This is an experiential learning course that studies poverty, its causes and dimensions, with a focus on its connection
with substance abuse. It explores sociological theories on the causes of poverty, its effects on marginalized peoples,
as well as the social causes of addiction. Addiction treatment theories are given philosophical consideration alongside literary texts, offering insight into the psycho-spiritual trauma often underlying substance-abuse. The course emphasizes a ‘virtuous circle’ of practice and theory, in which theory-based instruction and an experiential learning component cultivate an atmosphere of creative reflection and engaged learning. Classes are held offsite. Experiential learning component includes (at the discretion of instructor): attending classes in a neighbourhood with poverty and addiction challenges; volunteer experience; guest lectures from neighbourhood leaders and those with experience of poverty and addiction; trips to various local institutions that serve the neighbourhood.