Courses

2022-2023 FALL/WINTER COURSES 

Fall Term

GSWS 9550A Feminist Theory
Wednesdays 1:30-4:30 pm 
Instructor: Helen Fielding
Location: LWH 2205

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. This course is restricted to GSWS graduate students.

Course outline

GSWS 9459A Professional Development
Mondays 1:30-4:30 pm
Instructor: Kate Korycki
Location: LWH 2210

This course welcomes and integrates graduate students arriving at the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. It means to equip them with insights and skills required to navigate university, and it assists them in the process of professionalization inherent in the degree acquisition. In more specific terms, the class examines the university and how it works, and how it struggles to simultaneously transform itself into a vocational institution operating on a market logic, and a decolonized space. It explores the intersecting roles and relationships of a (gendered, racialized and/or otherwise othered) student, teacher, researcher, disciplinary colleague, grant seeker, worker, and a citizen. We concentrate on building practical skills to negotiate these overlapping roles, developing enduring and meaningful practices and nurturing a community.

Course outline

GSWS 9468A/4463F Queer Science Fiction
Thursdays 11:30-2:30 pm
Instructor: WG Pearson
Location: LWH 3270B

This course will look at queer depictions of sexuality in science fiction, a genre that has been arguably somewhat queer from its inception in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Although we will touch on historical concerns, the primary focus of the course will be on work published after Ursula K Le Guin's monumentally influential novel, The Left Hand of Darkness (1967). The course will cover topics such as critiques of heteronormativity in science fiction, futures that imagine alternative epistemologies of sexuality, futures without binary sex/gender systems, the question of what roles sexuality plays in robotics and Artificial Intelligence, sexuality and post-humanism, sexuality in cyberpunk and its offshoots, and responses to the AIDS crisis. Primary texts may include Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness, Theodore Sturgeon's Venus Plus X, Joanna Russ's The Female Man, Suzy McKee Charnas's Walk to the End of the World, Marge Piercy's Woman on the Edge of Time, Samuel R. Delany's Trouble on Triton, Thomas Disch's Camp Concentration, Eleanor Arnason's Ring of Swords, Octavia Butler's Kindred, Geoff Ryman's The Child Garden (or Was), Larissa Lai's The Salt Fish Girl (or Tiger Flu), Hiromi Goto's The Kappa Child, Annalee Newitz's Autonomous, Charle Jane Ander's The City on the Edge of Night, a novel from Becky Chambers' Wayfarer series, Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice. Students will also become familiar with some of the critical work on these literary texts, including the relevance of many aspects of queer theory, from the very invention of sexuality and its discursive regulation to contemporary work on Trans theory, queer temporality, queer utopianism, and so on. 

Course outline 

GSWS 9524A Feminist Perspectives on/in Conflict and Post-Conflict Contexts  
Tuesdays 10:30-1:30 pm
Instructor: Erica Lawson
Location: LWH 2210

This graduate seminar surveys feminist scholarship on the organization of gender in war, peace, and post-conflict societies as these are debated across the disciplines and lived “on the ground” in everyday ways. We begin the course with an examination of how scholars and practitioners theorize the root causes of war. The seminars that follow are guided by the following exploratory questions: How did the Cold War change the ways in which conflict is fought? How does the concept of “state failure” limit our understandings of conflict? How does feminist scholarship address the social construction of gender in civil war, post-conflict and transitional justice projects? What are the problematics of representing women as “peacemakers” and how do such representations implicitly re/produce the idea of war as militarized masculinity? What is the role of the state and the international community in pursuing post-conflict, human rights and transitional justice goals? How do post-conflict societies undertake peacebuilding, what challenges do they face, and what questions do they grapple with because of limited resources and fragile infrastructure? What is the role of the International Criminal Court  (ICC) in dealing with war crimes and grave human rights abuses? How do women fare in post-conflict societies? We will explore these questions largely, but not exclusively, through scholarship in feminist security studies, African Studies, and International Relations.

Course outline

Winter Term

GSWS 9464B Feminist Methodologies
Wednesdays 1:30 - 4:30 pm
Instructor: Laura Cayen
Location: SH 3307

This course will review feminist research methodologies from a variety of disciplinary traditions and theoretical perspectives. Through readings and assignments, a primary objective of this course will be to examine and articulate distinctions and relationships between epistemology, methodology and methods. Through guided practices of critical reflection, students will be able to articulate the assumptions that underlie and inform various feminist research methodologies and understand their implications for research methodology. Emphasis will also be placed on specific methodological issues that span across this range, and will include, for example: ethical issues, researcher reflexivity and positionality, sampling, and the practices and politics of data collection, interpretation and reporting.

Course outline

GSWS 9592B/4464G Gender and Development
Mondays 1:30-4:30 pm
Instructor: Bipasha Baruah
Location: TC 201

This course seeks to provide an introduction to ‘gender and development’ as a domain of theory, practice, advocacy and interaction. The course is informed by the needs and interests of future ‘practitioners,’ i.e. students who hope to engage in research, project design and implementation, policy analysis, advocacy and/or networking in the ‘gender and development’ field or a closely related domain. To best serve the needs of such students, a few lectures of the course are devoted to providing students with a historical perspective on the evolution of the theory and practice of gender and development discourse, and rest of the course focuses almost exclusively on key contemporary and emerging gender issues and debates. Students who do not intend to work as gender and development ‘practitioners,’ but who want to acquire an up-to-date understanding of the field are welcome in the course, which is open to all graduate students with an interest in the contemporary theory and practice of gender and development.

Past course outline

GSWS 9600B Memory, Identity, and Race
Tuesdays 10:30-1:30 pm
Instructor: Kate Korycki
Location: TC 202

This course builds on the Indigenous wisdom that storytelling and relationships are central to our collective self-understandings. In more specific terms, the course investigates how narratives of the past constitute, justify, and make invisible the present-day systems of stratification; and conversely, the course explores how the collective remembering mobilizes and sustains challenges to those systems. Drawing on political and critical theory, collective memory, political sociology and transitional justice literatures, this course examines how the present politics informs the past, and how the past shapes the present. The cases explored in the class are Canada, Korea, South Africa, Mozambique, Germany, and others of interest to students.

Course outline

GSWS 9463B Feminist Interventions in Trauma and Testimony Studies 
Thursdays 10:30-1:30 pm 
Instructor: Kim Verwaayen
Location: STVH 2166

How do feminist interventions in trauma studies trouble conventional understandings of history, memory, experience, violence/rupture, and the “everyday” – and with what effect? What is the critical urgency of “speaking” trauma – and (how) is this possible? How are acts of witnessing sometimes made to serve hegemonic interests -- and how can this co-optation be contested by in(ter)ventive feminist actions?

“Reading” various practices across feminist theory, literature, art, film (and, to a much lesser extent, clinical therapy), this course explores feminist understandings of trauma, the uses of testimony, and feminist forms of resistance through political, clinical, and aesthetic actions. Specifically, topics include: feminist understandings of trauma, particularly vis-a-vis relationships between the “personal” (that is, private or individual experience, memory, testimony) and the “public” (collective and cultural memory, trauma and its witnessing); decolonization of the conventional western trauma studies canon; conflicts between culturo-historical perspectives on trauma and experience; “mislit,” fetishism, and trauma spectacle; and, most centrally, feminist responses through often artistic/experimental forms of witnessing.

GSWS 9575A/B Directed Reading Course (Half Course)
The directed reading course is conducted under the supervision of a faculty member, and is taken only with permission of the Chair of Graduate Studies. Normally, only PhD students are permitted to take a directed reading course. Proposals for directed reading courses must be approved by the Graduate Chair in consultation with the Graduate Committee and must be submitted no later than one month prior to the course start date. 

Proposal for Directed Reading Course  

GSWS 9599 Independent Research Project (Milestone)
The Independent Research Project is only available to MA students.

GSWS 9585 Scholarly Practicum (Full Course)
GSWS 9522 A/B 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 and supervisors must have the 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 it’s commencement. Proposals for directed reading courses must be approved by the Graduate Chair in consultation with the Graduate Committee and must be submitted no later than one month prior to the course start date.    

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 and supervisors must have the 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 it’s commencement. 

Proposal for Scholarly Practicum


COURSES FROM OTHER DEPARTMENTS (TBA)

Note: Please contact the course instructor to ensure that there is room and that you have sufficient prerequisites. 

HIS 9803A Critical Moments in Women's and Gender History (Given the overlap in timing, this course is only open to those who have already completed GSWS 9550A Feminist Theory)
Wednesdays 1:30-4:30 pm 
Instructor: Katherine M McKenna

This course will focus on some critical moments in women’s and gender history primarily in the history of North America/Europe, but also in other parts of the world. Key themes will be the evolution of women’s/gender history over time, how history changes when we look outside of the political history of male elites, debates about historical periodization and interpretation, whether women’s status has progressed or regressed over time, how women have been viewed historically in colonized states and debates over sexuality. Students will be given the opportunity to write an essay which will explore a topic in women’s/gender history of their choice.

Course outline

PHILOSOP 9703A/4311F Women and Science 
Thursdays 8:30-11:30 am 
Instructor: Francesca Vidotto
 
Email: fvidotto@uwo.ca
   

The narrative of the human pursuit of knowledge has traditionally excluded the voices that were not in power. In this course, we will focus on scientific and technical knowledge and on women. This is a rich case that gives us instruments to recognize the importance of diversity in science. The course is organized in two parts: the first historical and sociological, the second philosophical. First, we will consider the historical and sociological contexts that have prevented women from accessing and producing scientific knowledge. The students will be introduced to a selection of remarkable women of science, from antiquity to our days. We will discuss the ground-breaking aspects of their work and the specificities of their experience as scientists. We will highlight how gender identity, race and economical background contribute to create different experiences. We will then discuss questions at the center of the feminist reflection on science: How biases manifest in scientific production? Does the gender of the knower make a difference? At the light of these questions, what does objectivity mean? We will discuss some of the answers these questions have been given in the field of feminist epistemology, the perspectives these answers opens for general epistemology, and the relation between these issues and current scientific research. 

PHILOSOP 9XXB Structural Injustice (Given the overlap in timing, this course is only open to those who have already completed GSWS 9464 Feminist Methodologies. Students are required to have the requisite philosophy background for this course)
Wednesdays 11:30-2:30 pm
Instructor: Tracy Isaacs

In this course we will understand structural injustice (or oppression) as (roughly) a form of injustice that (1) is built into a society’s social and political institutions (i.e. its structures) and (2) creates patterns of discrimination and advantage that affect people in virtue of their membership in social groups. It is a complicated social and political phenomenon that is difficult to identify and address. Understanding structural injustice requires that we engage with the ontology of social groups, feminist and social epistemology / theories of epistemic injustice, theories of collective action/responsibility/obligation, the complexities of intersectionality, and critical understandings (feminist, anti-racist, etc.) of power as a source systemic disadvantage/privilege. In this course we will touch on all of these areas, and students will have an opportunity to engage more deeply—through discussion questions, discussion papers, and a final term paper—with the themes that interest them the most. 

Course outline