July Program

The Arts VSP offers a variety of packages, each consisting of two non-credit courses, each with approximately 39 hours of class time. The courses are directed by UBC faculty members. Classes are interactive and may include class discussions, group work, guest lecturers, and field trips.

As these are non-credit UBC courses, any course credit will be granted at the discretion of the participating universities. Students/universities will be given grades letters for each course upon program completion.

July 11 – August 11, 2020 Course Packages

Labour, Community, and Institution-Building: South Asian Histories in Vancouver (Asian Studies)

This course allows students to experience the long history of South Asian communities in greater Vancouver, exploring both experiences of marginalization and community resilience and productivity. Sociological, historical, gender studies, and cultural perspectives will be explored, as well as extensive site-visits and community-based learning opportunities through guest speakers from local communities and institutions. Students will engage in independent and group projects that allow for the development of research, public-speaking, and project management skills.

Chinese in Canada: Histories and Contemporary Issues (Asian Canadian and Asian Migration Studies)

Chinese have been coming to Canada since at least the 1850s; today, they are one of the largest minority communities in the country, with a particularly large concentration in the Greater Vancouver area. This course introduces students to histories of Chinese immigration as well as contemporary issues such as racism, identity, gender, and sexuality. Students will gain first-hand experience with local communities through guest speakers and visits to important sites such as Vancouver's historic Chinatown and Richmond, home of one of the largest recent immigrant communities. In order to prepare students for further academic studies in English, this course will focus on developing skills in research, critical thinking, public presentation, digital media, and writing.

Culture and Communication (Anthropology)

Anthropology is the study of human societies and cultures and their development. A very important area of interest is human language. This course will examine the relationship between language and culture by covering key debates in the field including animal vs. human communication, cross-cultural differences, language policies and language change. Students will explore how language is involved in cultural constructions of race, gender, class and ethnicity. They will also analyze how language is understood in relation to power, political economy and language ideologies. Students will gain experience in meeting writing standards for UBC Arts/Anthropology courses and will receive individual feedback on writing assignments.

Global Journalism (Journalism)

This course will examine the development of media technologies, their applications, and their cultural, political and social impacts. Students will also gain hands-on experience in learning how to think and operate like a professional journalist in a simulated multimedia environment. lt is designed to introduce students to the grammar and syntax of media across platforms, based on a core journalistic skill set of interviewing, reporting, news writing, and research methods in tandem with the most current technical tools.

The History and Future of the English Language (English)

In order to contextualize present-day changes in English, the course will begin with a brief history of the English language. It will then examine issues such as the national dialects of English (e.g. Canadian English, British English, Singapore English), regional and social dialects, the effects of gender on language forms and use, language in computer-mediated discourse (in texts, emails, social media), and ongoing changes in contemporary English. The course will provide students with a better understanding of how English is used in different contexts, and the directions in which the language is heading in the 21st century.

How Human Language Works (Linguistics)

An introduction to how human languages work, examining the structures that underlie all languages, with special focus on the deep structure of English. The course asks what universal properties are shared by all languages, and how languages as divergent as English and Chinese can be different (or similar!) in terms of their sound systems, word-building, grammar, meaning, written form, and acquisition by children and adult learners. By the end of the course, students from varied language backgrounds should understand how knowledge of the universal properties of languages can deepen their understanding of English, of their own language(s), and of the amazing capacity of the human mind.

International Trade and Financial Markets (Economics)

The modern global economy is intricately tied together through networks of trade and financial interconnections. This course will give students an understanding of the structure and function of international trade and international financial markets. The course will give a basic introduction to the forces driving international trade in goods and financial assets among nations of the world. The major theories of international trade and financial markets will be reviewed. Topics covered will include the determinants of a country's trading pattern, recent trends in international trade such as offshoring and global supply chains, the role of financial markets in international development, the future of the Renminbi as an international currency, the understanding of international financial crises, and sovereign debt crises.

Dynamics of Democracy and Global Uprisings (Political Science)

This course deals with some of the key concepts of political science, matching them with developments around the globe. We begin by considering some of the concepts and controversies in defining democratic and non-democratic systems. How do we tell democratic systems from non­democratic ones? Are all democracies the same, or at least similar? Is citizen satisfaction a distinctive quality of those regimes? We then link these discussions to the rising waves of global discontent around the globe. The seemingly-universal quality of these uprisings give a strong indication that the struggles we are witnessing are no longer over democracy versus other systems: instead, what seems to be at issue are the meanings and practices largely associated with democratic regimes, the expectations of people, and what regimes provide. Finally, we focus on specific uprisings, chosen by the students, in an attempt to contextualize our discussions and make sense of recent global developments in an informed, thoughtful manner.

Geographies of the Global Economy (Geography)

This course will explore the fast-changing geographies of the global economy from the uniquely grounded perspective of economic geography. The course will examine a range of contemporary issues and debates in the field, including: the development of transnational production and logistics networks: changing patterns of migration and labour mobility; the growth and influence of world cities and financial centres; new models of economic growth and varieties of capitalism; and contrasting perspectives on economic and cultural globalization. Students will acquire an up-to-date understanding of the changing global economy and its principal challenges and opportunities, together with an understanding of their own place in the world.

Environmental Economics (Economics)

This course provides an introduction to economic aspects of environmental problems and sustainability. It will begin with an overview of selected environmental problems, such as the effects of air and water pollution on human health, threats to biodiversity from habitat destruction, and climate change. Trends and indicators of environmental sustainability, both within and across countries, will be reviewed. The course will focus on questions such as why environmental problems occur, whether or not globalization is increasing the severity of such problems, what types of policies have been successful in improving environmental quality, and whether or not current consumption levels are sustainable. Policies will be analyzed from the perspective of efficiency, effectiveness, political feasibility and fairness, and examples will be drawn from different countries.

Manga and Anime In Global Perspective (Asian Studies)

This course examines the Japanese popular culture media manga and anime through questions such as: What makes manga and anime globally popular? Can we consider manga and anime forms of international "soft power"? What tools are used in the analysis of manga and anime? What is the relationship between manga and similar media such as Chinese manhua, Korean manhwa, Francophone bandes desinées and North American comic books? What do fans do with manga and anime, in Japan and elsewhere around the world? By the end of the course, students will have gained practice in writing short expository papers in English; will have mastered analytical tools used in the study of popular culture from Film Studies, Manga Studies, Anthropology, and Literary Studies perspectives; and will have knowledge of industry and governmental institutions and regulations that affect the creation, distribution, and consumption of Japanese popular culture products around the world.

Writing Craft of Manga and Anime (Creative Writing)

This class will lead students through the practical stages of storytelling and manga-creation through hands-on projects and questions such as: What are the tools, theory and techniques of graphic storytelling? What makes a story 'manga'? What are the tropes and conventions of manga storytelling and what do they share with other forms of visual storytelling? What is storyboarding for anime and how does it differ from manga? Students will be guided through a step-by-step exploration of the process of making manga from initial idea to finished product. This includes: scripting, thumbnailing, penciling, inking, colouring, lettering and finally binding of a self-made doujinshi manga. Students will refine their storytelling through peer feedback and collaboration. By the end of the course, students will have crafted their own completed, original, self-published manga, demonstrating a working knowledge of the form.

Linguistics for Natural Language Processing (Linguistics)

An introduction to the general linguistic principles and concepts that are relevant for computational linguistics, including: (i) an introduction to phonetics and phonology, (ii) an understanding of syntactic and morphological structure, (ii) descriptive approaches to grammar, (iii) language typology and linguistic universals, including differences and commonalities between different languages, cultures and modes of communication. In each case, special reference will be made to computational applications, and by the end of the course students should understand how knowledge of the universal properties of languages both contributes to and benefits from computational research and applications.

Computation for Natural Language Processing (Linguistics)

This course will take students with little or no background in computing and teach them programming basics and the practical uses of computational linguistics and machine learning. Students will learn how to use a command line interface and create simple programs using Python and NLTK. The course will then take them step-by-­step through how programs perform such tasks as tagging speech and analyzing sentence structure or meaning. They will see how these steps can be applied in such useful and ubiquitous applications as error correction, spam filters and author identification among others. Finally, they will see concrete examples of how computation is contributing back to traditional areas of linguistic inquiry.

From Drama to Theatre: How Does a Play Mean? (Theatre)

This course will explore the languages of theatre within Vancouver's rich and lively performance culture. How do individual artists--directors, actors, designers--transform a playwright's ideas into unique and original art? In what ways, for example, will a Shakespeare play produced in Vancouver become a Canadian play? These questions and more will be explored in relation to two plays a week in production in Vancouver during the term. We will examine and discuss the play scripts, attend the plays, and meet "backstage" with some of the artists themselves. Plays chosen will span a variety of genres, including Shakespeare (in production at Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival), musicals (in production at Theatre Under the Stars and the Arts Club Theatre Company), plus additional dramas and comedies in production.

Documentary & the City (Film)

For the first time in human history a majority of the world live in cities. While there are multiple threats posed by the growth of cities, such as poverty, migration, and social divisions, there are also surprising and innovative practices that emerge. The city of Vancouver is brimming with stories that can tell us many things about the world we live in. Focusing on documentary films and filmmaking, this course introduces students to these often hidden stories of the city through key writings, films, and direct engagement with life in Vancouver. Students will use creative methods to connect critical analysis with their everyday experiences, while authoring basic documentary projects in neighbourhoods throughout the city.

Inequality and Diversity in Modern Societies (Sociology)

This course explores the concepts and theories surrounding social diversity across a range of modern societies. The aim is to highlight how societies are stratified along different social categories, and engage students to think critically about the organizational structure of multicultural societies. The course will begin with an overview of the demographic and socioeconomic position of various groups. The course will then analyze the social inequalities that exist among these groups and the social mechanisms and policies that generate these differences. Drawing from real life examples and research findings, the course will teach students how to think sociologically about specific issues (e.g. labour market participation, health outcomes, civic participation) that are relevant across the globe but also pay attention to those pertinent to multicultural societies such as Canada. Lastly, the course will use assignments to enable students to analyze these issues and think about practical solutions to address them.

Practice with Marginalized Diverse Populations (Social Work)

Based on a social justice framework, this course will explore the application of the concept of diversity, i.e., ability, age, ethnicity, race, gender, citizenship status, and sexual orientation in policy and practice with the diverse population. This course will then examine how different forms of diversity individually and intersectionally cause predicaments to and marginalization of individuals, groups and communities. Using Canadian policies as an example, students will learn and critique the strengths and limitations of the human rights and multicultural discourse prevalently embraced by many western countries. Through agency visits and small group discussions, students will examine different ways and approaches of how health and social service practitioners apply the concept of social diversity in serving and advocating for individuals, groups and communities to overcome these predicaments and marginalization.