June Program

The Vancouver Summer Program runs two different cohorts:

  • June (Program dates: June 8-July 8)
  • July (Program dates: July 13-August 13)

The Arts VSP offers a variety of packages, each consisting of two non-credit courses, each with approximately 39 hours of class time.  Students can select to register in one package.

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.

June 8 – July 8 2019 Course Packages

Each package includes two courses, each with 39 hours of class time. Classes are interactive and may include group work, class discussions, and guest lecturers. Credit for the courses may be granted by participating universities at their discretion.

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.

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. It 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)

We deal with some of the key concepts of political science, matching them with developments around the globe. We consider some of the concepts and controversies in defining democratic and non-democratic systems. How do we tell democratic systems from non-democratic 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.