics – ASTU 100B

There are five sections of ASTU 100B offered in Fall 2016. Note that course themes and assignments will differ based on each instructor’s area of expertise.

PPE ASTU 100B – P01 & P02, 2016

Instructor TBA

Sample Theme

In this section, we explore methods of scholarship through the lens of travel. We explore connections between physical mobility and social mobility and ask questions such as “who travels and why?” We discuss the ways that different types of voluntary travel have historically been associated with cultural privilege, while other types of involuntary travel (or travel under duress) are connected to cultural disenfranchisement. Scholars write about travel as a way to engage in conversations about topics such as empire, citizenship, nationality, gender, sexuality, and race. We will read scholarly articles about travel in the fields of literary/cultural studies, economics, and political science. While exploring a range of scholarship about travel, we discuss the differences between non-scholarly and scholarly writing and how scholarly methods change according to discipline. Writing assignments will allow students to write about travel through a variety of scholarly lenses, to adopt and apply different writing and research practices, and to weigh in on scholarly debates about travel.

PPE ASTU 100B – P03, 2016

Instructor TBA

Sample Theme

In this section of ASTU 100B, students will learn to develop skills in academic writing and research that will be applicable to numerous academic disciplines. Students will learn the following, for example: how to conduct library research; how to analyze texts, edit, and summarize effectively; and how to create an argument that is supported and sustained throughout an academic essay. Ultimately, students will learn to develop their ideas and engage in sophisticated conversations in academic communities beyond the classroom. These skills are immensely portable: they will help students think critically, express themselves clearly, and write skilfully and confidently in their chosen academic field and elsewhere too, like in the workplace.

This section of ASTU 100B will focus on the theme of crime and deviance in American culture. We will read critical work from a variety of disciplines, including criminology, cultural studies, sociology, and history, in order to explore the nature and causes of criminal behaviour, the role of the police and the judiciary, as well as the cultural meaning of crime and deviance in American culture.

PPE ASTU 100B – P04 & P05, 2016

Instructor TBA

Sample Theme: Disability Studies

What are the definitions of a disabled body and mind? How were these definitions established and how have they impacted the ways in which we structure our society, from the design of our buildings and city streets to our education system and employment practices? In this class, we will grapple with these questions and more through the analysis of six scholarly articles on the topic of disability. More specifically, we will look at how each discipline’s methods of research and style of writing reflect their definitions of disability and the kinds of knowledge they produce on the topic.

The readings, assignments and projects as well as in-class activities will allow you to practice with a variety of approaches to the topic as first year students. These will include collaborative knowledge making tasks, blog posts, group workshop activities, peer response and presentations, close readings and a formal scholarly proposal and paper. Most importantly, as a first year student you will produce new knowledge that will contribute to the scholarly conversation both within our classroom and in the wider UBC community.


Required textbook:

Janet Giltrow et al. Academic Writing: An Introduction, 3rd ed.

Sample of possible articles (subject to change):

  • Heiss, Sarah N. “Locating the Bodies of Women and Disability in Definitions of Beauty: An Analysis of Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty.” Disability Studies Quarterly 31.1 (2011): n. page. Web. 5 May 2009.
  • Schaffer, Kay and Sidonie Smith. “Conjunctions: Life Narratives in the Field of Human Rights.” Biography 27.1 (2004): 1-24.
  • Smith, Barbara Hernstein. “Value/Evaluation.” Critical Terms for Literary Study. 2nd Eds. Frank Lentricchia and Thomas McLaughlin. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996. 177-185.
  • Street, John, Sanna Inthorn and Martin Scott. “Playing at Politics? Popular Culture as Political Engagement.” Parliamentary Affairs 65 (2012): 338-358.