Courses

2022-2023 FALL/WINTER COURSES 

Fall Term

GSWS 9550A Feminist Theory
Wednesday 1:30-4:30 pm 
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.

GSWS 9459A Professional Development
Mondays 1:30-4:30 pm
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 9468A/4463F Queer Science Fiction
Thursdays 11:30-2:30 pm
Instructor: WG Pearson

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. 

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

This graduate seminar surveys feminist scholarship on the social organization of gender in (civil) war, peace, and post-conflict societies as it is debated across disciplines and lived ‘on the ground’ in everyday ways. The seminar is guided by (some of) the following exploratory questions: 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,’ who is left out, and how do such representations implicitly reproduce the idea that war is the domain of militarized masculinity? How is disability understood in conflict zones? 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, what questions do they struggle with because of limited resources and fragile infrastructure? And how is civil war remembered or forgotten in national/public culture and in settler colonial societies? We will explore these questions largely, but not exclusively, through interdisciplinary feminist and gender scholarship and case studies.

Winter Term

GSWS 9464B Feminist Methodologies
Wednesdays 1:30 - 4:30 pm
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.

GSWS 9592B Gender and Development
Mondays 1:30-4:30 pm
Instructor: Bipasha Baruah

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

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

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.

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

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 (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 (TBA)