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 Samantha Brennan Mon 1:30 - 3:30 pm plus one hour tutorial
Fall/Winter 1020E/002 Kim Verwaayen 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  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 Course outline

Winter 1022G Bipasha Baruah Wed 1:30 - 3:30 pm plus one hour tutorial

2000 Level Courses

WS 2160B 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 2160B 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 Top of Page WS 2162B THE BODY Instructor: Wendy Pearson and guest lecturer Class times: Mondays 4:30 - 7:30 pm 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 2161A TBA Mon 4:30-7:30

WS 2162A 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 2162A TBA Thurs 4:30-7:30

WS 2163B SEX, HOW TO: SEX EDUCATION, ITS HISTORY AND CONTROVERSIES - New course!
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.

Winter 2163B TBA Thurs 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. 3 hours, 0.5 course Please note: Prerequisites have been lifted for the 2016-2017 enrollment period. Course outline

Fall 2164A Samantha Brennan Wed 4:30 - 7:30pm

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. Previous course outline

Fall 2205F TBA Tues 1:30 - 4:30pm

WS 2211F GIRLS ON FIRE - New course! 
Many YA dystopian novels published recently feature strong female protagonists who openly rebel against the totalitarian societies they live in. In this course, we will consider how the recent spate of Young Adult dystopian fiction simultaneously subverts and affirms gendered expectations facing many young women in the 21st century. 

Fall 2211F Miranda Green-Barteet 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 Kim Verwaayen 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 2240G 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 2240G 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 Tues 4:30 - 7:30pm

WS 2259G DISSECTING SOCIAL CATEGORIES: RACE AND GENDER
What does it mean to have a race or a gender? How do the social constructs of race and gender differ in different times and places? How do they differ from one another and how are they similar? What would a world without race or gender be like, and would such a world be desirable? This course examines questions like these with the ultimate purpose of dissecting and better understanding the social categories of race and gender. The methods will be interdisciplinary and will draw on recent media as well as film and literature.

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

WS 2263F 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 2263F TBA Thurs 1:30 - 4:30pm

WS 2270B WOMEN AND LAW
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. Previous course outline

Winter 2270B TBA Tues 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 Previous course outline

Fall/Winter 2273E TBA Wed 10:30 - 1:30pm

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 TBA Thurs 1:30 - 4:30pm

WS 2283F 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 2283F TBA Tues 10:30 - 1:30pm

3000 Level Courses

WS 3133G LESBIAN LIVES AND CULTURES
This course will explore what it means to identify as a lesbian today. With the move away from identity politics and the ascendance of queer as a challenge to identity categories, it will consider the place of lesbianism in contemporary North American culture and more globally. Attention will be paid to a variety of aspects of lesbian lives and to contemporary forms of lesbian experiences in relation to their historical antecedents. Themes will include intersectionality, activism, sex, literature, art and politics.
3 lecture hours, 0.5 course. Prerequisite(s): Women's Studies 2273E or Women's Studies 2220E or permission of the department. previous course outline

Winter 3133G Chris Roulston Thurs 10:30 - 1:30pm

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 3305G CULTURE JAM: GENDER, SEXUALITY AND CULTURAL RESISTANCE
While popular culture operates to naturalize and distribute dominant discourses about gender and sexuality, it is also a fertile space through which resistance can be enacted. This course examines “common sense” representations of gender and sexuality within Western popular culture and the ways these representations have been confronted and contested.

Winter 3305G TBA Wed 4:30 - 7:30 pm

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 Helen Fielding 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 TBA Wed 1:30 - 4:30 pm

WS 3350F 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.

Fall 3350F Tracy Isaacs Wed 10:30 - 1:30 pm

WS 3355E FEMINIST ACTIVISM - New course!
This course examines a variety of issues and interventions to understand what feminist action can accomplish. Some of the questions we engage include:  What tools do various feminist activists take up, for what specific kinds of aims, and with what successes and why? What can we learn from the failures or exclusions of feminist activisms? What are the relationships between past or historical movements and contemporary contexts, individual and collective action, community organizing and institutions, local and global solidarities? How can feminist protest genuinely avoid divide-and-conquer politics to be the ethical, intersectional, accountable work we require of feminism in the 21st century? It is the commitment of this course that, in addition to studying feminist activism in the classroom, students engage in a service-learning placement (or placements) sustained over the course with a community organization or other partners to encourage students’ implementation of their learning -- beyond the borders of the classroom.

Fall/winter 3355E Erica Lawson/ Kim Verwaayen

Mon 1:30-4:30

WS 3357G WOMEN FILMMAKERS - New course!
(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 3357G Constanza Burucua Tue 9:30-10:30am & Thurs 9:30-11:30am

WS 3358F VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN 
Gender-based violence was one of the earliest issues identified by feminists as a focus for grass-roots organization and continues today to be an important subject for community work, research and political struggle. This seminar will provide an overview of both the theory and practice of feminist anti-violence work locally and globally. This course will also examine key aspects of these debates in Canada and the United States, as well as in other parts of the world. These theoretical issues will also be connected with practice, that is, with the front-line work that is undertaken in the community to counter violence against women and their children.

Fall 3358F Katherine McKenna Mon 4:30 - 7:30 pm

WS 3362G COMPARING WOMEN'S POLITICAL LEADERSHIP IN THE PROVINCES: KATHLEEN WYNNE, CHRISTY CLARK AND RACHEL NOTLEY - New course!
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?  C. de Clercy

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

4000 Level Courses

WS 4458F UNSETTLING AUTOETHNOGRAPHY: THE ART OF DECOLONIAL FEMINIST PRAXIS
This methodologies course brings together Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholarship to critically examine autoethnography as a feminist practice. In doing so, we theorize storytelling as a method of critical inquiry and a catalyst for social transformation. As Cree scholar Neal McLeod contends, storytelling offers a way to better understand the world around us and to question the injustices inflicted upon us (2007). With this in mind, in this class we consider the relationship between auto/biographical photography and social justice activism, particularly with regard to issues stemming from the ongoing legacies of settler colonialism in Canada. 

Fall 4458F TBA  Mon 10:30 - 1:30pm

WS 4459G BEYOND GI JANE: WOMEN'S ROLES IN WAR AND ARMED CONFLICT 
This course examines the myriad different, often overlapping roles and experiences of women during wars, stressing how they can be active agents rather than only passive bystanders or victims.  It explores how other identity categories such as nationality, ethnicity and race combine with gender to shape women’s wartime experiences, showing how adding a gender analysis complicates and deepens our understanding of war's impact.

Winter 4459G TBA Mon 10:30 - 1:30pm

WS 4464G GENDER AND DEVELOPMENT: THEORY, PRACTICE, ADVOCACY -New course!
This course will provide an introduction to the theory and practice of gender and development. Course content is informed by the interests and needs of future scholars and practitioners - i.e. students who hope to engage in research, project design and implementation, policy analysis, monitoring and evaluation, advocacy and/or networking in development or a closely related domain. A few readings and lectures will be devoted to providing students with a historical perspective on the evolution of the theory of gender and development. The rest of the course will focus almost exclusively on key contemporary gender issues in development. The course seeks to provide students with a strong theoretical and conceptual grounding in gender and development as well as applied skills to work as a development professional. Students will study development policy and learn tools and methodologies that will enable them to pursue careers as gender equality practitioners with the United Nations system, other intergovernmental organizations, development-oriented state agencies, NGOs and other civil society organizations, bilateral and multi-lateral agencies, and private foundations.

Winter 4464G Bipasha Baruah Tues 1:30-4:30pm