Courses

Our department offers courses in the disciplines listed below. For individual course descriptions, follow the links to MacEwan University’s Academic Calendar.

Not all courses are available each term. Courses must be numbered 100 and above to be used to fulfill degree requirements.



ANTH – Anthropology


ECON – Economics


POLS – Political Science



If we look at our world today, it is clear that gender is extremely important and something we talk about all the time.

Katie Biittner, assistant professor

 

2020/21

Special topics courses

Special topics courses focus on specific areas of interest within the discipline. The topics are chosen based on the expertise of our instructors, and the topics usually vary from term to term.

 

Fall 2020

ANTH 497: Multilingualism and Globalization

Course: ANTH 497: Topics in Anthropology | Multilingualism and Globalization
Term: Fall 2020
Section: AS01
Instructor: Dr. Jeanne Ferguson

What does it mean to speak and use multiple languages in your daily life? In this course, multilingualism—from the personal to the societal—is considered from a linguistic anthropological perspective. Students investigate multilingual language acquisition and socialization before moving on to understanding the sociopolitical dynamics of speaking multiple languages in a single community, as well as within the modern nation-state and beyond. Taking an approach focused on movement, migration and connection helps students better appreciate the broader dynamics of language contact and change as they occur worldwide—in spoken languages as well as online written language and in the visual sphere (linguistic landscape). We explore what multilingual practices like code-mixing and translanguaging mean for language change over time, as well the social effects for the people who speak them. Themes will be approached both ethnographically and theoretically to illuminate the various processes of creativity and change at work.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in one of ANTH 206, ANTH 207, ANTH 208, or ANTH 209 and a minimum grade of C- in any 300-level ANTH course

Permission Required: No

ECON 357: Introduction to Economic Policy Analysis

Course: ECON 357: Topics in Applied Economics | Introduction to Economic Policy Analysis
Term: Fall 2020
Section: AS01
Instructor: Dr. Brendan Boyd

Injecting knowledge into decision making has become more difficult in an increasingly partisan and polarized policy-making environment. The ability to systematically and intellectually analyze societal problems and potential solutions, and communicate that information to decision makers, are critical capacities that contribute to sound public decision making. In this course, we explore the question of what policy analysis is, and how it differs from other policy-making activities. We examine the rationales for government intervention in the economy and society as well as the solutions and issues that come with these interventions. Students are introduced to the practice and profession of policy analysis, which spans government, non-profit, academic and private sectors. This includes the techniques and skills that are used by policy analysts.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in ECON 101

Permission Required: No

POLS 304: Populism and Euroskepticism in the European

Course: POLS 304: Topics in European Politics | Populism and Euroskepticism in the European Union
Term: Fall 2020
Section: AS01
Instructor: Dr. Andrea Wagner

The course focuses on the recent return of the spectre of populism on both sides of the political spectrum and on uncovering the intricate relationship between populism and Euroscepticism. The current populist Zeitgeist is emerging alongside a general frustration with the direction and magnitude of the European integration process. The course sheds light on whether the EU citizen holds simultaneously both populist and Euroskeptic attitudes or whether the former is still amicable to the EU integration process even when the EU voter cheers for a populist party.

Prerequisites: A minimum grade of C- in POLS 200

Permission Required: No

POLS 410: Words, Deeds and the Politics of Reasonableness

Course: POLS 410: Topics in Political Philosophy | Words, Deeds and the Politics of Reasonableness
Term: Fall 2020
Section: AS01
Instructor: Dr. Gaelan Murphy

This course examines practical reason, how human beings come to reasonable judgments (or not) concerning the practical circumstances they are confronted with and, on that basis, follow through (or not) on this judgment in their actions. This concern is situated within a discussion of how one can live, think and act as a unified person (i.e., be reasonable), while living in a society that on its good days is marked by epistemological, moral and political unreasonableness, and on its bad days is marked by radical dogma, nihilism and invitations to political violence.

Prerequisites: A minimum grade of C- in POLS 214 and POLS 215, or consent of the department

Permission Required: No

POLS 424: Theories and Approaches to Public Governance

Course: POLS 424: Advanced Topics in Canadian Politics | Theories and Approaches to Public Governance
Term: Fall 2020
Section: AS01
Instructor: Dr. Brendan Boyd

As a concept, governance defies a single succinct definition, but clearly involves questions of authority, decision making and accountability. In plain language, it is how groups of people establish the rules and processes that control and shape their conduct. Public governance refers to the systems by which a population, community or country governs itself, as opposed to the governance of a private corporation or business. In this course, we investigate the evolution of modern public governance, since the mid-1800s, by examining the theoretical approaches and organizational forms of governance and how they have been applied in practice. The themes and debates that are examined include: how do different governance approaches distribute power and authority, how do they make and enforce decisions about policy and the distribution of public resources and how do they secure accountability and legitimacy from the public that is bound by these decisions.

Prerequisites: A minimum grade of C- in POLS 225

Permission Required: No

POLS 490: The Politics of Information and Security

Course: POLS 490: Advanced Study in Political Science | The Politics of Information and Security
Term: Fall 2020
Section: AS01
Instructor: Dr. Jeffrey Rice

With the 2020 American presidential election approaching, information has become a key battleground issue in the fight against foreign interference and the preservation of electoral integrity and American democracy. The Russian disinformation campaign in the 2016 Presidential elections highlighted key vulnerabilities in America’s democratic institutions and political processes, the consequences of which are still not fully understood. Although disinformation campaigns and fake news have garnered significant attention in recent years, especially when used by foreign powers, the act of using information as a tool (or weapon) is not new. In order to better understand the present-day concerns surrounding information and disinformation, this course examines the politicization and weaponization of information in contemporary and historical settings. Some of the core topics that will be covered in the course include: the history of state-sponsored propaganda, the role of mass communications in conflict, disinformation campaigns and their implications for electoral integrity, the rise of fake news and conspiracy theories and the use of new media in recruitment tactics used by violent extremists and anti-government militia groups.

Prerequisites: A minimum grade of C- in POLS 214 and 215, POLS 224 and 225, and POLS 264 and POLS 265; or consent of the department

Permission Required: No

 

Winter 2021

ANTH 497: The Anthropocene

Course: ANTH 497: Topics in Anthropology | The Anthropocene
Term: Winter 2021
Section: AS01
Instructor:
Dr. Cynthia Zutter

Have we truly entered "the human age," also known as the Anthropocene, and if so, when did it begin and what does it all mean? This course addresses how researchers from different fields have sought to answer these questions and how they became questions in the first place. Where did the idea of the Anthropocene come from? What are its social, political and ethical implications? How have we arrived at this new understanding of our planet and ourselves? And what can this major intellectual shift tell us about the construction of environmental knowledge in the twenty-first century? Readings come primarily from the environmental social sciences and humanities, including works by various environmental thinkers, and will be supplemented with material from the natural sciences. Topics include climate change, mass extinction, urbanization and deforestation. Our focus throughout remains on ways of knowing, imagining and representing global environmental change in an era of ever-expanding human influence.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in one of ANTH 206, ANTH 207, ANTH 208, or ANTH 209 and a minimum grade of C- in any 300-level ANTH course.

Permission Required: No

ECON 357: Economics of Religion

Course: ECON 357: Topics in Applied Economics | Economics of Religion
Term: Winter 2021
Section: AS01
Instructor: Dr. Junaid bin Jahangir

Based on the secularization thesis, with scientific progress, religion should lose its influence in the socio-economic and political sphere. Yet, instead of being relegated to the private domain, there is a resurgence of religion in the public sphere. This is evident in politics related to the family in Western economies and the rise of strict Churches instead of those that appeal to post-modern sensibilities. In the Middle East, terrorism is often justified by its proponents through a religious discourse. The objective in this course is to critically evaluate the rational choice models of Economics that are applied to explain these phenomena. We investigate the demand and supply factors that explain extremism, the distinction between competition and regulation towards curbing religious cults and the role of club theory in explaining rigid rituals. We investigate the impact of religion on economic development on the macro level and the impact on the economics of family at the micro level. By the end of this course, students are able to complement their studies in the sociology, psychology, theology or history of religion with the economics of religion.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in ECON 101.

Permission Required: No

POLS 324: The Policy Process

Course: POLS 324: Topics in Canadian Politics | The Policy Process
Term: Winter 2021
Section: AS01
Instructor: Dr. Brendan Boyd

Policy is anything a government chooses to do or not to do. But policy making is a complex process that involves much more than elected governments making decisions. It involves a back-and-forth relationship between society government, and intermediary actors, and can be shaped by a range of institutional and socio-economic factors. This course provides an introduction to the different approaches and frameworks that are used to understand the policy-making process. This questions we investigate include: what factors determine policy, what mechanisms structure and shape its development and what effect policy has on societal outcomes? The approaches covered range from formal models based on positivist approaches to critical investigations informed by constructivist approaches. They involve different analytical strategies, including quantitative, comparative and narrative or discourse analysis. The strengths and weaknesses of each approach are examined to understand the circumstances under which they offer better or worse understandings of how policy is developed. Students develop a keen understanding of why, how and with what effect governments make decisions and take action.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in POLS 224 and 225, or consent of the department

Permission Required: No

POLS 410: Literature and the Politics of Crisis

Course: POLS 410: Topics in Political Philosophy | Literature and the Politics of Crisis
Term: Winter 2021
Section: AS01
Instructor: Dr. Gaelan Murphy

This course examines how literature is used as a way to diagnose cultural illness, articulate and express political and philosophical ideas in response to crisis, and redeem suffering in an uncertain world. Through the direct study of primary texts, both fiction and non-fiction, students confront the role literature can play in understanding spiritual and political crisis. A preliminary reading list includes Fyodor Dostoevsky, Erick Maria Remarque, Walker Percy, Flannery O’Connor, Chinua Achebe, Earnest Hemingway, William Kennedy, Walter Miller Jr. and Cormac McCarthy.

Prerequisites: A minimum grade of C- in POLS 214 and POLS 215, or consent of the department

Permission Required: No

POLS 424: Examining Political Leadership in Canada

Course: POLS 424: Advanced Topics in Canadian Politics | Examining Political Leadership in Canada
Term: Winter 2021
Section: AS01
Instructor: Dr. John Soroski

This course focuses on Canadian political leadership—and in particular on the leadership of prime ministers, other federal party leaders and provincial premiers. The course begins with a substantial discussion of theoretical insights and approaches to the study of political leadership, including its consideration through the lenses of institutional, contextual, gender, rhetorical, performative, psychological, character and biographical analyses. Because the academic industry of leadership studies has been dominated to a great extent by American examinations of that country’s presidency, parts of our course involve comparing and contrasting presidential and Westminster leadership as well as considering the extent to which American approaches might be thought applicable in the Canadian context.

Prerequisites: A minimum grade of C- in POLS 225

Permission Required: No

POLS 470: Political Changes in China

Course: POLS 470: Selected Topics in Comparative Politics | Political Changes in China
Term: Winter 2021
Section: AS01
Instructor: Dr. Sen Lin

This course studies contemporary and historical politics in China. Continuity and change under the communist regime are covered and analyzed. The pre-communist regimes are also covered to provide historical contexts within which the question on how contemporary Chinese politics have reacted to and evolved from political traditions is examined. China’s interactions with the West and the Western influence on Chinese politics is also covered.

Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in POLS 200

Permission Required: No

POLS 490: Corruption and Development

Course: POLS 490: Advanced – Political Science | Corruption and Development
Term: Winter 2021
Section: AS01
Instructor: Dr. Andrea Wagner

The orthodoxy of the political economy literature posits that corruption represents the greatest obstacle to the progress of democracy, good governance, rule of law and economic development. Global and regional organizations have wholeheartedly embraced this wisdom. For instance, in the last two decades the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank viewed corruption as a disruptive phenomenon and have compelled borrowing countries to tackle it with priority and diligence. The seminar focuses on the rise of independent anti-corruption agencies (ACAs) in East Central Europe and Asia and examines the endogenous and exogenous forces that contribute to their success or failure in undermining corruptive practices. In addition to ACAs, we also shed light on the peculiar dynamics of corruption and development. We discuss the findings of studies that have focused on the determinants of corruption, emphasizing variables that indicate a negative association between corruptive practices and economic growth. The second part of the seminar focuses on the reasons why corruption stays pernicious in the post-communist context as well as international efforts to undermine corruption.

Prerequisites: A minimum grade of C- in POLS 214 and 215, POLS 224 and 225, and POLS 264 and POLS 265; or consent of the department

Permission Required: No


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