Current Courses

1000 Level Courses

WS 1020E INTRODUCTION TO WOMEN'S STUDIES
An introductory and interdisciplinary survey of the status of women in contemporary, historical, and cross-cultural perspective, this course explores how gender and other differences are established or challenged through various institutional and individual practices. With a focus on feminist resistance to sexual, socio-cultural, economic, racial, and political oppression worldwide, we will appraise the implications of these practices for women's everyday lives.
2 lecture hours plus one hour tutorial, 1.0 course.   Previous course outline

Fall/Winter 1020E/001 Kim Verwaayen Mon 1:30 - 3:30 plus one hour tutorial
Fall/Winter 1020E/002 Laura Cayen Thur 4:30 - 6:30 plus one hour tutorial

WS 1021F INTRODUCTION TO SEXUALITY STUDIES
We will be introducing students to current social and political issues in sexuality studies, with a focus on contemporary issues around sexuality, including formation of sexual identities, sexual practices and politics, policing of sexuality, questions of sexual diversity, and the historical and global nature of ideas and controversies around sexuality.
2 hours plus a one hour tutorial, 0.5 course  Previous course outline

Fall 1021F Chris Roulston Wed 1:30 - 3:30 pm plus one hour tutorial

WS 1022G GENDER, JUSTICE AND CHANGE
The 21st century is a period of accelerating change focused around issues of gender, justice and activism. This course will introduce students to the ways in which movements for justice and change are informed by and take up gender issues in matters of education, health, poverty, globalization, the environment, etc.
2 hours plus a one hour tutorial, 0.5 course Previous course outline

Winter 1022G Laura Cayen Wed 1:30 - 3:30 pm plus one hour tutorial

WS 1024G INTRODUCTION TO EQUITY, DIVERSITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS
This introductory course surveys theory and practice in the fields of equity, diversity, and human rights. The course addresses how equity, diversity, and human rights policies and practices respond to social inequality, social difference, and unequal relations of power; as well, we will consider arguments about multiculturalism as a strategy to promote social inclusion. Towards these goals, we will take up readings about these issues from schools of thought such as: ant-racism, feminism and gender studies, sexuality, disability, education, and legal studies. In doing so, the course examines some of the following questions: How are equity, diversity and human rights shaped by political and state interests? What are (some of) the limits and possibilities of institutionalized, liberal approaches to equity and diversity? How are these approaches challenged? What does it mean to have “human rights?” And how, and by whom, are these rights contested? In addition to learning through our course readings, lectures, discussions, documentaries, and assignments, we will pay attention to media stories, human rights organizations, as well as to protests by equity-seeking groups to see how they approach the issues addressed in this course. Course outline

Winter 1024G Nael Bhanji Tue 11:30-1:30 plus one hour of tutorial
 

2000 Level Courses

WS 2139B SOCIAL HISTORY OF WOMEN IN CANADA
Instructor: Katherine McKenna

This course is designed to be an overview of women’s history in Canada from the first days of European settlement to the end of the 20th Century. Its focus is social history, that is, examining the realities of women’s everyday lives. One of the most informative and evocative ways of understanding women of the past is through biography, which will be a key theme throughout the course. Emphasis will be placed on examining a variety of historical sources including drawings and paintings, illustrations, photographs, oral history video and film, primary documents and written historical scholarship.  At the end, students will have a sense of how women’s diverse lived experiences have changed throughout Canadian history, and how they have remained the same. No prerequisites, 3 hours, 0.5 course.

Winter 2139B Katherine McKenna Mon 4:30 - 7:30pm

WS 2160A INTIMATE RELATIONS: SEX, GENDER AND LOVE
Intimate Relations focuses on how expectations of intimacy and relationships rely on particular understandings of love, sex, sexuality and bodies to shape how we experience ourselves as gendered and sexual beings. The course considers how intimacy (sexual, maternal, familial, affectionate) is understood in relation to history, philosophy, health, society and popular culture.
No prerequisites 3 hours, 0.5 course. Previous course outline

Winter 2160A Katherine McKenna Mon 4:30 - 7:30pm

WS 2161A WOMEN AND POPULAR CULTURE: GARBO TO GAGA
How are women represented in popular culture? Women's images in the media, from newspaper and magazines to television, film and music videos produce particular notions of what it means to be a woman, be feminine, etc. We will examine both the historical and contemporary roles of women in popular culture. 3 hours, 0.5 course 

Fall 2161A Nichole (Nikki) Edwards Wed 4:30-7:30

WS 2162B THE BODY
We will examine social and scientific constructions of the body, including concepts of beauty, health, fitness, sexuality, and questions of representation. Among other things, we may examine particular social problems, such as technologies of the body and bodily modification, ideas of health and illness, society’s difficulty with understanding the disabled body as sexual, the cultural obsession with body size, psychiatric and medical responses to people who feel that their bodily sex does not match their gender, changing ideas about beauty and attraction, and artistic conceptions, representations, and alterations of the human body.
No prerequisites, 3 hours, 0.5 course. Previous course outline

Fall 2162B Rachael Pack Thur 4:30-7:30

WS 2163B SEX, HOW TO: SEX EDUCATION, ITS HISTORY AND CONTROVERSIES 
Sex education is a controversial topic; should we even be teaching people how to have sex or how not to have sex? This course traces the history of sex education and its many controversies as well as looking at contemporary sex education practices both locally and in an international context. Course outline

Winter 2163B Nichole (Nikki) Edwards Wed 4:30 - 7:30pm

WS 2164A GENDER AND FASHION 
This course examines the world of fashion from a critical feminist perspective. Topics covered may include fashion’s role in gender and sexuality identity; the relationship between women’s fashions and women’s liberation; the history, sociology, aesthetics of fashion; the mass production of fashion; and feminist concerns about exploitation and sweatshop labour. 2 hours of in class time, 1 hour online, 0.5 course Please note: Prerequisites have been lifted for the 2017-2018 enrollment period. Previous course outline

Fall 2164A Kelly Olson Mon 1:30 - 4:30pm

WS 2205F MAKING MEN: CRITICAL STUDIES IN MASCULINITY
This course addresses masculinities as social constructs. It debates the theoretical and practical strongholds competing discourses have had over gender as a construct and specifically masculinities. One overarching goal of this course is to develop critical and analytical frameworks for unsettling and interrogating gender assumptions. Additionally, this course is intended to raise questions that will better enable us to construct and deconstruct what and how we come to understand masculinity, singular, as masculinities, plural. In the everyday public discourse, we are witness to a heightened awareness and growing concern, generally, to “help the boys.” From mainstream media reports, to schools, universities and education more generally, we are inundated with calls for more attention to "the boys." Though largely cloaked by concerns for performance, achievement, and gender equity, at the heart of the debate is a set of deep-seated and long-held understandings and assumptions about gender but specifically masculinity and schooling. This course provides a lens for examining masculinities in the context of media, activist organizations, daily social interactions as well as looking closely at secondary schools as a primary masculinizing institution. Our particular lens of analysis probes masculinities from various points of intersection, namely, the raced, class and gendered lives of boys and young men.
No prerequisites, 3 hours, 0.5 course. Course outline

Fall 2205F Christian Ylagan Mon 1:30 - 4:30pm

WS 2220E FEMINIST THEORY AND PRACTICE ACROSS THE DISCIPLINES
(Reqiuired 2nd yr. theory course)

An examination of the implications of feminist theories and practices at work in many different disciplines, including arts, media, social sciences, health sciences, science, law. We introduce students to theoretical concepts and ask questions about the ways sex, gender and sexuality are understood and researched from a range of perspectives. Antirequisite(s): Women's Studies 2256E or Women's Studies 2257E Prerequisite(s): WS1020E, or WS1021F/G and WS1022F/G, or permission of the Department.
3 hours, 1.0 course. Previous course outline

Fall/Winter 2220E Andie Shabbar and Crystal Gaudet Thurs 10:30 am - 1:30 pm

WS 2225G INTRO TO GIRLHOOD STUDIES 
This course introduces students to the emerging field of Girlhood studies. We consider what it means to be a girl and how the concepts of girl and girlhood have been constructed across a variety of geographic and historical contexts, as well as how the intersections of race, class, gender, and ability have influenced these concepts. Drawing on a variety of disciplines, including literature, and history, we specifically consider girlhood through a feminist lens and examine how definitions of girl and girlhood shape individual experience, historical narratives, cultural representations, and futures
3 lecture hours, 0.5 course. Prerequisite(s): Women's Studies 1020E or 1.0 from Women's Studies 1021F/G, 1022F/G, 1023F/Gand 1024F/G. Course outline

Winter 2225G Miranda Green-Barteet Mon 1:30 am - 4:30pm

WS 2240F FOUNDATION OF FEMINIST THOUGHT
This course takes up foundational readings in the history of feminist thought from early feminists’ calls for women's equality and rights to postmodern understandings of gender. The course will consider how feminist thought has emerged, developed and evolved in response to various historical, intellectual, social, political and cultural challenges. Antirequisite: WS2250E. No prerequisites.
3 hours, 0.5 course

Winter 2240F Alison Lee Wed 10:30 am - 1:30pm

WS 2244 WOMEN AND HEALTH
This course takes a critical, interdisciplinary approach to understanding women’s health. The course is organized into six modules with each module covering a topic area that is relevant to women and health. The topics covered in this course are:The Medicalization of Women’s Health; Representing Gender and Women’s Health; The Politics of Reproduction; Diversity and Women’s Experiences of Health Care; The Social Determinants of Women’s Health; and Women, Work and Health.
Antirequisite: Women’s Studies 2154. No prerequisites. Previous course outline

Fall/Winter 2244 Jessica Polzer Wed 4:30 - 7:30pm

WS 2259F Reproducing Race: Race, Reproduction, Parenting, and Families.
Race is widely understood to be a social construction. Therefore, we can ask how some social practices help to construct or ‘reproduce’ race, and how others deconstruct it. This course centres on historical and contemporary practices that concern race and the formation of families, and the having and rearing of children. And it asks how these practices reproduce race, but also how they can deconstruct it, and how well they might align as a result with anti-racist politics. Among specific topics that we will cover are anti-miscegenation laws, race and online dating, eugenics and race, the race selection of gametes acquired for one’s reproductive use, race in global commercial contract pregnancy, transracial adoption, and the instilling of racial identities in one’s children. The course is interdisciplinary, drawing from disciplines such as women’s studies, history, philosophy, and critical race theory. We will also use contemporary media and film.Course Outline

Winter 2259F Carolyn McLeod Tues 10:30 - 1:30pm

WS 2260 WOMEN, LAW AND SOCIAL CHANGE 
This course is an introduction to various areas of law which affect women in specific ways. It will examine laws relating to sex discrimination, employment, sexual harassment, rape and sexual assault, abortion, marriage, divorce, child custody, inheritance, pornography and prostitution. It will explore topical debates in these various areas of law and how law can be used as a strategy for bringing about social change.
No prerequisites. 3 hours, half course. Antirequisite(s): Women's Studies 2270A/B

Winter 2260 Tyler Totten Tues 1:30 - 4:30pm

WS 2263G INTERSECTIONS: RACE, CLASS AND SEXUALITY
Are Latinas inherently sexy and sensual women? Are poor people, especially nonwhite people, lazy and shiftless? Do Aboriginal women make “bad” mothers? Are Asian men less “manly” than black men? These questions, among others, will be discussed in this course as we investigate the intersections between race, class, and sexuality from an interdisciplinary perspective. One of the main objectives of this course will be to unravel how human beings become categories that expand beyond the seemingly binary divide between “the sexes,” “the races,” and the “haves and have-notes.” Instead, we will consider the real-life experiences of “Muslim women” or “two-spirit people” through an examination of texts from the fields of anthropology, cultural studies, feminist studies, and queer studies, among others. In addition, our examination of products from popular culture, such as films, television shows, music videos, and clips from the internet, will provide thoughtful, and often provocative, examples of the complex representations of race, gender, class, and sexuality in our society.
Prerequisite: Women's Studies 1020E or Women’s Studies 1021F/G plus Women's Studies 1022F/G, or permission of the Department. Previous course outline

Fall 2263G Andrea Allen Thurs 1:30 - 4:30pm

WS 2273E SEXUAL SUBJECTS
This interdisciplinary course focuses on sexuality as a subject of study and considers how sexuality defines individual and social subjectivity. The course will explore sexual subjects within a theoretical context and might include sexology, psychoanalysis, queer theory, feminism, the history of sexual identity, and its representation in cultural production.
No prerequisites. 3 hours, 1.0 course Course outline

Fall/Winter 2273E TBA Tue 4:30 - 7:30pm

WS 2274G INTRO TO TRANSGENDER STUDIES
This course will focus on trans identities, history, theory and politics from the perspectives of feminist, queer, and emerging trans theory. Topics may include transphobia and oppression of trans people, sex and gender change, transvestism, gender passing, transgender children and their families, and intersectionalities with sexuality, race, class, ability, etc.
3 lecture hours, 0.5 course. Antirequisite(s): Women's Studies 4460F/G if taught in Winter 2013; Women's Studies 3343F/G if taught in Fall 2015. Prerequisite(s): Women's Studies 1020E or 1.0 from Women's Studies 1021F/G, 1022F/G, 1023F/Gand 1024F/G.

Winter 2274G Nael Bhanji Thurs 10:30 - 1:30pm

WS 2275F HETEROSEXUALITIES
This course is interested in the interdisciplinary study of heterosexualities. Topics covered will include: social and historical productions of (hetero)sexualities; cultural performances of (hetero)sexualities; heterosexual pleasures and dangers; heterosexed pornographies and sex-work; erotic (hetero)sexual power play; and heterosexualities that cross the boundaries of (cis)gender, race, age, ability, class and nation, 3 lecture hours, 0.5 course.

Winter 2275F Laura Cayen Tues 10:30 - 1:30pm

WS 2283G DESIRING WOMEN
This course looks at how female sexuality and subjectivity is experienced, understood, represented and theorized across a range of disciplines; these may include art, literature, media, psychology, anthropology, sociology, biology and medicine. It explores how female sexual desires, practices and identities are shaped in relation to individual, cultural and social meanings of female sexuality. No prerequisites. 3 hours, 0.5 course

Fall 2283G TBA Mon 4:30 - 7:30pm

3000 Level Courses

WS 3153F BAD GIRLS: DISSIDENT WOMEN AND POPULAR CULTURE
This course examines our fascination with the figure of the “bad girl” in popular culture. We will concentrate on theoretical work which informs the relationship between popular culture and dissident sexuality in order to look more closely at how adolescent and young adult female bodies are created, controlled and contested. 3.0 hours, 0.5 course. 
Prerequisite(s): Women's Studies 2253E or 2273E or 2220E or permission of the Department.

Winter 3153F Laura Cayen Wed 4:30 - 7:30pm

WS 3173F QUEER THEORY
What is queer theory, where did it come from, how is it changing? Examining key foundational texts in queer theory, the contexts for its emergence, and debates over its contemporary usefulness and direction, students in this course will trace the development of queer theory from Foucault to the present day.
3 hours, 0.5 course. Prerequisite: Women's Studies 2273E or permission of the department. previous course outline

Fall 3173F Wendy Pearson Thurs 10:30 - 1:30pm

WS 3312G GENDER AND THE ENVIRONMENT
This course examines the relationship between gender and the environment, including the disproportionate impact of environmental degradation on women and children, gender and agricultural practices and policies, land tenure and access to and control of resources, and the role of gender in environmental activism at both local and global levels. 3 lecture hours, 0.5 course. Prerequisite(s): Women's Studies 2220E or Women's Studies 2273E or permission of the department

Winter 3312G David Huebert Wed 10:30-1:30pm

WS 3321F ADVANCED TOPICS IN FEMINIST THEORY AND PRACTICE IN THE ARTS AND HUMANITIES (Required 3rd yr. theory course)
This course applies a wide range of feminist theories and critical practices, including postmodern and queer theories, literary criticism, psychoanalysis, and postcolonial studies, to a diverse array of artistic practices, including literature, film, and the performing and visual arts.
3 hours, 0.5 course. Prerequisite(s): WS2220E, WS 2256E, or WS2257E, or permission of the department.

Fall 3321F Victoria Miceli Wed 1:30 - 4:30 pm

WS 3322G ADVANCED TOPICS IN FEMINIST THEORY AND PRACTICE IN SOCIAL SCIENCES
(Required 3rd yr. theory course)

This course is an advanced examination of the application of feminist theories and practices to topics in the social sciences. Focus will include epistemological and methodological questions raised in feminist engagement across the various social science disciplines. Topics addressed may include a range of social-economic, cultural, political, and policy issues. 3 hours, 0.5 course Prerequisite(s): WS2220E, WS 2256E, or WS2257E, or permission of the department.

Winter 3322G Erica Lawson Wed 1:30 - 4:30 pm

WS 3324F CONTEMPORARY TOPICS IN CRITICAL RACE STUDIES
Focussing on the changing meanings of race and racism in the twenty-first century, this course discusses and analyzes conceptual frameworks for understanding the multi-faceted and intersectional dimensions of race and racism, and examines how these inform social justice movements and other initiatives that seek to challenge institutional racism and racial violence. Antirequisite(s): Women's Studies 3331F/G if taught in Fall 2015. Prerequisite(s): Women's Studies 2220E or Women's Studies 2273E.

Fall 3324F TBA Wed 10:30 - 1:30 pm

WS 3345F QUEER CINEMA (crosslisted with Film 3352F)
This course will explore the history, politics, and aesthetics of queer film, particularly the representation of queer culture and identity as well as the policing of non-normative sexualities. Course topics may include: Hollywood and the Celluloid Closet, queer independent cinema, and transgender film.  Antirequisite(s): Film Studies 2259F/G. Extra Information: 2 lecture/seminar hours, 1 3-hour lecture/screening. 0.5 course

Fall 2018 WS 3345F J. Wlodarz Film Screening Tue 5:30 - 8:30pm, Lecture Wed 5:30 - 7:30pm  

WS 3350G FEMINISM ACROSS BORDERS
Is an inclusive feminism possible? Is a feminism that transcends borders and embraces a
broader, more global spectrum of feminist voices than ever before feasible? Reading feminist
authors from a diversity of backgrounds, we examine the attractions and challenges of a global
feminism.

Winter 3350G TBA Tue 1:30 - 4:30 pm

WS 3357G WOMEN FILMMAKERS 
(cross-listed with Spanish 3901G and Film Studies 3311G)
This course will explore the notion of film authorship in relation to its utterances and implications when associated to the praxis of contemporary women film directors, from the early 1960s to the present. While troubling the notion of women’s cinema, its definition, limits and limitations, a wide range of case studies – films emerging from dissimilar contexts of production and reception – will be mostly read and discussed in the light of feminist approaches to questions about gender and representation. In this sense, the course will also offer a historical and critical overview of feminist scholarship within film studies and of the ongoing debates in this area of study. 0.5 course

Winter 2018 WS 3357G Constanza Burucua Tue 9:30-10:30am & Thurs 9:30-11:30am

WS 3362G COMPARING WOMEN'S POLITICAL LEADERSHIP IN THE PROVINCES: KATHLEEN WYNNE, CHRISTY CLARK AND RACHEL NOTLEY - New course! Crosslisted with PoliSci 3391G
This course compares provincial political structures through a feminist lens, especially regarding the premier’s office and the party system. The course centers on two questions: why have female Canadian political leaders been successful recently in rising to lead some provincial governments in Canada; and once in office, how do they exercise leadership?  

Winter 3362G Cristine De Clercy Wed 1:30-3:30 pm

4000 Level Courses

WS 4460F (M)AD WOMEN: (POST)-FEMINISM, ADVERTISING AND ANALYSIS (grad/undergrad split)
What is the relationship between feminism and advertising?  In what ways have women been involved in the advertising industry?  How has the advertising industry historically viewed and valued women as consumers?  How have activists used media reform to advance feminist aims? How has advertising responded to decades of feminist critique?  In this course, students will explore and discuss the representation of women in advertising, women’s employment in the advertising industry, the political economy of gender in audience studies, post-feminist advertising themes of empowerment, choice, diversity, and inclusion, and the relationship between activism and the a-political nature of post-feminism.

Fall WS 4460F Laura Cayen Tue 10:30 - 1:30pm

WS 4456F FROM GOLDEN GIRLS TO RAGING GRANNIES: FEMINIST PERSPECTIVES ON AGING 
Discussions about age relations and aging have long been inconsequential if not absent in the feminist imaginary. For years, feminism has been rightly accused of neglecting age as a social location when commenting on interlocking forms of oppression. Although several anthologies have attempted to address this gap, we still see its absence in Women’s Studies. In this course, we will attend to this gap by approaching the aging body and age relations from a feminist gerontological perspective to demonstrate how and why age, as a socio-political location, matters to gender relations. To this end, students will be introduced to an array of discourses that govern aging bodies to explore how hegemonic gender and (hetero)sexual norms are reproduced and/or contested.

Fall 4456F Jami McFarland Mon 10:30 - 1:30pm

WS 4461G TRANS THEORY
This course provides an in-depth examination of key theories in trans studies. The course will begin by introducing students to the emergence of trans studies as a field, out of, and alongside, feminist and queer theory, while also diverging from these fields. Subsequent weeks will focus on specific approaches to theorizing trans subjectivities and experiences including psychoanalytic approaches, phenomenological approaches, pathologization, transfeminism, trans political economy, trans necropolitics, trans temporalities, somatechnics, decolonizing approaches, and tranimalities. The course will provide students with the opportunity to focus specifically on trans theory as it has emerged from the humanities, and foster the application of these theories to contemporary topics pertaining to trans issues and gender issues more broadly.

Winter 4461G Vanessa Slothouber Mon 10:30 - 1:30pm

WS 4607G THE HISTORY OF WOMENS AND GENDER RELATIONS IN AFRICA
Women in Africa today are exceedingly diverse and accomplished, despite the negative news we
read every day about violence, disease and poverty. Even those who recognize this often assume
that women’s growing influence in African societies is a recent development due to the influence
of modern liberal values. Contrary to this, in the past African women were not the victims of
male domination, but held powerful leadership roles, were strong economic contributors and
respected members of their extended families. African feminists today draw upon these
traditions as a source of empowerment. This course will examine African women’s roles in the
past as well as factors that undermined their status and changed gender relations such as slavery,
economic forces and colonialism.  
Course outline

Winter 4607G Katherine McKenna Thurs 1:30 - 4:30pm