Note: Please contact the instructor for the course syllabus. Syllabi with class locations will be made available on an OWL website once you are registered. 

Fall Term

GSWS 9524 Feminist and Gender Perspectives on/in Conflict and Post-Conflict Contexts (TJ)
Instructor: Erica Lawson 
This graduate seminar surveys feminist scholarship on the organization of gender and its intersectionalities in (civil) 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 these exploratory questions: How does feminist scholarship address the social construction of gender in civil war and post-conflict projects? What are the problematics of representing women as “peacemakers” and how do such representations implicitly re/produce the dominant idea of war as militarized masculinity? What is the role of the state and the international community in pursuing 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? We will explore these questions largely, but not exclusively, through scholarship in feminist security studies, African Studies, and International Relations.

GSWS 9591 Screening Sex
Instructor: WG Pearson 
This course examines the representation of sexuality in film and video with a specific focus on the history of representation of queer identities in film. The course will begin by considering early cinema’s representations of gay men and lesbians, including the production of particular stereotypes, and the effects of the Production Code on Hollywood, particularly in contrast to European cinemas. We will then look at post-Hays Code American film-making (both Hollywood and independent), at British, Canadian and Commonwealth filmmaking, at the rise of independent film and video in North America, and the challenge posed by New Queer Cinema in the 1990s to such still stereotypical Hollywood representations as In and Out and The Birdcage. Along the way, we will consider specific themes, such as coming out, representations of youth, intersections with race and class, and AIDS. The course will finish by looking at films that avoid the mainstreaming of certain types of queer representation (as is the case with films like Milk, Brokeback Mountain, The Kids are All Right and A Single Man), and the effects such films have on the viability of independent queer film making. The final films will thus emphasize the contemporary directions of queer film-making outside of Hollywood.

Course outline

GSWS 9459 Professional Development
Instructor: Kate Korycki 
This course is intended to assist graduate students in Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies with their professional development. The emphasis will be on developing practical skills for being successful as a graduate student, including developing pedagogical skills as a teaching assistant, scholarship application writing, cv development, abstract writing and submission, conference presentations, and publishing in journals and edited collections. While the majority of the emphasis will be on academic skills, there will be at least one class on non-academic grant writing and alternative career pathways.

GSWS 9220 “Who gets to be a girl?”: Constructions of Race and Gender in Young Adult Literature
Instructor: Miranda Green-Barteet 
In this course, we will consider how normative and non-normative girlhood are represented in books by North American and British authors to try to answer the question: who gets to be a girl? We will study a variety of genres and texts written in the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. While we will prioritize young adult literature, we will also consider texts written for adults featuring girls. Texts may include Little WomenJane Eyre; “Life in the Iron Mills”; SummerAnne of Green GablesIncidents in the Life of a Slave GirlThe Secret GardenThe Diary of Anne FrankRoll of Thunder, Hear My CryForeverThe Hunger GamesNot Your Perfect Mexican DaughterParable of the Sower; and I am Malala, among others.

Course outline

GSWS 9550 Feminist Theory
Instructor: Helen Fielding 
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.

Winter Term

GSWS 9572 Queer Temporalities 
Instructor: Chris Roulston 
Is there such a thing as queer time? In recent years, much queer scholarship has focused on the idea of queer temporalities, opposing queer time to heteronormative time, from both individual and historical perspectives. The idea of queer time as being "at best contrapuntal, syncopated, and at worst, erratic, arrested" (McCallum and Tukhanen, 2011), has led queer scholarship to consider the implications of being out of sync. From Kathryn Bond-Stockton's notion of "growing sideways" to Carolyn Dinshaw's model of a "postdisenchanted temporal perspective" to Carla Freccero's "queer spectrality" to Lee Edelman's critique of "biological futurism", the notion of queer time has led to analyses of how we approach the historical, and how we engage with questions of desire and subject formation. However, if queer time has value as a critical tool, we will also consider whether it can continue to have purchase in the face of the increasing normalization of the very idea of queer.

GSWS 9221 Topics in Critical Health Humanities
Instructor: Jessica Polzer 
This course will examine selected topics and themes in the interdisciplinary field of critical health humanities with attention to the ways in which feminist, queer, anti-racist, intersectional, disability and other critical perspectives are engaging, and being engaged by, this growing field of scholarship and activism. Moving beyond a preoccupation with the clinical encounter as a site for analysis and action, the field of critical health humanities acknowledges knowledges and practices of medicine and health as sites for analysis and situates the humanities and social sciences as productively entangled with biomedical(izing) and health(ist) cultures, and thus as implicated in their reproduction and transformation.  Instructors will focus on selected topics and themes that reflect contemporary issues and their areas of expertise. This course will be taught in 2023-24 by Dr. Polzer who will focus on topics concerning risk, contagion, and post-pandemic imaginaries. This first offering of the course will provide students with the opportunity to reflect on, critically analyze, and theorize various political and personal dimensions of the global pandemic as we continue to live through and navigate its uncertainties and long term effects.

GSWS 9464 Feminist Methodologies
Instructor: Laura Cayen 
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 9466/4464G Gender and the Environment
Instructor: Bipasha Baruah 
This course will focus on the linkages between gender, human development, race, sexuality, environmental racism and environmental justice. We will examine key contemporary environmental issues such as climate change, food security, the “green” economy and low-carbon development; access to water, sanitation and energy; pollution; and wildlife conservation from feminist perspectives. Feminist and queer theory will also be used to interrogate binary categories such as natural/unnatural, nature/culture, normal/abnormal as they relate to our understandings of “nature and the environment.” The course will explore how racism, sexism, heterosexism, colonialism, imperialism and other forms of oppression have shaped and continue to shape environmental discourses. Course materials will include academic and non-academic literature, activist texts, case studies, fiction and film.

Course outline

GSWS 9575 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 9585 Scholarly Practicum (Full Course)
GSWS 9522 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


Anthropology 9230/3345F Disability and Health in Local and Global Worlds (fall term)
Instructor: Pamela Block 
This course will provide students with a foundation to think critically about occupying and decolonizing health and disability and to use an anthropological lens to provide students with skills to critically evaluate health- occupation- and disability-related experiences both locally and globally.

Anthropology 9231/4413F Language and Ethnography (fall term)
Instructor: Tania Granadillo 
In this course, we will read a variety of ethnographies to understand how language is employed. The goal will be to see: 1) how language is used effectively in ethnographic research and writing 2) what role language-based data has and how it is used to construct arguments.

Philosophy 9129/4730F Trust and Social Bonds (fall term)
Instructor: Carolyn McLeod 
Crucial to our well-being and survival are social bonds that allow us to depend on one another. The COVID-19 crisis has made this fact all too clear. But these bonds depend on trust, which in some societies or relationships is in short supply. How can trust be enhanced where it is lacking or preserved where it exists, particularly during social crises like that of a pandemic? This course will centre on this question, which is interdisciplinary. We will be focused primarily (though not exclusively) on what philosophy can contribute by way of an answer. We will be asking, in
particular, what feminist philosophy can contribute, where a feminist approach takes for granted that attitudes like trust and distrust are formed against a social background that oppresses certain groups of people and privileges others.

Theology 9540 Violence, Recovery, and Healing (fall term)
Instructor: Tracy Lemos 
This course will examine different approaches to understanding recovery and healing from violence.  What constitutes violence and harm, and what brings about recovery, healing, joy, or wellness?  These are the main questions this course will address, utilizing approaches from trauma studies but also assessing the limits of psychological or clinical approaches to healing.  Rather than individualistic frameworks for recovery, the course will focus instead on communal and collective approaches to healing from violence.  Readings will be drawn from a variety of fields, including religious studies, anthropology, Indigenous Studies, and Black Studies.  The course will also feature guest speakers from each of these fields.  Materials examined will be drawn from over two millennia of history so that students will be empowered to assess violence, trauma, and healing expansively, with an eye toward broad trends but also an attention to the particularities of cultures and historical periods with all of their interconnections and specificities.