Courses

2019-2020 FALL/WINTER COURSES

Fall Term

WS 9550A Feminist Theory
Thursdays 1:30-4:30 pm 
Instructor: Susan Knabe
Location: Lawson Hall 2210
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 WSFR graduate students.

Course outline

WS 9459A Professional Development
Wednesdays 10:30-1:30 pm
Instructor: Wendy Pearson
Location: Lawson Hall 2210
This course is intended to assist graduate students in Women's Studies and Feminist Research 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

WS9461A Feminism, Health and Biopolitics 
Mondays 10:30-1:30 pm
Instructor: Jessica Polzer
Location: Lawson Hall 2210
Biopower –power over life itself – is, arguably, one of the most important ideas for understanding contemporary social and power relations and the gendered politics of health that characterize our present. Developed by Michel Foucault, the introduction of this idea into the fields of social and political thought has generated much critical thought about how power operates in modern societies by intervening into the vital characteristics of persons and populations, and through the administration of “life itself”.

Course outline

WS9524A Feminist and Gender Perspectives on/in Conflict and Post-Conflict Contexts
Tuesdays 1:30-4:30 pm
Instructor: Erica Lawson
Location: Lawson Hall 2210
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.

Course outline

Winter Term

WS 9464B Feminist Methodologies
Wednesdays 10:30 - 1:30 pm
Instructor: Laura Cayen
Location: Lawson Hall 2210
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

WS9466B Gender and the Environment (G/UG split)
Tuesdays 1:30-4:30 pm
Instructor: Bipasha Baruah
Location: Western Interdisciplinary Research Building (WIRB) Rm 1160
This course will focus on the intersections between gender, sexuality, development and environmental justice. Feminist and queer theory will be used to interrogate binary categories such as natural/unnatural, nature/culture, normal/abnormal as they relate to our understandings of “the environment.” The course will explore how racism, colonialism, imperialism and other forms of oppression have shaped and continue to shape environmental discourses. 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. Course materials will include academic and non-academic literature, activist texts as well as case studies, fiction and films. 

Course outline

WS9463B Feminist Interventions in Trauma and Testimony Studies
Thursdays 1:30-4:30 pm
Instructor: Kim Verwaayen
Location: Lawson Hall 2210
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.

Course outline

WS9467B Trans-National Indigenous Feminist and LGBTQ2I Literature
Mondays 9:30-12:30 pm
Instructor: Julia Emberley
Location: University College 4415
Students will read Indigenous literatures and critical writings on sexuality, identity and knowledge from specific communities in Canada, such as Anishanaabe, Cree, Métis and Inuit, and in transnational contexts such as Maori and Aboriginal Australian. Students will learn about Indigenous knowledges, representations and histories of sexuality, and the social and political challenges in protecting gender and sexual rights in their communities and in the nation-state today.

WS 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  

WS 9599 Independent Research Project (Full Course)
September 2017 - August 2018 
The Independent Research Project is only available to MA students.

WS 9585 Scholarly Practicum (Full Course)
WS 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 

Please know that permission to take any course outside WSFR is dependent on permission of the Grad Chair in WSFR as well as the course instructor, and class size. Priority is always allocated to students in the course home program(s). If you’re interested in another outside course no listed here, please e-mail Prof. Kim Verwaayen at kjverwaa@uwo.ca for permission. 

THEORY CENTRE 9538: Critical Phenomenology
Fridays 10:00 - 1:00 pm
Instructor: Helen Fielding
Location: Stevenson Hall 3136

In this course we will trace some of the earlier roots of feminist phenomenology as well as place the movement within its contemporary dynamic emerging. We will draw upon a number of new publications in this area. This will mean situating this intellectual movement in relation to the poststructuralist feminist tradition with which it is allied, and material feminism with which it critically intersects. We will also consider the ways in which such intersections as sexuality, race and disability shape lived experience. Ultimately, we will critically explore how feminist phenomenology can open up an interrelational ontology, offering not only the account of embodied experience for which it is usually recognized, but also the ways in which embodied perception underlies the production of knowledge and grounds politics and ethics.

Course outline

VISUAL ARTS 9594B/9694B Seminar in Photography - Photography & Social Change
Tuesdays 11:30 - 2:30 pm
Instructor:  Sarah Bassnett
Location:  VAC 247
Many of the social and political upheavals of the late 20th and early 21st centuries are familiar to us through photographs: the Vietnam War, the civil rights protests of the 1960s, 9/11 and the subsequent war in Iraq, the war on terror, and global migration. Focusing on modern conflict, social movements, and changes brought about by globalization, this seminar explores the diverse ways photography has been used to negotiate social transformation. In the process, we look at different practices of photography – from portraiture and photojournalism to contemporary art. We discuss recent scholarship on issues such as spectatorship and the ethics of witnessing, photography as a form of encounter, and the role of iconic images in public memory. Seminar participants will develop their own research on some aspect of photography and social change, the results of which will be presented in the form of a conference paper

HISTORY 9274B: Oh Gendered Canada! Gender in Canadian History
Mondays 1:30-3:30pm
Instructor: M. Halpern
Location: Lawson Hall 2270C
This course will explore the ways in which gender—largely, the social construction of masculinity and femininity—has played a role in Canadian history and will examine some of the major historiographical debates that have surrounded this complex topic. These debates often also address the related issues of race, class, and sexuality. This course will challenge students to employ gender as an integral tool of historical analysis, and to reconsider conventional narratives in Canadian history.