Wild Water

Enroll Now for Wild Water I & II

Fall 2017 – RLG239H1 Special Topics: Wild Water I

Winter 2018- RLG239H2 Special Topics: Wild Water II

Mondays 3:00 — 5:00 and occasional weekend dates for travel

This linked pair of courses focuses on rivers as sites of cultural contact, religious experience, and natural destruction. We will investigate the power of rivers to nourish whole cultures reshape landscapes and devastate the peoples who depend on them. While the course material ranges over great ranges of time and space we will focus particular attention on the canoe. No object is more intimately tied up in the complexities of Canadian identity than this masterpiece of stone-age engineering. Vehicle of exploration, trade, friendship, war, and ultimately oppression and appropriation, its thick cultural resonances have made it a symbol of multiple heritages.We examine the cultures of rivers and canoes through historical, literary, anthropological and practical exploration.

Coursework will combine required reading and writing plus hands-on activities throughout the two semesters, such as learning to paddle and going on short paddling trips in nearby rivers and the Toronto Harbour.

Course instructor: Matt Price

Matt Price is winner of the 2017 Kathleen O’Donnell Teaching Excellence Award at New College. His teaching draws on his training as a historian and philosopher of science, as well as on his active involvement with various social and political movements. In the Department for the Study of Religion, he has taught Religion & Science for several years, and he teaches the acclaimed Hacking History fourth-year seminar in the History Department. Dr Price encourages students to explore disciplinary domains beyond their comfort zones and advocates scholarly engagement with pressing social concerns and local communities. He is currently one of the technical directors of the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative (EDGI), a network of scholars and activists dedicated to protecting the integrity of environmental science in the United States under the administration of President Donald Trump. He is also the co-founder of an initiative called University of Toronto Outdoors, which seeks to strengthen outdoor education at U of T. This venture grew out of the founders’ experiences bringing students to the Indian Himalayan Region.

Dr Price has current Wilderness First Responder, Whitewater Rescue Technician, and Tandem Canoe Whitewater certifications from the relevant Canadian certification bodies (WFR includes a high-level CPR certification with it). He was an All-American open water swimmer when younger.