Writing Urbanism: Voices in Canadian Writing cdn218f t6-8 uc152 A. Lesk uc272 Course Description



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Writing Urbanism: Voices in Canadian Writing CDN218F T6-8 UC152
A. Lesk UC272
Course Description

CDN218 introduces students to recent fiction and non-fiction centered on urban issues in the Canadian city, using Toronto as its model. The contemporary topics explored are comprised of four pressing issues: transportation, public housing redevelopment, immigration, and public/civic space. The course considers the diversity represented in Toronto from about 1960 to the present day, with special emphasis on how the fictionalized urban fabric that is Toronto corresponds to the aforementioned critical issues. In our readings (and films, and walk), we will pay close attention to the construction of individual, communal, and racial identities and how definitions of transgressive behavior changes during periods of social unrest and cultural anxiety.


Course Format

Lecture/discussion, with supplements; two guest speakers; two short films; a walk; and a take-home test, an essay, and exam.


Primary Texts

Sewell “The Suburbs Ascendant” in The Shape of the City

Nolan/Nolan The Bad Trip: The Untold Story of the Spadina Expressway

Lee “The Day They Stopped the Spadina”

Young The Torontonians

NFB films Farewell to Oak Street (1954); Return to Regent Park (1994)

Purdy “Framing Regent Park: The National Film Board of Canada and the

Construction of ‘Outcast Spaces’ In The Inner City” in Home,



Work and Play: Situating Canadian Social History

Garner Cabbagetown


Troper “Becoming an Immigrant City: A History of Immigration into Toronto

Since the Second World Warin The World in a City


Vassanji No New Land

Micallef The Trouble with Brunch

McClish “Urban Playground Antics and the Redefining of Public Spaces” in

Public 45: Civic Spectacle

Smith Noise

Brand What We All Long For
Marking Scheme

Essay 35

Mid term test 25

Final exam 35

Participation 5

Sep 15 Introduction: Lisa Hayes “Thirteen” (series)

Sep 22 Transportation and Expansion: The Spadina Expressway
Sewell , John “The Suburbs Ascendant” in The Shape of the

City 199-222

Robarts Course Reserves HT169 .C32 T628354
Nolan/Nolan The Bad Trip: The Untold Story of the Spadina

Expressway

  F5547 .T68 S66


Lee, Dennis “The Day They Stopped the Spadina” (poem)
Sep 29 Young, PB The Torontonians (1960)
Oct 6 Urban Redevelopment: Regent Park and Cabbagetown
NFB films Farewell to Oak Street (54); Return to Regent Park (94)

Purdy, Sean “Framing Regent Park: The National Film Board of Canada and the Construction of ‘Outcast Spaces’ in The Inner City” in Home, Work and Play: Situating Canadian Social History (online)


Oct 13 Civic Space The Flaneur – A City Walk

Regent Park / Cabbagetown


Oct 20 Garner, Hugh Cabbagetown (1960)
Oct 27 Immigration
Troper, H “Becoming an Immigrant City: A History of

Immigration into Toronto Since the Second World War” in The World in a City 19-62
Test due – deliver in class
Nov 3 Vassanji, MG No New Land (1991)
Nov 10 “reading break”
Nov 17 Civic Space

Micallef Trouble with Brunch (2015)



Shawn Micallef – in person

Nov 24 Civic Space: Intersections
Smith Noise

Dec 1 / 8 Bringing it all together
Brand What We All Long For
Essay due by Dec 11
Exam TBA

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