Library Shelves

Recommended Media

From your A&H Professors!

We asked our Arts and Humanities Professors what their favorite books, films, tv shows, and plays were this year. Select a specific Department to skip to your favorite prof:

Department of Classical Studies

Kyle Gervais of Classical Studies recommends...

Three by Kieron Gillen and Ryan Kelly

Why? This is a five-issue comic book series that was written as a kind of response to the comic book “300” and the film of the same name that adapted it. “Three” is really well done and fun to read,
and also gives a perspective on ancient Sparta that’s much more interesting -- and accurate! -- than the superhero version of
the Spartans in “300”. 

 

Aara Suksi of of SASAH and
Classical Studies recommends...

What We Have Learned: Principles
of Truth and Reconciliation

2015 Published by the Truth and
Reconciliation Commission of
Canada

Why? It takes some courage and deep mindfulness to read the reports of the
Truth and Reconciliation Commission, but represent a part of our history that has been erased from our public school education. Learning this history is the first act of care and justice for everyone in our community.

David Bentley of English
recommends...

Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels

Why? Fugitive Pieces is profound, beautifully written, emotionally powerful. It is also by a Canadian.

 

Jason Sandhar of English and
Writing Studies recommends...

How to Be an Anti-Racist by
Ibram X. Kendi

Why? Part memoir, part history, and part civil rights manual, this book will change your views on contemporary race relations. A necessary read for our challenging times.

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Department of English and Writing Studies

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Gabrielle Ceraldi of English and
Writing Studies recommends...

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

Why? It’s clever and joyful and sad, and it’s all about portals and the worlds we reach through them.

Pauline Wakeham of English
recommends...

The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline

Why? It is an important and wonderfully written novel that helps people to think about the impact of residential schools in Canada as well as the strength, beauty, and courage of Indigenous peoples.

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Gabrielle Ceraldi of English and
Writing Studies recommends...

Effi Briest by Theodor Fontaine
(novel and film directed by
Rainer Werner Fassbinder)

Why? A beautiful and moving portrait of Prussian society, of the intersections of the class system with the gender system, with plenty of travel and rich detail in the narrative. I recommend that you read the novel BEFORE you view Fassbinder’s 1974 filmic treatment of the novel. It too is wonderful, but differently so.

Laura Cayen of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies
recommends...

All About Love: New Visions by Bell Hooks

Why? Anything by Bell Hooks is great: she is a classic, clear, and very accessible writer. “All About Love” is the first of her 3-part series on love which also includes “Salvation: Black People and Love” and “Communion: The Female Search for Love”.

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Department of Gender,Sexuality, and Women’s Studies

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Kate Korycki of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies recommends...

Let the Record Show: the Political History of Act-Up by Sarah Schulman

Why? It originates in this grim premise, and then it builds a story of hope, and courage, and solidarity. It draws to connections to the
vital contribution of women and Black and Latino people and it is told in the voices of the participants.

 
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Carolyn McLeod of Philosophy
recommends...

Behold the Dreamers by
Imbolo Mbue

Why? It originates in this grim premise, and then it builds a story of hope, and courage, and solidarity. It draws to connections to the
vital contribution of women and Black and Latino people and it is told in the voices of the participants.

Anthony Skelton of Philosophy recommends...

Down Girl: The Logic of
Misogyny by Kate Manne

Why? It’s an extraordinarily powerful discussion of misogyny and its destructive legacy.

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Department of Languages and Cultures

Department of Philosophy

 
 

Laurence de Looze of Languages and Cultures recommends...

Sufferance: A Novel by Thomas
King

Why? Given the revelations of recent weeks in Canada regarding residential schools, this novel is highly relevant. It is also a great read!

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Victoria F. Wolff of Languages and Cultures recommends...

Children of the Land by Marcelo Hernández Castillo

Why? Marcelo Hernández Castillo is a young poet who writes a truly beautiful memoir of what is means to live and to create as an undocumented person. This emotionally poignant memoir is not just the story of what it is like to live between two cultures, languages, and countries, it is the unique voice of someone who desperately tries to be both invisible and visible, who struggles to survive while crafting beauty through words, who mediates between his mother in the United States and his father deported to Mexico, and who comes out as bi+ as a married man. This memoir contributes to a necessary body of work that reminds us that each immigrant’s story is unique and ought to be heard/read, learnt, and understood.

Basil Chiasson of of the Faculty of Information and Media Studies and the Creative Arts Program
recommends...

The Tuner of Silences by Mia Couto

Why? Coutu is one of the most unorthodox fiction writers I’ve ever encountered.
The images, symbols, and metaphors he produces are stunning, unique, and unusual, never once sliding into cliché. I’m also recommending The Tuner of Silences
because it’s one of the only novels I’ve been able to stick with during this pandemic since March, and in a normal year I do read a good deal of fiction. The book’s situation
seems to me to offer something for our present circumstances living under this
bloody pandemic. In the novel, all material frivolities are removed and we are left to
focus on what we carry inside our minds and bodies and on the relations we have.

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Department of Visual Arts

 
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John Hatch of Visual Arts recommends...
 

High and Low (1963) directed by Akira Kurosawa

Why? The camera work is exceptional and plays on the contradictions that dominate
this film as signalled by its title, with wide angle shots for interiors at the beginning to more narrowly focused views of the city. These echo class differences, yet such
differences aren’t as great as they may  seem. This movie has twists and turns,
moral and ethical dilemmas, all tackled with a masterful hand by one of Japan’s
greatest directors.