Please Note: Specific course offerings and schedule are subject to change.
Courses taught in person may at any point be required to move online if necessitated by developments in the COVID-19 pandemic. Please see below is a fuller explanation of course delivery modes. Check individual course outline for delivery details.
Course Delivery Type Definition
As long as the university considers face-to-face instruction with proper social distancing measures safe, these courses will be taught in-person in a classroom on campus with strict adherence to public health protocols.
Synchronous Online
Most of our courses will be in this mode. These courses will offer an online component in which students will participate at the same time (synchronously). Some or all lectures, tutorials, film screenings, discussion groups or tests will require mandatory attendance during scheduled online meeting times. Other components of the course may be offered asynchronously, (i.e., with no requirement for attendance at a designated time). Consult individual course outlines for details.
Asynchronous Online
In this course type, all teaching activities will take place online with no timeslot assigned (asynchronously). You may access the course material any time you wish. You may access the course material any time you wish; there are no mandatory synchronous activities at a specified time during the week.
There are a small number of courses that were designed for both in-person and online delivery. Blended courses have both face-to-face and online instruction.
Students who are not available to attend classes on campus should not choose courses with a required in-person component. If students become unable to attend in-person classes they should consult with their course instructor and seek accommodations.

Fall Term

WS 9550A Feminist Theory
Thursdays 1:30-4:30 pm 
Instructor: Susan Knabe
Location: Online
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

WS 9459A Professional Development
Wednesdays 10:30-1:30 pm
Instructor: Wendy Pearson
Location: Online
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

WS 9465A Feminist Speculative Fiction 
Mondays 10:30-1:30 pm
Instructor: Miranda Green-Barteet
Location: Online

Speculative Fiction, particularly the subgenre science fiction, is a genre that has historically been perceived as dominated by male authors. This perception is misplaced, however, as women writers, particularly those who are concerned with questioning gender roles and challenging oppressive patriarchal structures, have been writing speculative fiction as long as men. This course will explore the impact of feminism on speculative fiction, considering how feminist authors have shaped the genre and the development of feminist approaches to speculative fiction criticism and history. In addition to reading several works of feminist speculative fiction, we will read feminist theory and criticism to help us determine the impact of feminism on the genre.

Course outline

WS 9524A Feminist and Gender Perspectives on/in Conflict and Post-Conflict Contexts
Tuesdays 1:30-4:30 pm
Instructor: Erica Lawson
Location: SSC-3028 (in-person; students may be able to do the course remotely)

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: Online
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

WS 9592B Gender and Development: Theory, Practice and Advocacy
Mondays 10:30-1:30 pm
Instructor: Bipasha Baruah
Location: Online
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.

Course outline

WS 9463B Feminist Interventions in Trauma and Testimony Studies
Tuesdays 1:30-4:30 pm
Instructor: Kim Verwaayen
Location: Online
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

WS 9572B Queer Temporalities 
Thursdays 1:30-4:30 pm 
Instructor: Chris Roulston
Location: Online

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.

Course outline

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  

GSWS 9599 Independent Research Project (Full Course)
September 2020 - August 2021
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 its commencement. 

Proposal for Scholarly Practicum


Summer Term

GSWS 9500L Special Topic: Memory, Identity & Race
Tuesday & Thursday 1-4 pm (May 4-June 10)
Instructor: Kate Korycki
Location: Online
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. At the time when male cultural icons in the US face public reckoning for their misogynist abuse, and at the time when monuments of the former heroes of the slavery era fall off their pedestals, both at the time when gender and race violence enjoy a newly authorized come-back; and at the time when Canada attempts to reconcile its colonial relationship with Indigenous communities, while maintaining its sovereign control, the questions about the past, and its political productivity gain special poignancy and urgency.  Our course attends to these questions, as it examines how the past is viewed as a burden to be overcome, and how it is dealt with by the provisions of the transitional justice; or how the past serves as a tool in crafting of identity and/or searching for justice. 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.

Course outline


Philosophy 9129A Topics in Moral Psychology: Trust and Social Bonds
Thursdays 2:30-5:30 pm
Instructor: Carolyn McLeod
Location: Online 
(course delivery is online synchronous; if there is enough interest by folks who have conflicts with the day & time, the professor may change the schedule to accommodate, so: if you'd like to take the course but have a conflict with WS 9550A, please reach out)
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 COVID-19? 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 and privileges others.

There is much controversy in philosophy about what kind of reliance trust is, if it is in fact any single kind of reliance. In this course, we'll consider how trust itself might differ depending on the types of social bonds it engenders. We will also explore how trust could be strengthened depending on what trust is like in different social contexts.

Students are welcome to request the full syllabus from the instructor. 

Hist/WS 9827B History of Sexuality
Thursdays 9:30-12:30 pm
Instructor: Laurel Shire
Location: TBA

This course will examine the intersectional history of sexuality through histories of those who have violated or changed sexual norms, and accounts of those who obeyed or reinforced them, in the modern world. In doing so, we will seek to better understand how we arrived at the diverse sex (and gender and racial and ableist) arrangements under which we live, resist, and organize in the present. While much of the literature available in English on this subject concerns Europe and North America, the syllabus will include readings about sexuality in other parts of the world. Just as sexual norms were not the same in the past, neither are they the same in different cultures across the world. Putting our own norms and “truths” in comparison with those of other cultures will allow us to think critically about the ways that social and historical contexts shape sexuality and sexual identity, and how those contexts are also reshaped by changing sexual practices, norms, and identities.     

Course outline

Hist 9803B Critical Moments in Women's and Gender History
Mondays 1:30-4:30 pm
Instructor: Katherine McKenna
Location: TBA

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.    

Course outline