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Faculty of Arts

Arts in action 2014/9
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Ryerson Academic Plan
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Arts & Contemporary Studies

Ideas that shape the world.
Interdisciplinary Studies in the Faculty of Arts.

Arts and Contemporary Studies

How did we get here? What social and cultural trends shape our way of life? And what are the solutions to today’s complex challenges? Arts and Contemporary Studies combines an education in the humanities with theoretical approaches and practical skills to deal successfully with contemporary social issues. Using both creative and constructive thinking, ACS students gain a rich in-depth understanding of social groups, historical events, and a broad range of ideas that have shaped Western and global cultures. ACS students have the opportunity to participate in community projects, while developing skills that are essential to success in the workforce. 

Programs Offered

Chair Profile

Associate Professor Walsh Matthews joined Ryerson and the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures in 2007. She earned her B.A. in Lettres françaises at the University of Ottawa, then completed a year in Semiotics and Communication Theory at Victoria College (University of Toronto) followed by an Interdisciplinary and Collaborative M.A. in Semiotics. Pursuing her studies in French Literature, she completed an M.A. in French Studies at St. Michael's College (University of Toronto) and her Ph.D. at the Department of French Studies, University of Toronto. Her doctoral dissertation, "Le Réalisme magique dans la littérature contemporaine québécoise" uses genre and sociocritical theories and approaches.

Dr. Walsh Matthews has been Program Director for ACS since 2011.  She teaches ACS 106, Introduction to Language, a first-year course that introduces students to the fundamental nature of language and communication, two introductory courses in Semiotics (SEM 101 and 102), and  CC 8906 Communication and Culture: An Interdisciplinary Approach in the graduate program ComCult. She is an Executive Member of the Semiotic Society of America, the International Association of Semiotic Studies, and is the author of several chapters and articles on magical realism, published both in Canada and abroad. She also publishes articles in semiotic journals and is leading a research consortium on Robotics and ASD.

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