New Programs

And special topics courses

New Arts programs launched in 2023-2024  

Major in Public Humanities and Heritage 
The new Public Humanities and Heritage program gives students a foundational understanding of theory and practice in the core areas of public humanities (archaeology, archive and museum studies, public history, tourism, digital humanities and collections management). Students gain valuable critical thinking, research and writing skills, and historical and cultural literacy, alongside hands-on, practical work experience in field placements.

The program includes a wide variety of courses, drawn from a range of disciplines in the Faculty of Arts, and prioritizes experiential learning including placements in museums, archives and heritage sites. Students may choose to major in Public Humanities and Heritage or add it as a second major.

Major in Law and Ethics
Available as a major, this new program offers the opportunity for diverse disciplinary perspectives on the law and on ethics. It will give students the chance to think critically about the law and legal institutions, as well as a wide range of moral and legal issues. Studying law and ethics together makes it possible to raise fundamental questions about the ethics of various social practices, and about how laws can function to make a society more (or sometimes less) just.

Ethics, as practised in Philosophy, gives students the tools to assess the values expressed in the law and legal institutions. Students can also fulfil program requirements by taking courses in Ancient Studies, Anthropology, Criminology, English, History, Political Science, Religion, Social Justice and Community Studies, and Sociology.

Minor in Climate Change
Climate change is one of the defining environmental and social problems of our lifetime. As a student pursuing a Minor in Climate Change Studies, you will engage in an interdisciplinary program of study that will prepare you for an understanding of climate change from diverse perspectives, examining scientific, political, psychological, economic and ethical dimensions of the problem and its solutions.

The new minor is housed within the Bachelor of Environmental Studies program, but it’s open to students in all programs across Saint Mary’s. Courses are drawn from disciplines such as Geography and Environmental Studies, Environmental Science, Global Development Studies, and Social Justice and Community Studies.

Special Topics courses: Summer 2024

Note: Courses are in person on campus, unless otherwise noted. When registering, look for the course and CRN numbers, as the special topics course titles are not always available in Banner.

WGSS 4828 Polyamory and Non/Monogamies (CRN 40898)
Special Topics in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies 
July 3 to August 19, 2024 | Remote synchronous, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Instructor: TBA 
In this course, students are introduced to key issues and debates in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies from historical, contemporary and transnational perspectives with a focus on polyamory and non/monogamies. Students address diverse experiences of, and ways of understanding non-normative relationship configurations and alternative ways of being and living, foregrounding how they intersect with sexuality, gender, race, class, ethnicity, ability, nationality, settler and other forms of colonialism, as well as other social identities and locations. For more information, contact Dr. Michele Byers, the WGSS program coordinator.

Special Topics Courses: Fall 2024

GDST 3830: South East Asia: Contemporary Development (CRN 18631)
Special Topics in Global Development Studies
September 4 to December 19, 2024 | On campus
Instructor: Dr. Karen McAllister
In this course, students will be introduced to the diverse countries, cultures and environments of South East Asia through an exploration of contemporary development issues in the region. Topics that will be covered include: the relationship between states, development, and ethnic minorities; agrarian change and environmental conflicts; the growing influence of China in the region; and authoritarianism, social movements and human rights. The class will involve a combination of lectures, films, and student discussions and presentations.

GDST 4843.1/GDST 6805.1 Conflict, Security, and Development (CRN: 17969/17971)
September 4 to December 19, 2024 | On campus
Instructor: Dr. Kate Ervine
Examine how security as a concept frames the problem of climate change and its impacts, and how competing security frameworks shape national and international policy interventions to mitigate climate change. Asking whose security matters, students will explore the practical, political and ethical challenges of developing equitable and effective climate policy in a globally divided world. 

Special Topics courses: Winter 2025
GDST 4426.2/6642.2 International Human Rights & Development (CRN 28039/28041)
Special Topics in Global Development Studies
January 8 to April 23, 2025 | Remote asynchronous
Instructor: TBA
Although most countries have accepted international human rights instruments such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the full realization of human rights remains problematic across the world. This course will guide students to achieve an understanding of how development policies and practices impede or facilitate the realization of human rights in ways that are gendered, racialized and classed. Through weekly seminars and lectures, students will further gain knowledge about pressing global issues such as healthcare, labour, migration and the environment through a dual rights-based and developmental perspective.

GDST 4844.2/6826.2 Development Administration (CRN 28139/28140)
January 8 to April 23, 2025 | Remote synchronous
Instructor: TBA
Explore key issues in development management and the roles of different kinds of development professionals. Students will examine the tasks involved in sustainable development processes; how culture affects development management in the South and North; issues of participation, community empowerment, and capacity building; and effective approaches to project management and evaluation. These themes will be explored with an eye toward rethinking conventional development approaches in the context of contemporary issues such as foreign assistance, agriculture, climate change, health, education, housing and migration.

RELS 2826.1 Monsters (CRN 28122)
January 8 to April 23, 2025 | On campus
Instructor: Dr. Lindsay Macumber
The word monster is derived from the latin monstrare (“show” or “reveal”) and monere (“warn” or portend”) (Beal 2022, 6-7). This course takes for granted that monstrous bodies are revelatory and aims to uncover what they communicate about us. We explore foundational texts in monster theory and horror (film and literature), to consider how monstrous bodies are inextricably connected with existential, religious and spiritual impulses, how they construct and police "otherness," and how they are spaces of liberation, freedom and subversion of constructed norms in cisnormative, heteronormative, ableist, white supremacist, imperialist, patriarchal society. For more info, contact

RELS 4832.1 Cults and Popular Culture (CRN 28124)
January 8 to April 23, 2025 | On campus
Instructor: Dr. Mary Hale
Cults, or New Religions, are often viewed as harmful and negative (and, of course, some are!). But they are also fascinating and give us important insight into the various ways people try to make sense of their world. In this seminar course, we look beyond some of the stereotypes to the many different ways cults and popular culture influence one another. Among other things, we will look at cultural artifacts (such as architecture, clothing, fine art), planned communities and agriculture. We will also explore how cults have been formed in response to books and movies and social issues (Church of All Worlds, Jediism, The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster). Students are also welcome and encouraged to explore their own relevant interests. The course uses a broad selection of method and theory, drawing, among others, from religion, media, and cultural studies.

For the most current course information, please refer to the Academic Calendar and Banner.  


Contact us

Faculty of Arts
Mailing address:
Saint Mary’s University
923 Robie Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3H 3C3

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