Graduate Courses 2019-2020

RLGN 7030 T17 - Body History
Dr. Elizabeth Alexandrin
Fall 2020 Wednesday 2:30pm-5:15pm

This seminar, with its focus on Body History, gives space to new considerations of theoretical approaches from the Anthropology of Religion as well as Religious Studies, working with materials, resources, and sources on such topics as spirtual tourism, gender, religious performances, pilgrimages, spirituality, and healing practices.

RLGN 7080 A01 – Seminar in Research Methods and Theory
Dr. Kenneth MacKendrick
Fall 2020 Monday 2:30pm – 5:15pm

An intensive study of the historiography of the study of religion with an emphasis on the history of religion, the invention of world religions, and the fabrication of past religion. Students will examine the modern "discovery" or "invention" of ancient religion in Europe and the political uses to which this discovery / invention is put.

RLGN 7130 A01 – Seminar in Hinduism
Dr. Ian Whicher
Winter 2021 Tuesday 2:30pm - 5:15pm

This course critically examines India's religious and spiritual legacy from the point of view of two overarching orientations or tendencies. One orientation is perhaps best expressed in the ideal of transcendence, the quest for the eternal beyond body, mind and world. The other orientation embraces distinct integrative or holistic characteristics which seek to preserve the integrity of life in the world.

RLGN 7190 A01 – Seminar in Religion and Philosophy
Dr. Dawne McCance
Winter 2021 Wednesday 2:30pm - 5:15pm

Discourse on Colonialism
The title for this Winter 2021 offering is taken from Aimé Césaire’s classic Discourse on Colonialism, published first in 1955, a text that, among other things, challenges modern Christianity’s role in colonialist thinking and practice. As students in today’s Western research university, how do we inherit a tradition of colonialism and settler-colonialism that is at once religious and, inseparably from that, philosophical and political? In this course, we will read selected sources that engage this difficult question in the context of French colonial Algeria; South Africa; British colonisation of the American south with its reliance on the importation of African slaves; and not the least, Canada.

Department of Religion |University of Manitoba | 328 Fletcher Argue Bldg.
Winnipeg MB R3T 5V5 | Phone: 204.474.9151 |


(Courses offered at the University of Winnipeg are open to those students enrolled in the Joint Master's Program)

GREL-7901 001 – Reading Buddhist Texts 
Dr. Stephanie Balkwill
Fall 2020 Tuesday 2:30pm - 5:15pm

This seminar is devoted to the reading, study, and interpretation of Buddhist texts in English translation. The texts under consideration are primarily drawn from the Buddhist canon; however, the syllabus is tailored to student interests and the reading list might therefore also include Buddhist literature, biography, and poetry from both historical and contemporary times. Students lead seminars in their own areas of interest and the final project includes a creative option to write one’s own Buddhist text. Readings will consist of selections of Buddhist textual material alongside relevant secondary studies and students determine the topics to be covered on the first day of class.

GREL-7901 002 – Sufism
Dr. Rory W. Dickson
Fall 2020 Wednesday 2:30pm - 5:15pm

Sufism is Islam’s rich tradition of spirituality and mysticism. It remains one of the most influential and popular expressions of Islam. Historically, Sufis have been celebrated for their poetry, music, and philosophy. Students will examine the emergence of Sufism in the early medieval period, along with the fundamental doctrines, practices, and social roles of Sufism. The course then considers the history of Sufism's transmission to the modern West, exploring key issues in the development of Western Sufism.

GREL-7901 003 - Post-Humanism
Dr. Jane Barter
Fall 2020  Monday 2:30pm-5:15pm

This course is an examination of posthumanism as a means of critically interrogating the Western humanist tradition and its thinking about human subjectivity and sovereignty. Specifically, it examines the origins and the legacy of Western conceptions of the human as articulated in religious and political thought. Some of the critiques engaged include animal studies, new materialism, ecofeminism, African diasporic cultural studies, and critical Indigenous studies.

GREL-7902 001 - Storied Lives: Contemporary Spiritual Biographies and the Construction of Identity
Dr. Carlos Colorado
Winter 2021 Thursday 2:30pm-5:15pm

In this course students will be introduced to the current social scientific reflection on the "life history" as a means of understanding individuals and contextualizing the larger notions of "religious traditions" and "culture". Specifically, we will consider the ways people construct and maintain their religious identities through weaving their own experiences into a narrative which includes other individuals and institutions.

GREL-7902 002 - Japanese Culture & Society
Dr. Jeffrey Newmark
Winter 2021 Wednesday 2:30pm-5:15pm

This seminar explores the origins, evolution, and spread of Japanese Pop Culture.  We begin in the late seventeenth century during Japan’s Genroku age, a cultural boom in both the literary and visual arts. We will cover the rest of the Tokugawa Period with an emphasis on early modern print culture before surveying pop culture’s transition into the modern era.  By the end of the course, we will understand how contemporary Japanese animation, music, cinema, characters/mascots, and “kawaii” aesthetics all share as much with their ancestral past as they do with the twenty-first century.

GREL-7902 003 - Gender and Sexuality in Chinese Culture
Dr. Lenore Szekely
Winter 2021 Tuesday 2:30pm-5:15pm

This course will focus on Chinese society, culture and conceptions of identity through the prisms of gender and sexuality. Topics include normative social roles as defined by Confucian values, power and sexual dynamics within polygamous households, the social body vs. the biological body and the diversity of atypical bodies in traditional China. Further we will see how gender inequality was appropriated to reflect China’s backwardness vis à vis the West and Japan in the modern period, and how contemporary culture and society has sought to free gender expression from the confines of national discourse.

Department of Religion and Culture | University of Winnipeg |3C02-515 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg MB R3B 2E9 |Phone: 204.786.9107 |