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2010-2011 Course Offerings

WS 9550 Feminist Theory (required course)
Professor Helen Fielding
September - December 2010
Monday 2:30 - 5:30 pm
Somerville House (SH) 2348
Course outline

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 theintersections 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 9560 Researching Lived Experience - Feminist Methodologies
Professor Katherine McKenna

January - April 2011
Thursday 1:30 - 4:30 pm
Alumni Hall (AH) 101
Course outline

This course will provide an overview of a variety of feminist research methodologies with a focus on the Social Sciences, 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 9565 Feminist Theory and Methods in the Arts and Humanities
Professor Kim Solga

September - December 2010
Tuesday 4:30 - 7:30 pm
Stevenson Hall (StH) 2166
Course outline

This is a team-taught course that covers a range of theoretical and methodological approaches to feminism across the arts and humanities. With the help of experts in each field students will study feminism in relation to the visual arts, history, philosophy, English literature, cultural studies, and theatre and performance.

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

January - April 2011
Wednesday 3:30 - 6:30 pm
Weldon Library (WL) 259
Course outline

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 9555 Gender, Embodiment and Technology
Professor Susan Knabe

January - April 2011
Monday 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Weldon Library (WL) 259
Course outline

By focusing on the ways in which corporeality is always already mediated by and through technology and its myriad meanings, this course will begin to explore the implications and possibilities that exist for understanding the complex relationship between gender and embodiment. Some of the forms of technology investigated will include, but not necessarily be limited to, technologies of representation, bodily modification, corporeal control, physical pleasure, healing and adornment. Thus, these investigations will explore various aspects of women's embodied lives (race, age, class, disability, maternity, displacement, disease, desire, sexuality, employment) as they are negotiated in and through their interaction with a variety of disparate technologies.

WS 9581 Feminism and Race
Professor Erica Lawson

January - April 2011
Friday 10:30 am - 1:30 pm
Somerville House (SH) 3307
Course outline

A study of race, ethnicity, and racism, especially, but not exclusively, as they arise in feminisms and feminist scholarship. Questions will include, but are not limited to: How should we understand race? How does intersectional identity (including racial, ethnic and class identity) challenge feminist discourse? Is there a difference between exclusion and racism? How is anti-racist feminism different from feminism? What would an inclusive feminist movement and inclusive feminist scholarship look like? Authors will include Linda Martin Alcoff, Maria Lugones, Audre Lorde, Patricia Hill Collins, Patricia Monture, Chandra Mohanty, Jimani Bannerji, and Gloria Anzaldua.

WS 9583 Gender and Civil Society in Global Development
Professor Arja Vainio-Mattila

September - December 2010
Monday 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Weldon Library (WL) 259
Course outline

The possibility of empowering of women globally through international development initiatives is a central assumption underlying these efforts. This course will explore how the discourses of gender and civil society perform within the context of global development. We will examine in particular issues such as: relationship between participation and empowerment, whether civil society performs as an agent, space or process, meaning of gender equality versus gender equity, and what gets promoted and/or obscured in development discourse as we engage with these emerging narratives.

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WS 9590 Queer and Feminist Pedagogies
Professor Chris Roulston

September - December 2010
Friday 10:30 am - 1:30 pm
Weldon Library (WL) 259
Course outline

Through varied forms of cultural production, theory, literature, and visual culture, this course will offer an overview of the history and development of queer theory in Europe and North America. Specifically, the course will aim to address how queer theory's analysis of non-normative sexualities intersects with feminist analyses of gender; it will also examine how the queering of sexuality can provide alternative ways of thinking about broader constructions of identity, in particular those of race and class.

WS 9575 Directed Reading Course (Full or Half Course)

The directed reading course is conducted under the supervision of a faculty member, and is taken only by permission of the Chair of Graduate Studies. Normally, only PhD students are permitted to take a directed reading course, and Master's students will only be allowed to do so under exceptional circumstances.

WS 9599 Independent Research Project (Full Course)
September 2010 - August 2011

The Independent Research Project is only available to MA students See the IRP Guidelines here.

WS 9585 Scholarly Practicum (Half Course)
The Scholarly Practicum course is designed to provide students with an opportunity to receive academic credit for experiential learning. It could involve a community placement, an internship or an applied project. Students must have their practicum approved by submitting a written proposal describing the activity and the benefit of it to the student's current program of study and future goals to the graduate chair at least two months (longer if ethics approval is required) before the its commencement. Within one month after the completion of the practicum, a report must be submitted to the graduate chair. The course will be graded on a pass/fail basis. It is normally open only to doctoral students.

Courses Offered in Other Departments 2010-2011

Please note that enrolment in these courses is limited.


EDU 9626 Theories of Gender/Theories of Curriculum
Professor Wayne Martino

January 2011 - April 2011
Tuesday 6:30 - 9:30 pm
Location: Althouse College 2040

This course investigates the relationship between curriculum and gender, creating a dynamic dialogue between theories of gender and theories of curriculum. Students will reflect intensively on the "texts" through reading, writing and discussion, and engage in the rewriting of "curriculum" in the context of their own professional/personal lives.

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ENG 9062 Gender, Cultural Practices and Indigenous Decolonization (Full Course)
Professor Julia Emberley

September 2010 - April 2011
Tuesday 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Location: University College 377

Links between gender, colonization, and decolonization are currently at the forefront of postcolonial and indigenous studies. The recent publication of books on Indigenous women and feminism marks a significant moment in the production of a critical discourse that combines indigenous epistemologies with feminist postcolonial critique. This course will examine the intersections of indigenous epistemologies and postcolonial feminist discourses from Canada, Australia, India and the US. Students will read a variety of indigenous cultural practices including performance art, fiction, testimonial discourses, poetry and drama. Students will also read theoretical works by Jeannette Armstrong, Chandra Mohanty, Edward Said, Gayatri Spivak, Gerald Vizenor, and Robert Young.

ENG 9065 British Women Writers Before 1800 (Full Course)
Professor Alison Conway

Summer 2011 Time TBA
Location: University College 377

This course will examine women writers from the Medieval period to 1800, focussing its attention on the way that women responded to the cultural imperatives of their historical moment. Through our reading of a selection of early women's texts, including novels, plays, letters, poetry, and polemical writing, we will consider such issues as spirituality, patronage, prostitution, marriage, maternity, politics, and authorship as central concerns for women writers. Some of the questions we will consider include: How does Margery Kempe authorize her mystical revelations? How do Renaissance women writers derive authority from the figure of Queen Elizabeth? How does the history of the querelle des femmes unfold in the early modern period? How do seventeenth-century authors respond to the crisis of the Civil War and to the Restoration of Charles II? How do women writers represent England's imperial ambitions? What impact does the professionalization of authorship have on women writing in the eighteenth century? How does the Enlightenment inform feminist polemic at the close of the early modern period?

Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love
The Book of Margery Kempe , trans. B. A. Windeatt
The Poems of Amelia Lanyer
Major Women Writers of Seventeenth-Century England , ed. Fitzmaurice et al.
Popular Fiction by Women, 1660-1730 , ed. Backscheider and Richetti
Aphra Behn, Oroonoko
Charlotte Lennox, The Female Quixote
Margaret Cavendish, The Blazing World and Other Writings
Frances Burney, Evelina
Mary Wollstonecraft, Vindication of the Rights of Woman; The Wrongs of Woman

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HIS 9406 History of Women in the Western World (Full Course)
Professor Katherine McKenna

September 2010 - April 2011
Tuesday 9:30 - 11:30 am
Location: Social Science Centre 4317

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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Information and Media Studies

MS 9278 Feminist Theories in Media Studies (Fall Term)
Professor Carole Farber

September - December 2010
Wednesday 1:30 - 4:30 pm
Location: Staging Building (StaB) 250

Feminist scholars, researchers and teachers have paid a significant amount of attention to the importance of various media as sites for and of challenges to issues of power, class, race, gender and sexuality in culture and society, whether expressed in media cultural products, media industries or media technologies. This seminar examines a range of feminist theories, research and interpretive studies concerning print and broadcast media, film and the Internet (including Virtual Life), and, through feminist/cyberfeminist lenses, engages questions of representation, structures of media organizations and production using various frameworks and methods, e.g. discourse and content analysis, audience and viewer reception, etc. Participants in this seminar will have the opportunity to read and critique existing research and engage in creating new understandings.

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Modern Languages and Literatures

CL 9698 Creativity and Gender around 1800: inspired artists and deviant women
Professor Angela Borchert (Fall Term)

September - December 2010
Tuesday 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Location: UC 205

To create can mean to make, to produce, to conceive, to imagine, to design, to invent resulting in the new, spontaneous, surprising, unusual, ingenious, original, different. In the conception of all aspects of creativity - from the nature of the processes, the assessment of the products to the definition of the persons involved in creation and reception - the cultural construction of gender comes into play. Around 1800, both discourses, creativity and gender, undergo particularly remarkable changes reflected in contemporary cultural practices. Aesthetic and philosophical concepts of esprit, talent, originality and genius are placed into definite relationships to gender, ranging from the muse to madman. Visual and literary (self-) representations of creativity or of the creative process take on strategic positions in relation to gender, especially with prototypes like the improvisatrice. And the gendered places or milieus of creativity, including the salon, define social spaces for the performance or circulation of creativity.

This course will examine the changing parameters for creativity and gender through the lenses of philosophic texts by Immanuel Kant, Heinrich von Kleist, Elizabeth Montagu, visual representations by Angelika Kauffmann, Marie Sall?, Richard Samuel, Elisabeth Vig?e Lebrun and poetic texts by Frances Burney, Fran?oise de Graffigny, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Novalis, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Mary Shelley, Germaine de Sta?l and George Sand. Contemporary theoretical considerations like Judith Butler's "performance", Julia Kristeva's "female genius", Roland Barthes "bricolage", Gilles Deleuze/ F?lix Guattari's "heterogenesis", Umberto Eco's "chaosmos", Jacques Derrida's "genie" will sharpen our focus on creativity and gender around 1800.

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PHIL 9503 Global Feminist Ethics (Fall Term)
Professor Tracy Isaacs

September - December 2010
Friday 12:30 - 3:30 pm
Location: Stevenson Hall 1145
This course covers theoretical and applied issues in global feminist ethics and global feminism. After a brief consideration of what factors contribute to making ethics feminist, we will consider some of the challenges of exclusion, ethnocentrism, and speaking for others that have arisen as "Western" feminist scholars have sought to apply their ideas globally, and consider how viable an inclusive feminist ethics with global applications is. In addition, we will examine some specific issues in global feminist ethics, such as: the global market in women's domestic labour; the global market in women's sexual labour; the ethics of cross-cultural criticism of practices that oppress (or appear to oppress) women; the gendering of human rights internationally; poverty and its disproportionate impact on women around the globe. The course will be conducted primarily as an interactive discussion. Weekly attendance and participation in class discussion is expected. Some background in feminist philosophy/theory is presupposed.

PHIL 9502 Feminist Ethics, Family Justice and Alternative Family Values (Fall Term)
Professor Samantha Brennan

September - December 2010
Friday 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Location: Stevenson Hall 1145

It's become commonplace for feminist philosophers to note that traditional theories of ethics and politics have ignored the family. However, insofar as feminist theorists have taken on the task of addressing questions of justice and the family they have mostly focused on the traditional two parent, heterosexual family. This body of work has tended to focus on parent-child relationships and on the question of just distribution of work and resources within the family. Our seminar will begin with this work--we'll start with Okin's Justice, Gender, and the Family--but we'll quickly move on to broaden the scope of family ethics to include the following sorts of questions: Are there, or ought there to be, distinctly feminist family values? How many parents can a child have? Are there special issues of justice for families formed by adoption? Are queer families a challenge for liberal political theory? How should feminists regard marriage? Given divorce rates, is the two person monogamous couple a stable foundation for family life?

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Political Science

POL 9755 Gender and the Challenges of Transnational Politics (Fall Term)
Professor Veronica Schild.

September - December 2010
Friday 9:30 - 11:30 am
Location: Social Science Centre 4255

This course explores the challenge posed by feminist and critical theory to the study of transnational politics. It proceeds through cross-cultural and historical comparisons to discuss the centrality of gender to three processes: work and migration; citizenship and human rights; and indigenous mobilizations.

Transnationalism is a broad ranging concept that emphasizes the flow of capital, people, ideas, and objects across the borders of nation-states in contexts where states shape but do not contain these relations and flows. Transnationalism, and its associated transnational political processes, is not a new phenomenon. It is, however, one which we have until recently been ill equipped to study because of the nationalist and gender bias of our methodological approaches. Methodological nationalism assumes national borders to be the natural unit of study for political phenomena. It also assumes that particular nations provide the constant units of observation through all historical transformations. Gender bias assumes the conspicuous absence of women and their particular (racialized and classed) experiences from transnational political processes. And these biases have hampered scholars in their ability to move beyond dominant nationalist and gendered paradigms.

POL 9758 Social Diversity, Gender and The Law (Winter Term)
Professor Caroline Dick

January-April 2011
Monday 11:30 am - 1:30 pm
Location: Social Science Centre 4112

From religious minorities and Aboriginal peoples to feminists and gays and lesbians, Canadian social groups contend that group-differentiated rights and group-sensitive legal and constitutional interpretations are a necessary condition of equality. While the Canadian state has responded with group-specific provisions in the Charter and Constitution, as well an official policy of multiculturalism, social groups continue to press for legal concessions and the expansion of their rights. This course will examine the relationship between Canadian social groups and the law to assess how social groups employ the legal system in pursuit of equality and how they challenge laws that fail to attend to social group differences. Additionally, this course will examine how the differences that cut across social groups complicate the legal accommodation of 'group' differences. By assessing the legal claims of a number of social groups, this course will examine legal responses to questions of social diversity, the limits of law in addressing group-based inequalities and the effects that legal responses to social diversity can have on the most vulnerable members of social groups (often women)

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Theory and Criticism

TC 9610 Queer Theory and Its Aftermaths (Winter Term)
Professor Wendy Pearson

January-April 2011
Wednesday 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Location: Somerville House 2348

Beginning in the early 1990s and in part inspired by the AIDS crisis of the period, queer theory developed approaches to the study of sexuality and gender which departed from approaches within gay and lesbian studies by embracing postmodernist and feminist theory. Rather than concentrating on understanding homosexuality, its origins, characteristics, culture, history and place in the world, queer theory postulated that all of our contemporary understandings of sexuality were influenced by a Cartesian epistemology of gender, the discursive centrality of the homo/hetero binary to contemporary identities, and the effect of regimes of normativity on everything from subjectivity to the politics of civil rights. Queer theory made many gay and lesbian-identified people (including scholars) uneasy because it questioned the naturalness and necessity of understanding people as categorically homosexual or heterosexual. By identifying all sexual identities as cultural constructs, queer theory was seen by some of its opponents - as is so often the accusation against postmodernist theories more generally - as pulling the rug out from under hard-won identities, devaluing histories based on essentialist notions of sexuality, and making more difficult the work of human rights-based LGBT organizations.

Almost two decades later, we can ask how queer theory has developed since its momentous but fraught inception. As Michael O'Rourke points out, "almost since it began we have been hearing about the death of Queer Theory." However, like postmodernism, deconstruction, and other theoretical approaches whose "death" is frequently bruited about, queer theory's obituary appears to be somewhat premature. Rather than being assimilated or destroyed by its fashionable edginess, queer theory seems instead to be responding to Michel Foucault's call to "think thought itself differently." On the one hand, early queer theorists, like Judith Butler, Michael Warner and Lee Edelman, have become deeply engaged with world politics while, at the same time, newer theorists have emerged for whom an emphasis on Euro-American texts was never a priority: writers like Sara Ahmed, Gayatri Gopinath, Martin Manalansan, Jos? Esteban Mu?oz, JasbirK. Puar and Ruth Vanita have engaged with queer theory from a variety of cultural perspectives. As well as addressing questions of intersectionality (with race, ethnicity, class, etc.), contemporary queer theory has diversified into such areas as queer phenomenology; the critique of homonormativity; the study of queer kinship, queer families and the queer child; queer liberalism; queer critiques of war and/on terrorism; queer globalization and queer diasporas; human rights; and responses to discourses of citizenship, migration and asylum-seeking. In this course, we will examine a number of these recent turns in queer theory in order to evaluate both its current status and its continued usefulness.

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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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