Spring 2022 - HUM 360 D100

Special Topics: Great Themes in the Humanistic Tradition (4)

Class Number: 7219

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Fr 4:30 PM – 8:20 PM
    BLU 10655, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units.



An interdisciplinary study of a selected theme that has made a lasting contribution to the humanistic tradition in more than one field of endeavour(e.g. philosophy, politics, literature,economics, religion). This course may be repeated once for credit. Students who have credit for a course with this content under another Humanities course may not take this course for further credit. Breadth-Humanities.


Nationalism and its Discontents

As an emotional stimulant, source of identity, and political principle susceptible to both left- and right-wing interpretations, nationalism has been an influential force in world affairs for the last 250-odd years. Evidence for its significance in earlier periods is tenuous and controversial; generally speaking, the printing press, and the mass industrial and military mobilizations of the modern era, are regarded as necessary conditions for the wide popular acceptance of national identities and nationalist ideas. Nationalism is therefore a cultural phenomenon before it is a political project. So we are going to study its development and contestation primarily in the cultural realm – in the writing of history, the building of monuments, and the design of commemorative rituals; in the collection, interpretation, and creative imitation of folklore; in the shaping of literary, artistic, and musical canons; and in the social adaption to changing regimes of labour and new technologies of communication.

Theoretical perspectives on such matters as the “public sphere,” the “imagined community,” and the “invented tradition” will enrich students’ readings of primary sources connected –

  • first, with the emergence of Romantic nationalism in the era of the American and French Revolutions, and the Latin American Wars of Independence;
  • second, with the later struggles to carve monolithic nation-states out of the patchwork empires of old Europe; and
  • third, with the programs of colonial reform or decolonization that followed the First and Second World Wars and the Cold War.

HUM 360 will offer students an understanding of the processes just mentioned, their echoes in today’s headlines, and their relationships to the defining themes of modern and contemporary history, including: industrialization, urbanization, and secularization; liberal, communist, fascist, and neoliberal ideologies; transoceanic migration and diasporic identity; the standardization of languages; ethnic revivalism; the construction and dismantling of racial categories; the feminist and environmentalist movements; globalization; and resurgent indigeneity.


  • Attendance and Participation 10%
  • Reading Quizzes 20%
  • Midterm I 20%
  • Midterm II 15%
  • Canvas Discussion Posts 10%
  • Interpretive Essay 15%
  • Group Project (Powerpoint) 10%



All of the sources we’re using are freely available online. However, students who appreciate the tactility of the print medium may wish to acquire personal copies of our key text:

Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. Revised ed., Verso, 2016.

ISBN 9781784786755 (print with complimentary e-book)

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.