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EDI in the Creativity and Society Program

The students, staff, and faculty of the Creativity and Society Program integrate Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion into our whole approach to artistic creation, scholarship, and pedagogy.

In practice this means that syllabi represent different perspectives and populations, whether or not a course is specifically focused on EDI issues. Events, class visitors, and faculty hiring all have diversifying voices as a priority. And because workshop and craft-based courses are driven by student issues and concerns, they naturally foreground EDI in their approach.

Throughout our program, we seek to create a learning community that fosters mutual respect where all students feel that their differences are valued, and where they feel supported to achieve their full potential. 

Recent Events

  • “Editors’ Perspective.” With Jessica Johnson, Aaliyah Dasoo, and Pia Singhal. March 30, 2023. Panel with professional editors to learn about the industry.
  • “Sovereign Utopias: A Panel on Indigenous Creativity.” With Liz Howard, Joshua Whitehead, and Billy-Ray Belcourt. March 24, 2023.
  • Faculty Reading Series. Mar 8, 2023. Liz Howard & George Elliott Clarke.
  • Faculty Reading Series. Nov. 29, 2022. Bob McGill & Mary Nyquist.
  • “How to Appy to Graduate School in Creative Writing.” With Karen Solie and Don Paterson (U of St. Andrews), Timothy Taylor (UBC), Patrick Philips (Stanford U), and Ian Williams (UofT). Oct. 20, 2022.
  • “Art ± Language: Exploring Connections Between Image & Text.” With Gary Barwin (multi-media artist), Dona Mayoora (visual poet), Rebecca Roher (cartoonist), and Hiba Abdallah (text-based installation art). November 7, 2022.

The Shaftesbury Writer in Residence

Since 2021, Victoria College has appointed an exceptional writer as the Shaftesbury Creative Writer-in-Residence. This role supports the teaching and learning that take place in the Creative Expression ad Society program and the Norman Jewison Stream of the Vic One program, and helps to foster creative citizenship in the Victoria College community. The first three writers to hold this prestigious appointment are:

Curriculum & Course Offerings

Many of the courses in the Creativity & Society program are centred around topics, questions and issues of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility. Learning is contextualized with real-life examples from diverse settings. A selection of topics covered that explicitly relate to EDI are listed below.

CRE209 – How Stories Work

  • Topics include: narrative’s relation to knowledge and power, interpretation as a form of resistance and revision.

CRE235 – Innovation in Society

  • Topics include: innovation as it relates to social, scientific, and environmental trends. Social impacts of disruption, ideas of inclusion.

CRE271 – Reading the Wild

  • Topics include: cross-cultural understandings of our relationship to the “natural world.” Received and alternative ideas about “wildness,” folk traditions from a wide range of cultures and perspectives.

CRE335 – Creativity and Collaboration in Social Enterprise

  • Topics include: social dynamism, societal change, community-based organizations, how public, private, and community sectors can work together to solve problems.

CRE372 – Reviewing, Reception, and Reading Communities

  • Topics include: artistic evaluation as a field of struggle and power, the changing structure of culture industries, cross-cultural challenges to established ideas of aesthetic purity and craftsmanship.

CRE374 – Cultural Encounters

  • Topics include: how art contributes to communal identity formation, artistic cross-pollination, issues of appropriation, cultural hierarchy, racial and gendered barriers to cultural capital.

Sample Syllabi Statements

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Reminder

As we are all a community of learners in this shared space, students are reminded of the expectation that we all demonstrate respect for one another. As outlined in the Student Code of Conduct, the University of Toronto does not condone discrimination or harassment against any persons or communities especially when based on grounds protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code.

In accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code, no person shall engage in a course of vexatious conduct that is directed at one or more specific individuals, and that is based on the race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, family status or disability.

University of Toronto Equity, Diversity and Excellence Statement

At the University of Toronto, we strive to be an equitable and inclusive community, rich with diversity, protecting the human rights of all persons, and based upon understanding and mutual respect for the dignity and worth of every person. We seek to ensure to the greatest extent possible that all students and employees enjoy the opportunity to participate as they see fit in the full range of activities that the University offers, and to achieve their full potential as members of the University community.

Our support for equity is grounded in an institution-wide commitment to achieving a working, teaching, and learning environment that is free of discrimination and harassment as defined in the Ontario Human Rights Code. In striving to become an equitable community, we will also work to eliminate, reduce or mitigate the adverse effects of any barriers to full participation in University life that we find, including physical, environmental, attitudinal, communication or technological. 

Accommodations for Learning Needs

The University of Toronto, and Victoria College, are committed to developing an accessible learning environment that provides reasonable accommodations to enable students with disabilities to meet the essential academic requirements of the University’s courses and programs.

If you require accommodations for a disability or have any accessibility concerns about the course, the classroom, or course materials, please contact Accessibility Services and/or your instructor as soon as possible.

Accommodations for Religious Observances 

As a student at the University of Toronto, you are part of a diverse community that welcomes and includes students and faculty from a wide range of cultural and religious traditions. Reasonable efforts will be made to avoid scheduling tests, examinations, or other compulsory activities on religious holy days not captured by statutory holidays. Further to University Policy, if a student anticipates being absent from class or missing a major course activity (such as a test or in-class assignment) due to a religious observance, they should notify their instructors in a timely manner.

Mental Health 

It is not uncommon for university students to experience a range of health and mental health issues that may result in barriers to achieving their academic goals. The University of Toronto offers a wide range of services to provide assistance. You are encouraged to seek out these resources early and as often as necessary:

University of Toronto Land Acknowledgement 

We wish to acknowledge this land on which the University of Toronto operates. For thousands of years it has been the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and the Mississaugas of the Credit. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land.

Last updated August 2023