Courses

2021-2022 FALL/WINTER COURSES

Fall Term

GSWS 9550A Feminist Theory
Thursdays 1:30-4:30 pm
 
Instructor: Susan Knabe
Location: Stevenson Hall 3166
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.

Previous course outline

GSWS 9459A Professional Development
Mondays 10:30-1:30 pm
Instructor: Kate Korycki
Location: Stevenson Hall 3166
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.

Course outline

GSWS 9468A/4463F Queer Science Fiction
Wednesdays 10:30-1:30 pm
Instructor: WG Pearson
Location: Stevenson Hall 2166
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 9358A Gender-Based Violence as a Feminist Issue
Tuesdays 1:30-4:30 pm
Instructor: Katherine McKenna
Location: Stevenson Hall 3166
This course will examine gender-based violence against women as a key feminist issue, both in North America and globally. It will review historic and recent research as well as investigate the causes of and potential solutions to this systemic problem. 
 

Course outline

Winter Term

GSWS 9464B Feminist Methodologies
Wednesdays 10:30 - 1:30 pm
Instructor: Laura Cayen
Location: Stevenson Hall 2166
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 9466B/4464G Gender and the Environment
Mondays 10:30-1:30 pm
Instructor: Bipasha Baruah
Location: Stevenson Hall 3166
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.

Previous course outline

GSWS 9600B Memory, Identity, and Race
Tuesdays 1:30-4:30 pm
Instructor: Kate Korycki
Location: Stevenson Hall 3166
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.

Previous course outline

GSWS 9164B Gender and Fashion: The Historical View 
Thursdays 1:30-4:30 pm 
Instructor: Kelly Olson
Location: Stevenson Hall 3166
This graduate seminar is designed to uncover the role played by fashion in the historical construction of gendered /sexualized identities, and to see fashion and material culture more generally as playing a fundamental role in the shaping of the past. We will treat clothing and other products of material culture as historical documents: the three-piece suit, the codpiece, the Victorian corset, a t-shirt and jeans from Urban Outfitters, the hijab, the zoot suit, bloomers— all provide a useful lens into the culture and sexual politics of particular times and places.

Course outline

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 (Full Course)
September 2020 - August 2021
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 

CS 9450A Women in Antiquity: Artifact, Text, Image
Fridays 1:30-4:30 pm
Instructor: Kelly Olson
Location: TBA
In this course we will examine women and women’s lives in Greek and Roman antiquity starting from a body of literary and artistic evidence. Marriage and childbearing, women and the law, women’s occupations, women in domestic life, and women in history will be explored from a variety of perspectives. In addition, there will be heavy emphasis placed on women's artifacts, artistic and literary portrayals of women, and female spaces in antiquity, coupled with readings in modern gender and feminist theory.

Sociology 9147A Social Inequality
Wednesdays 9:30 - 12:30 pm
Instructor: Sean Waite
Location: TBA
This graduate seminar course explores the extent, causes, and consequences of social inequality in Canada and abroad. We start the course with a discussion on recent trends in income inequality and some foundational stratification theory (Marx, Weber and Durkheim). We then move on to specialized topics, such as: the socioeconomic impact of COVID-19; black lives matter and the criminal justice system; race, residential segregation, and discrimination; colonization and the Indigenous peoples in Canada; residential segregation; poverty; the gender wage gap; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender+ (LGBTQ2+) labour market inequality; beauty premiums; disability discrimination; and intersectional disadvantage.  

English 9196A Constructing the American Woman: 19th-century U.S. Literature for Women (this course may be full) 
Thursday 9:30-12:30 pm
Instructor: Miranda Green-Barteet 
Location: TBA
Throughout the late-18th and 19th centuries, U.S. politicians, educators, and writers were considering what it meant to be American. Writers, in particular, considered how to construct and to define an American identity through literature. Constructing the American Woman: 19th-century U.S. Literature for Women considers what it meant to be a woman, real and imagined, living in the U.S. during the 19th century. Through reading a variety of literature, including conduct manuals, commonplace books, journals, short stories, slave narratives, and novels, we will consider how U.S. womanhood is constructed in the context of the 19th century, as the U.S. developed from a young republic to a nation at war with itself to a burgeoning colonial power. With each text, we will ask ourselves: what is an American woman? who is included in the term? American woman? How does the concept of what it means to be an American woman change throughout the century? Are any women are included or excluded in the definition? Texts may include Lydia Maria Child’s The Frugal Housewife, Catharine Sedgwick’s Hope Leslie, Harriet Wilson’s Our Nig, Elizabeth Keckley’s Behind the Scenes, or Thirty Years a Slave, and Four Years in the White House, Margaret Fuller’s Woman in the Nineteenth Century, Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, Rebecca Harding Davis’ “Life in the Iron Mills,” Catharine Beecher’s The American Woman’s Home, and Sarah Winnemucca’s Life Among the Paiutes, along with secondary works by Linda Kerber, Hazel Carby, Barbara Welter, Cathy N. Davidson, Lauren Berlant, Joel Myerson, and Amy Caplan.

PHILOSOP 9703A/4331F Women and Science (Area: Science)
Mondays 2:30 - 5:30 pm
Instructor: Francesca Vidotto
Location: TBA

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 9107B Gender and Race
Mondays 11:30-2:30 pm
Instructor: Carolyn McLeod 
Location: TBA
This course deals with various types of philosophical questions about gender and race, including metaphysical, political, and ethical questions. We’ll analyze how well philosophers have approached these questions and we’ll do that with an intersectional lens—that is, a perspective that takes seriously how gender and race intersect with one another such that people’s gender (or gender identity) is affected by their race (or racial identity) and vice versa.

We’ll mainly discuss questions to which philosophers and others have given different answers, depending on whether they are focused on gender or race. For example, in response to the metaphysical question of whether people can change their gender or race, many argue that the answer is “yes” when it comes to gender but “no” when it comes to race. In response to a related metaphysical question—How is gender or race socially constructed?—philosophers’ answers also differ. Another example appears at the intersection of metaphysics and political philosophy with the question of whether a fully just world (not our current world!) would have gender or race in it, where some philosophers say “no” with respect to race but “yes, in some form” with respect to gender. Finally, in ethics, particularly applied ethics, there is the question of whether choosing the sex/gender or race of one’s future child—through techniques of assisted reproduction or processes of adoption—is morally permissible. Philosophers’ views on this question differ, sometimes again depending on whether they are talking about (sex/)gender or race.  

Our goal will be to critically reflect on philosophers’ answers to these sorts of questions, asking in particular whether their answers make sense given how gender and race intersect 2 with one another. We’ll also strive more generally to better understand gender and race, how they structure ourselves and our social worlds, and how they might do that differently. 

HIS 9803B Critical Moments in Women's and Gender History
Thursdays 1:30 - 4:30 pm                                                                                                              
This course will focus on some key moments in women’s and gender history primarily in the history of 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.