Call for ASHA Instructors

Call for Instructors, 2015-2016 & 2016-2017, Arts & Science Honours Academy (AHSA)

Updated 2015-01-28: Now looking for a Fall 2015 ASHA 321 instructor. If you are interested in trading one of your Fall 2015 courses for ASHA 321 (“Representation”), and can convince your Head of the same, please send me a note with a highly provisional reading list and 2-sentence course description. As before, I have to balance the disciplines so may have inscrutable constraints — but am grateful for all signs of interest. 

The Arts & Science Honours Academy (ASHA) is an interdisciplinary program for high-achieving undergraduates (30 per year) in both the Faculties of Arts and Science. In 1959, C.P. Snow lamented that too few intellectuals could describe both the plot of a Shakespeare play and the second law of thermodynamics; ASHA aims to produce more of them.

Courses in the program combine the depth of an Honours degree with the breadth of dedicated interdisciplinary courses, a language requirement and an international experience. Students are in programs across both faculties, and take one ASHA course together per semester. This makes for a cohort of engaged, cosmopolitan students.

Any continuing faculty at the University of Calgary who are interested in teaching an ASHA course for the 2015-2016 or 2016-17 academic years are invited to respond by Monday 22 September 2014. Please send a very brief (3-sentence) description of how you would address the general topic, and a provisional reading list. We’re interested in proposals that fit the course descriptions, below, while addressing methods and perspectives from disciplines across the Arts/Science divide. Include details of any leaves or other restrictions on your teaching schedule.

These are the ASHA courses:

  • ASHA 220, Quests and Questions (full-year course): An introduction to a variety of perspectives on human culture. Students will inquire into such topics as the nature of discovery and creation, tradition and modernity, gender and social structure. These topics will be approached through careful analysis of artistic, literary, religious, philosophical and scientific texts. [NB: We are open to joint, cross-faculty proposals (i.e. from Arts and Science) to teach 220.]
  • ASHA 321, Representation: Far more than a neutral reflection of the world, representation, be it of artistic, social or scientific phenomena, is a complex issue. Issues, inconsistencies and flaws arising from the concept of representation will be studied in a variety of contexts. Topics to be covered include: sensory perception from neurological, psychological and cultural perspectives; mimesis and metaphor in literature and the visual arts; and the use of images, imaging, and interpretative frameworks in the social and natural sciences.
  • ASHA 421, Invention: From the slingshot to steam power to intellectual property, from prophets to scientists to novelists; the theory and practice of invention looms large in human history and is of particular importance to the present age. This course will examine the nature and development of technological, conceptual, and linguistic invention in a variety of contexts.
  • ASHA 501, The Nature of Research: A consideration of academic research within the social, historical and political context of its production and use. Questions to be considered include, but are not limited to: the historical development of professions and disciplines; the cultural framework within which research is produced and the cultural uses of research; and the ways in which research creates objects of knowledge and serves to define and categorize human experience and identity.
  • ASHA 503, Capstone Seminar: Students will reflect on their intellectual journey from both disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives. Each student will prepare two separate presentations: one on a topic related to their experience abroad, the other related to their honours thesis or disciplinary specialty.


  • We can provide you with some recent course outlines, and discuss their objectives and coverage at more length.
  • Teaching in ASHA is normally part of your regular teaching responsibilities, so we will need to arrange it with your home department or unit.

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