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Graduate Courses

2008-2009 Course Offerings

WS 9456A Anti-racism, Postcolonialism and Critical Approaches in Women's Studies
Professor Goli Rezai-Rashti

September - December 2008
Wednesday 1:30 - 4:30 pm
Classroom: UC 201

This course provides an opportunity for students to learn about a variety of standpoints including those provided by postcolonial, anti-racist, queer and other gender theorists. The focus is on exploring gender relations and how they are influenced by a range of intersecting factors such as race, culture, religion, sexuality, and social class. Theoretical frameworks which attend to these intersecting variables and contexts are presented as a means by which to provide students with analytic tools to interrogate both representation and lived relations of gender.

WS 9461B Feminism, Health and Biopolitics
Professor Jessica Polzer

January-April 2009
Monday 11:30 am - 2:30 pm
Classroom: WL 259

How do developments in biotechnology and genetics (re)situate various parts of the female body as sites for surveillance, control, and resistance? How are biotechnologies implicated in the disciplining of the female body and in the governance of populations? This interdisciplinary course draws on studies in biopolitics and feminism to critically explore and question the politics of health in the 21st century. Emphasis will be placed on analysis of current developments in biotechnology and genetics in order to explore, from a feminist perspective, their ethical, legal, social and political implications.

WS 9530A Feminist Cultural Production
Professor Carole Farber

September - December 2008
Thursday 1:30 - 4:30 pm
Classroom: StaB 250

Feminist scholars, researchers, teachers, and artists have paid a lot of attention to the importance of various cultural sites (especially media) for and of challenges to issues of power, class, race, gender and sexuality in culture and society as expressed through feminist cultural production (whether feminist media cultural products, media industries or media technologies). This seminar examines the antagonisms, debates and intersections between feminist cultural studies approaches to representations and feminist socialist-materialist approaches to the structures and organizations of production in print and broadcast media, film, the Internet, etc. Feminist cultural labor is increasingly seen as affective, immaterial and global. We will examine the degree to which this is the case. Participants in this seminar will have the opportunity to read and critique existing research from both perspectives, as well as engage in creating new understandings through their own research and perspectives.

WS 9540B Women and Employment: Discrimination and Equality Policy in Canada
Professor Carol Agocs

January - April 2009
Wednesday 1:30 - 4:30 pm
Classroom: WL 257
Using readings and cases from several disciplines to inform discussions and seminar presentations, course participants will critically examine theories and research on workplace discrimination and harassment on the basis of gender and race. We will then consider policy remedies including human rights processes, employment equity, pay equity, and diversity programs, and assess their outcomes for women. Central themes of the course include the critical analysis of ways in which policies are constructed and implemented, and the dynamics of organizational change and resistance to change in the workplace.

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WS 9550A Feminist Theory (required course)
Professor Helen Fielding

September - December 2008
Friday 11:30 am - 2:30 pm
Classroom: SH 2348

This course will analyze feminist theoretical approaches providing students with an understanding of the fundamental questions at stake in each. We will consider epistemological perspectives as well as the intersections of feminist theories with other theoretical approaches such as queer theory and critical race theory. The implications of feminist theory for academic research will be addressed throughout.

WS 9560B Feminist Research Methodologies (required course)
Professor Katherine McKenna

January - April 2009
Thursday 2:30 - 5:30 pm
Classroom: SH 3305
Course Outline
This course will provide an overview of a variety of feminist research methodologies, both quantitative and qualitative. Guest lecturers from a broad variety of disciplines will demonstrate the different forms and common themes of feminist research. Questions such as the following will be raised: How do factors such as class, gender, race and ethnicity affect research? Should political change be the goal of feminist research or should it be primarily deconstruction and analysis? Are some methodologies more "feminist" than others? Students will be required to complete a major assignment in which they pick a topic of interest and suggest at least three different research methodologies that could be used to investigate that topic.

WS 9599 Independent Research Project
September 2008 - August 2009

Full Course

Courses Offered in Other Departments 2008-2009

Department of English

ENG 9013 Indigenous Cultural Practices and Decolonization
Professor Julia Emberley

September - December 2008
Wednesday 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Half Course

This course will focus on contemporary textual and visual materials by Indigenous writers, artists, and film-makers in Canada. Students will consider, among other things, decolonization as a process of cultural change; ethnography, writing, and film in relation to colonial/anti-colonial history; storytelling, performance and history; oral traditions, testimony and translation; genre classifications and the effects of indigenous cultural practices on literary and cultural studies in Canada.
This course will engage with, among other things, work related to contemporary issues regarding violence and First Nations women. A materialist feminist theoretical perspective is employed, which means taking into account articulations of race, class, gender, and sexuality in the context of the history of colonization and decolonization.

ENG 9028 Performing Violence Against Women in Early Modern English Theatre: History and Ethics
Professor Kim Solga

Summer 2009
Time TBA
Full Course

The Elizabethan and Jacobean periods were among the bloodiest in English theatre history. While both male and female characters of diverse ages and races play the victims, women are abused, raped, hacked, hewed and sacrificed in ungodly numbers on early modern English stages. What is the structure, and what the optics, of this violence's representation? What political and cultural work does it do? And why, given this historical moment's gruesome delight in the battered woman's body, does so much of its drama efface the female victim of violence, force her suffering to disappear even as it tears her limb from limb?
This course will pair a variety of historical and theatrical texts from the period with current feminist criticism of the plays, feminist historical analysis of the legal and social documents that shaped early modern understandings of rape and domestic violence, as well as contemporary performance theory that explores the shape and meanings of violence in performance.
(Longer course description at:

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Department of French

FR 9552 L'errance : formes et effets dans la fiction contemporaine
Professor Karin Schwerdtner

September-December 2008
Wednesday 1:30-4:30 pm
Half Course

Qu'est-ce que l'errance - un concept interchangeable ? celui de la migrance ou du nomadisme? Quelles en sont les formes les plus saillantes? Comment et ? quelles fins l'errance peut-elle se manifester? Par ailleurs, si la femme errante occupe une place centrale dans plusieurs oeuvres d'?crivain/e/s vivant en France, quelle peut ?tre l'importance ou la fonction narrative de son errance? Quels peuvent ?tre les effets de sens et les enjeux de sa mise en discours?
Parler de l'errante telle qu'elle se pose au devant de la sc?ne de plusieurs romans contemporains, c'est tacitement la pr?senter comme personnage qui erre, non pas simplement dans un espace quelconque, mais en soi: ? l'?cart des traditions litt?raires d'errance masculine et de passivit? et d'immobilisme f?minins. C'est dans cette perspective qu'on examinera la construction, les intentions et les enjeux de divergentes actualisations litt?raires de l'errance f?minine. Une attention particuli?re sera pr?t?e aux structures discursives et aux strat?gies d'?nonciation qui ?tablissent ou modalisent les rapports que l'errante entretient avec autrui et son environnement.
(Course requires fluency in French. Written work may be submitted in English.)

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Department of History

HIS 9406 Historical Views of Women in the Western World
Professor Katherine McKenna

September 2008 - April 2009
Tuesday, 9:30 am - 11:30 am
Classroom: SSC 4317
Full Course

This course is not only the story of how women have lived over time in different contexts and from different perspectives in the history of the western world. Rather, it is as much about how historians have written about the female gender, and about the theoretical debates that have informed their writings. The broad expanse of history covered in this course allows for only some select 'flashpoints' to be examined. These will allow us to focus on key issues both in the historical debate and in the history of women in the western world. This will provide an overview or framework for understanding the complexities of changes in women's roles in the western world over time.

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Department of Sociology

SOC 9021 Qualitative Methods
Professor Julie McMullin

January - April 2009
Thursday, 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Half Course

This course introduces students to epistemological issues that distinguish qualitative from quantitative methods and provides an overview of several of the main types of qualitative research methods. It also considers ethical issues and data analysis and management challenges that are associated with qualitative research. Students will use the knowledge that they gain in this course to write a research proposal and ethics review submission.

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Department of Philosophy

PHIL 9500 Feminist Ethics and Sexual Justice
Professor Samantha Brennan

September - December 2008
Tuesday, 12:30 - 3:30 pm
Classroom: TC 310
Half Course

This course will explore the relationship between feminist ethics and the sex industry. We will read a wide range of theoretical work in feminist ethics. We will also examine feminist criticisms and defenses of prostitution and pornography. In the final weeks, we will turn our attention to some issues of sexual ethics that don't involve the commodification of sex. We will explore the issue of sexual objectification, as well as the relationship between autonomy, consent and well being.

PHIL 9100 Oppression and Responsibility
Professor Tracy Isaacs

September - December 2008
Monday, 2:30 - 5:30 pm
Classroom: TC 310
Half Course

Contexts of oppression pose interesting challenges to our conception of moral responsibility. Since oppression is a kind of systemic injustice and the wrongful social practice in which agents participate in oppression is normalized to the point of invisibility, oppressors and oppressed alike may have difficulty identifying patterns of injustice. In this course, among the issues we'll consider are: the nature of oppression, the extent to which participants in oppression might be excused as a result of widespread moral ignorance, the concept of 'gray zones' whose occupants simultaneously enjoy privilege and suffer disadvantage in oppression, complicity, and the obligation (if there is one) of members of oppressed social groups to resist their own oppression. We'll read Ann Cudd's recent book, Analyzing Oppression, as well as selected articles by Marilyn Frye, Claudia Card, Sandra Bartky, Cheshire Calhoun, Michele Moody-Adams, Anita Superson and others.

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Department of Women's Studies and Feminist Research - Western University
Lawson Hall Room 3260
London, Ontario, Canada, N6A 5B8
Tel: 519.661.3759
Fax: 519.661.3491

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