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VIC 110 - Critical Perspectives on Society

General information to support VIC 110 as taught by Prof. David Cook. This seminar course examines the contribution of an individual or individuals to the public sphere. Students will explore how public service and citizenship are developed.

Reference Resources

Reference books and encyclopedias are a way to familiarize yourself with the scholarly research, debate and discussion on various topics and figures. Here are some reference resources that may be of use for this course.

Blackwell Encyclopedia of Political Thought "...outlines the thought of leading political theorists, past and present, and considers the way in which thinking about politics has evolved historically. " [preface]

Encyclopedia of Political Theory (2010) ed. Matt Bevir. "... examines the ideas of the major political theorists from before Plato to our own times; the main schools of political thought; the concepts and issues that have captured the imagination and attention of political theorists; and some of the main institutions and practices inspired by political thought. [Also available in print: EJ PRATT Reference, JA61 .E53 2010]

The Oxford Companion to Philosophy Edited by Ted Honderich. 2nd edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005

An assembly of 249 distinguished philosophers have contributed to The Oxford Companion to Philosophy to create the most authoritative and engaging philosophical reference work in English. It gives clear and reliable guidance to all areas of philosophy and to the ideas of all notable philosophers from antiquity to the present day. The second edition has been considerably revised and updated, and includes 300 new articles on current topics, such as animal consciousness, cloning, corporate responsibility, the family, globalization, and terrorism.

The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy (2 ed.) This best-selling dictionary covers all areas of philosophy and contains terms from the related fields of religion, science, and logic. Clear and authoritative definitions and make it an essential resource for students and teachers and an ideal introduction for anyone with an interest in philosophy.

Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Literature: A database collection of current, peer-reviewed trustworthy research from international communities of scholars across all fields of study. Read in 30 minutes or less across 25 encyclopedias and includes the Encyclopedia of Social Work and the Oxford Classical Dictionary.

Oxford Reference Online:  look up the general topic: ie. "Umbrellas"

  • Oxford Reference is a compilation of hundreds of individual reference tools, published by Oxford University Press, combined into one searchable database. We often have the individual print equivalents if you decide to read in depth from one tool. But, to start with, search Oxford Reference online to find some general information.
  • Results include entries on umbrellas from A Dictionary of English Folklore and The Oxford Dictionary of the Renaissance. These could provide contexts for studying the topic. They provide histories and meanings of the term. Also look at the "Bibliographies" or "Further Readings" of the entries from these sources.

The Oxford handbook of French politics (2017) eds. Elgie, Robert, Grossman, Emiliano, Mazur, Amy. This title provides a comprehensive and comparative overview of the French political system through the lens of political science. The handbook is organized into three parts: the first part identifies foundational concepts for the French case, including chapters on republicanism and social welfare; the second part focuses on thematic large-scale processes, such identity, governance, and globalization; while the third part examines a wide range of issues relating to substantive politics and policy, among which are chapters on political representation, political culture, social movements, economic policy, gender policy, and defense and security policy.

Biographies, Obituaries and Works

These scholarly texts will provide you with context for who Hannah Arendt, Roland Barthes, Jean Baudrillard and David Cronenberg's work and lives. Oxford Academic is a resource you can use to familiarize yourself with recent scholarly debates about philosophers, writers and historical figures.