Women's and Gender Studies

Current Course Offerings

Click the '+' to see the course description and other details.
* denotes a Special Topics course. 

Winter Term 2018 (1620)

Undergraduate Courses

  • WGS 102: Gender and Social Justice

    This course introduces students to the dynamic fields of Women’s & Gender Studies and Social Justice Studies. We will examine the social category of gender as it intersects with other social categories—such as sexuality, ethnicity, race, socioeconomic class, and (dis)ability—and we will investigate the relation between gender and social justice. The course is divided into four units. In Unit 1: Gender, students will study concepts such as oppression, privilege, the social construction of gender, intersectionality and interlocking oppressions. In Unit 2: Social Justice, students will study social justice critiques of the criminal justice system, as well as social justice alternatives to criminal justice. In Unit 3: Decolonization, students will learn about the history of colonialism in Canada, ongoing violence against Indigenous women, and Indigenous resurgance. Finally, Unit 4: Environmental Justice, will introduce students to environmental justice perspectives on climate change, environmental racism, environmental sexism, and food justice.

    Instructor: LABRADA, Eloy
    Days & Time: M/W/F, 10:00 - 11:00
    Units: *3.00
    Prerequisite: none

  • * WGS 298: Critical Issues - Your Body is a Battleground

     

    From the media controversy over Beyoncé’s recent pregnant photoshoot, to the 2010 Twitter campaign #IHadAnAbortion, to the 2017 Women’s Marches in Canada and across the globe, “reproduction" has proven to be a contested issue for gender and sexual politics. This course will explore how the politics of reproduction impact and are impacted by questions of race, Indigenous justice, transgender rights, citizenship, immigration, media cultures, and new technologies.

    Instructor: CAPPER, Beth
    Days & Time: M/W/F, 11:00 - 12:00
    Units: *3.00
    Prerequisite: none

     

    Click here to see the full course poster (PDF)!

  • WGS 302: Feminist Research and Methodologies

    Whether there can be and is a distinctive feminist perspective on research in various disciplines; the ways in which taking a feminist perspective or taking account of women in research, affects the research process.

    Instructor: CROSBY, Daena   
    Days & Time: T/R, 15:30 - 17:00
    Units: *3.00
    Prerequisite: Any 100- or 200-level WGS (or W ST) course, or Department consent

  • WGS 332: Contemporary Feminist Theory

    The origins and evolution of various schools of contemporary western feminist thought.

    Instructor: NIXON, Randi & RODIER, Kristin
    Days & Time:
    M/W/F, 11:00 - 12:00
    Units: *3.00
    Prerequisite: Any 100- or 200-level WGS (or W ST) course, or Department consent
    Note: Not open to students with credit in PHIL 332

  • WGS 431: Feminism and Sexual Assault

    Interdisciplinary consideration of conceptual, political and legal strategies that feminists have deployed to confront sexual coercion with an emphasis on contemporary North American context.

    Instructor: NIXON, Randi
    Days & Time:
    T/R, 15:30 - 17:00
    Units:
    *3.00
    Prerequisite: Any 100- or 200-level WGS (or W ST) course, or Department consent

  • * WGS 470: Sexualities - Queer Feminisms

    The term “queer,” as used in queer theory, activism, and communities, is the subversive appropriation of a label once used to denigrate people considered abnormal, strange, or eccentric in their sexual practices or gender expression. Against the assumption that to be deemed abnormal—or queer—is an insult, self-described queers have taken up the term with pride, thus undermining the normalizing assumption tacit in its original usage. As queer theorist Tamsin Spargo writes, within queer theory, “Queer can function as a noun, an adjective, or a verb, but in each case is defined against the ‘normal’ or ‘normalising.’” In refusing to become well-adjusted to the norms of a homophobic, gender-oppressive, racist, ableist, neo-liberal, capitalist, militaristic and carceral society, queer theorists distinguish their politics from what Lisa Duggan has described as the “homonormativity” of gay and lesbian politics.


    In this course we will first consider the ways that queer theory has emerged from and diverged from feminist theory, including lesbian feminist theory, or how queer theorists have challenged feminist theory and developed uniquely queer feminisms. In the middle part of the semester we will study queer feminist explorations of intersex and transgender, the project of queering spaces, queer female masculinities and femininities, crip queer feminisms (or the intersection of disability with sexuality and gender), and queer affect theory. In the last weeks of the semester students will be introduced to the concepts of homonormativity and homonationalism.

     

    Instructor: NIXON, Randi
    Day & Time:
    W, 13:00 - 16:00
    Units:
    *3.00

  • * WGS 498 (X50): Topics in Women's & Gender Studies - Trans Theory

     

    This course introduces students to the dynamic and complex field of trans theory. Trans theories arose as a theoretical and political response to problematic conceptions of gender, identity, and the sexed body present in mainstream biology, in folk conceptions of sex and gender, and in earlier waves of some feminist theory and activism.

    In WGS 498, we’ll explore various trans theories that challenge received understandings of the body, gender, sex, and sexuality, by critically analyzing trans theory, art, and film. How should we envisage the body and the self in the wake of intersectional trans political movements? What kind of resistant identities and practices have trans communities developed and how do these contribute to feminist, queer, and critical race theory? How does trans theory shed light on gender identity and what does it reveal about existing healthcare practices? How do social categories affect our bodily experience? And how should we address—and redress–the disproportionate violence to which trans people of color are historically and presently subjected?

    Instructor: LABRADA, Eloy
    Days & Time:
    T, 17:00 - 20:00
    Units: *3.00
    Prerequisite: Any 100- or 200-level WGS (or W ST) course, or Department consent

     

    Click here to see the full course poster (PDF)!

  • * WGS 498 (B1): Topics in Women's & Gender Studies - Indigenous Women and Feminism

    [coming soon] 

    Instructor: BEAR, Tracy
    Days & Time:
    T/R, 11:00 - 12:30
    Units: *3.00
    Prerequisite: Any 100- or 200-level WGS (or W ST) course, or Department consent

     


  • * WGS 498 (B2): Topics in Women's & Gender Studies - Art, Activism, Social Justice

    Art, Activism, Social Justice.  More information to come.

     

    Instructor: MEAGHER, Michelle
    Days & Time:
    T/R, 12:30 - 14:00
    Units:
    *3.00
    Note:  Taught in conjunction with GSJ 598 B1

Graduate Courses

  • * GSJ 570: Sexualities - Queer Feminisms (CANCELED)

    The course has been cancelled.  Apologies for any inconvenience.

     

  • * GSJ 598: Topics in Gender and Social Justice Studies - Art, Activism, Social Justice

    Art, Activism, Social Justice.  More information to come.

     

    Instructor: MEAGHER, Michelle
    Days & Time:
    T/R, 12:30 - 14:00
    Units:
    *3.00
    Note:  Taught in conjunction with WGS 498 B2

  • GSJ 502: Research Workshop

    The GSJ MA Program takes interdisciplinary approaches to understanding the political, aesthetic, and ethical questions that arise from the study of gender and social justice. Core and affiliated faculty members are trained and active in the fields of anthropology, business, cultural studies, drama, economics, education, environmental studies, history, human ecology, language and literary studies, law, music, native studies, nursing, philosophy, physical education, political science, rehabilitation medicine, religious studies, sociology, and visual arts. The Gender Research Workshop offers students the chance to delve into the published and ongoing research projects of our core and affiliated faculty members across the university, and to gain familiarity with diverse manifestations of gender-oriented research.

     

    In preparation for class meetings, students will be assigned articles or book chapters by U of A researchers. In the seminar meetings, they will discuss the published research with the authors themselves. Students will have the opportunity (and indeed will be expected) to ask questions about the inspirations, processes, methods, theoretical frameworks, and (social justice) goals of the authors, and to think about how the professional research and publication experiences of the guest discussants can provide guidance for the student’s own intellectual and creative aspirations. These discussions should help demystify the process of research, writing, and publication, and provide practical, concrete examples of academic scholarship as a dynamic process beginning with the initial glimmerings of interest in a topic, moving through the formulation of a research question and the unpredictable vagaries of the research process, and culminating in the crystallization of a thesis or conclusion articulated in written form. When possible, the class will also attend to the impact and reception of a given scholar’s published work.

     

    One complete session will be devoted to practical guidance from University of Alberta librarians keyed specifically to the research plans and projects of students in the class.

     

    Instructor: LIFSHITZ, Felice
    Day & Time: M, 15:00 - 18:00
    Units: *3.00


Spring Term 2018 (1630)

Undergraduate Courses

  • WGS 101: Representations of Girls and Women

    An exploration of the impact that cultural representations of femininity have on the political, economic, and social lives of girls and women throughout the world.

     

    Instructor: TBA
    Days & Time: T/R, 13:30 - 16:20
    Units:
    *3.00
    Prerequisite: none

  • WGS 270: Feminism and Sexualities

    Approaches to, and key debates about, sexuality. Topics may include: sexology; critiques of heterosexuality; political lesbianism; queer theory; transgender and intersexuality; prostitution and sex work.

    Instructor: TBA
    Days & Time: M/W, 15:00 - 17:50
    Units: *3.00
    Prerequisite: none
    Note:  Not open students with credit in WGS 370 (or W ST 370)

  • * WGS 498: Topics in Women's & Gender Studies - Cultural Memory & Social Justice

    The course will introduce students to the vast field of cultural memory studies and its literatures. Students have the opportunity to work with specific case studies of violent and traumatic pasts (cases of mass violence such as the Holocaust, Settler Colonialism, the transatlantic slave trade, violence against women and queers etc.) to analyse how these pasts are transmitted and negotiated in the present and for the future. A focus will be on the various technologies of memory and commemoration (museums, monuments, days of remembrance, but also possibly film, literature, tourism etc.). A guiding question is how the difficult knowledge of state-sponsored or tolerated mass violence configures contemporary struggles for social justice.

     

    Instructor: LUHMANN, Susanne
    Days & Time:
    M/W, 18:00 - 20:50
    Units:
    *3.00
    Note:  Taught in conjunction with GSJ 598

Graduate Courses

  • * GSJ 598: Topics in Gender and Social Justice Studies - Cultural Memory & Social Justice

    The course will introduce students to the vast field of cultural memory studies and its literatures. Students have the opportunity to work with specific case studies of violent and traumatic pasts (cases of mass violence such as the Holocaust, Settler Colonialism, the transatlantic slave trade, violence against women and queers etc.) to analyse how these pasts are transmitted and negotiated in the present and for the future. A focus will be on the various technologies of memory and commemoration (museums, monuments, days of remembrance, but also possibly film, literature, tourism etc.). A guiding question is how the difficult knowledge of state-sponsored or tolerated mass violence configures contemporary struggles for social justice.

     

    Instructor: LUHMANN, Susanne
    Days & Time:
    M/W, 18:00 - 20:50
    Units:
    *3.00
    Note:  Taught in conjunction with WGS 498


Summer Term 2018 (1640)

Undergraduate Courses

  • WGS 102: Gender and Social Justice

    Examines social and cultural constructions of gender, sexuality, race, class, and disability as well as visions for social justice.

    Instructor: TBA
    Days & Time: T/R, 13:30 - 16:20
    Units: *3.00
    Prerequisite: none

  • WGS 220: Feminism and Popular Culture

    This course examines selected cultural forms in Canadian and American society from feminist perspectives. The focus is both on developing a feminist critique of cultural representations of women, and on considering the possibilities of feminist intervention in and production of popular culture.

    Instructor: TBA
    Days & Time:
    T/R, 10:30 - 13:20
    Units:
    *3.00
    Prerequisite: none
    Note: Not open to students with credit in WGS 320 (or W ST 320)

  • * WGS 298: Critical Issues - Topic TBD

    An introduction to select topics in women's, gender, and sexuality studies.  Topic to be determined.

    Instructor: TBA
    Days & Time: M/W, 18:00 - 20:50
    Units: *3.00
    Prerequisite: none