News Archives: GPRC Instructors Developing New Courses
Tuesday, April 19th, 2011
The instructors at GPRC include many who are leaders in their respective fields, and the development of new courses to add to the curriculum here and at transfer institutions is a regular occurrence at GPRC.
One such course is among the spring session offerings for 2011. Sociology 2950, Autobiography, has been developed by Dr. Alan Segal, and has been accepted for transfer credit to Athabasca University, University of Lethbridge, and the University of Calgary. It will be taught for the first time beginning June 2nd, pending sufficient enrolment.
Segal describes the course as a theoretical look at what we mean by "autobiography," what we mean by "self," and that it will explore everything from the letters you write to YouTube postings. "We are fascinated by our own and other people's lives," says Segal. "This is a sociological look into that fascination."
The course description states "In contemporary western culture the personal asserts itself vigorously through familiar modes of theatre, music, film, books, comics, and now, in a more accessible significance, technology. Facebook, YouTube, chat lines, and an array of similar outlets, indicate our search for referents of individual lives. This course opens a door to the varieties of representation of ourselves. It explores the meanings of autobiography, and how social contexts endorse, foster, inhibit, or valorize it."
Any new course must be developed through an established procedure of forms and approvals, and includes justification of why the course should exist. In the case of SO 2950, Segal points out that this truly is a new course in the field of Sociology, not just within the offerings of GPRC. "Our society influences what we tell each other about ourselves, what we emphasize. Autobiography is an action of sociological importance, and one we need to understand." He hopes the course will be appealing to a wide range of people.
"The development of new courses by our faculty is an important addition to the societies in which we live," says Dr. Kazem Mashkournia, Dean of Arts and Education at GPRC. "An educational institution is an active member of its society - our disciplines of study relate to our daily lives. This course is a reminder of that close connection."
"GPRC is very proud of our highly qualified faculty," says Susan Bansgrove, Vice President Academics and Research. "The development of courses which are accepted by other institutions is among the ways our faculty are recognized for their extensive knowledge and academic rigour, and a recognition of the academic excellence of our College."