In the light of increased sensitivities towards global threats, people are afraid of strangers. This course aims to give students the time and tools to reflect upon the meaning of “strange.” How is strangeness constructed? What is strange in one place at one time may not be considered strange elsewhere. How do we identify ourselves as being part of a particular culture and nation? What is familiar and what is alien to us and why? Through discussing these questions we can identify and explore larger issues, drawing from our respective local cultures. Course materials include film and short philosophical and literary texts. Students are welcomed from a wide variety of disciplines. They will venture out into their own communities to find local examples of strangeness and familiarity in the form of images, places, legends and stories, sayings, and history and then see how the local fits in with larger narratives. This research will be used to create digital projects on “making strange” that will be part of the COPLACDigital site and provide a resource for thinking through the issue of strangeness.

Yvonne Franke, Assistant Professor of German — Midwestern State University

Janet Wesselius, Associate Professor of Philosophy — University of Alberta, Augustana Campus

Media Credits for the Course Flyer

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