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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Arts
September 27, 2016
Canadian Excellence



Billionaires, Beavers, and Banditos

This course combines online and in-class learning to examine issues and ideas important to understanding how North America and its constituent countries (Canada, the United States and Mexico) are understood. Key themes include Indigenous Peoples: colonization and resistance; culture and identity: race, art, and sport; business and society: international trade, labour and migration; and public policy: drug wars, healthcare, and citizenship.

NO105 is open to all Laurier students. The course is required for students pursuing a joint-major honours program in North American Studies or a minor in either North American Studies or Canadian Studies.

In 2014/15, two sections of the course are offered in both fall and winter terms.

Fall Term

NO105A: Wednesdays, 11:30 am - 2:20 pm (Instructor: Dr. Kevin Spooner)

NO105B: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:00 am - 11:20 am (Instructor: TBA)

Winter Term

NO105C: Wednesdays, 11:30 am - 2:20 pm (Instructor: Dr. Kevin Spooner)

NO105D: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:30 pm - 3:50 pm (Instructor: TBA)

Course Overview

Canada, the United States and Mexico share thousands of kilometers of borderlands, a free trade agreement and growing shared responsibilities in environmental management and security matters. In face of this increasing economic, political, and some say social integration, it is more than ever important to explore the complexity of the new and rapidly evolving North American reality and to understand our place within it.

NO105 is a new and innovative course, bringing together the best of both online and in-class learning. Students can view videos of online lectures, at their own pace and when it's convenient. The course also includes a weekly 90 minute in-class session, with smaller groups of about forty students. This gives students an opportunity to know their professor and to benefit from a classroom environment promoting active learning and the development of foundational knowledge and skills critical for university success.

Students can register in any of the above four sections (NO105A, NO105B, NO105C, or NO105D) of this blended (online / in-class) course, according to what will most conveniently suit their timetable. Each section is scheduled for 3 hours weekly: students will attend in-class for 90 minutes and will spend 90 minutes completing online learning activities. During the first class, NO105A and NO105C students will be advised as to whether they attend for the first 90 minutes or the second 90 minutes on Wednesdays. Similarly, NO105B and NO105D will be advised in the first class as to whether they attend on Tuesdays or Thursdays.

Course Syllabus

The current course syllabus, as well as course syllabi from previous years, are posted as they are available on the Course Outlines page of the program website.