Women's and Gender Studies

Current Course Offerings

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

Fall Term 2018 (1650)

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: NIXON, Randi
    Days & Time: M/W/F, 11:00 - 12:00
    Units:
    *3.00
    Prerequisite: none
    Notes: This section has an optional CSL, Community Service Learning, component. For more information on CSL see: http://www.csl.ualberta.ca

  • * WGS 298 (A1): Critical Issues - Consent

    Coming soon.

    Instructor: GOTELL, Lise
    Days & Time: T/R, 14:00 - 15:20
    Units: *3.00
    Prerequisite: none

     

  • WGS 240: Feminism and Food

     

    Is food a feminist issue? Yes. This course surveys contemporary feminist debates in food politics. Throughout the semester, we will explore feminist analyses of food practices, dietary choice, and nutrition advice. We will consider feminist approaches to food ethics and consumption from critical race, postcolonial, queer, critical disability and critical animal studies perspectives. In addition, we will engage in feminist analyses of weight loss dieting, body image, and eating disorders; and we will examine gendered relationships to food through studying the gendering of diets, the politics of breastfeeding, and links between eating, eroticism, and sexuality.

    Instructor: ROSARIO, Esther
    Days & Time: M/W/F, 14:00 - 14:50     - OR -    R, 17:00 - 20:00

    Units:
    *3.00
    Prerequisite: none
    Notes:  Not open to students with credit in WGS 340 (or W ST 340)

  • WGS 321: Feminism and Film

     

    This course will examine a variety of films from an intersectional feminist perspective. We will read cultural theory and criticism to interrogate ways that structures of gender, race, and class are reproduced and/or critiqued through mainstream and independent cinema. Attending to the specificities of the cinematic medium, we will also read classic and feminist film theory from Mulvey onwards to Deleuze and contemporary theories of digital media. Weekly screenings will include Vertigo, The Red Shoes, Arrival, The Red Desert, The House of Mirth, Phantom Thread, Lemonade, and Black Panther, among others.

    Instructor: RANGWALA, Shama
    Days & Time: R, 17:00 - 20:00

    Units:
    *3.00
    Prerequisite: Any 100- or 200-level WGS (or W ST) course, or Department consent

  • WGS 250: Gender and Science

    Interdisciplinary exploration of gender and science, with an emphasis on intersections of gender, race, sexuality, and politics in historical and contemporary scientific practices.

    Instructor: BELL, Mebbie
    Days & Time: T, 17:00 - 20:00

    Units:
    *3.00
    Prerequisite: none
    Note: Not open to students with credit in WGS 350 (or W ST 350)

  • * WGS 298 (A3): Critical Issues - Critical Animal Studies

     

     

    This course will introduce students to the new and rapidly growing field of critical animal studies. Critical animal studies is critical in the sense that it challenges accepted attitudes and practices towards its subject matter; thus, in this course we will ask challenging questions about commonly held views concerning animals and human-animal relations, as these play out in the domains of science, food, and the pet industry. In later weeks we will consider ways in which critical animal studies intersects with other areas of critical theory such as feminist, queer, disability, anti-racism, and decolonial studies. We will ask questions such as: How are loving animals and eating animals caught up with constructs of gender? How does science construct “queer” animals and “gender” in nature? How do ableism and racism play into animal activist movements, and how might animal liberation, disability liberation, anti-racist and decolonial movements be allied? What does the future look like for animals and human-animal relations, and are these futures that we should strive for or resist?

    Instructor: TAYLOR, Chloë
    Days & Time: T/R, 09:30 - 10:50
    Units: *3.00
    Prerequisite: none

     

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

  • WGS 301: History of Feminist Thought

    The development of feminist thought and theories until the mid-20th century, including the contributions of, and tensions among various feminisms.

    Instructor: KLEIN, Reisa
    Days & Time: M/W/F, 11:00 - 11:50
    Units:
    *3.00
    Prerequisite: Any 100- or 200-level WGS (or W ST) course, or Department consent

  • WGS 360: Race, Class, and Gender

    Historical, contemporary and comparative perspectives on the interaction of race, class, and gender experiences.

    Instructor: BANDOPADHYAY, Sabu
    Days & Time: T/R, 12:30 - 13:50
    Units:
    *3.00
    Prerequisite: Any 100- or 200-level WGS (or W ST) course, or Department consent

  • WGS 440: Body Politics

    An examination of contemporary theoretical approaches to bodies and embodiment, with particular emphasis on the ways that race, class, sexuality, gender, and (dis)ability shape bodily experience.

    Instructor: KLEIN, Reisa
    Days & Time: T/R, 14:00 - 15:20
    Units:
    *3.00
    Prerequisite: Any 100- or 200-level WGS (or W ST) course, or Department consent

  • * WGS 498 (A1): Topics in Women's & Gender Studies - Transnational Feminism

     

    What are the possibilities and limits of feminist practices that extend beyond a national framework? This course considers how transnational feminist theorists, social movements, and cultural practitioners have addressed the politics of solidarity, identity, difference, nationhood, collectivity, and the shifting meanings of the local and the global. We will pay special attention to the emergence of transnational feminism and its relations with Indigenous, postcolonial, and decolonial feminist theories and movements.

    Instructor: CAPPER, Beth
    Days & Time:
    M/W/F, 12:00 - 12:50
    Units: *3.00
    Prerequisite: Any 100- or 200-level WGS (or W ST) course, or Department consent


  • * WGS 498 (A3): Topics in Women's & Gender Studies - Anthropocene Feminism

    Geologists increasingly concur that the ‘now’ we live in—and thus the now in which feminists must theorize—is a new geological epoch that they are naming the Anthropocene. The Anthropocene is marked, first and foremost, by anthropogenic environmental change. Climate change is the most pressing social and political concern of our time, with geologists describing a sixth Great Extinction that may well include our own species. Although by all appearances many humans—including feminist scholars and political theorists—are continuing with business as usual, we are also hurtling towards extinction and taking much planetary life with us, and this puts all of our political causes into question. This course will introduce students to the academic literature on the Anthropocene, and will provide students with the opportunity to explore the following kinds of questions: How do we engage in political struggles today, when the species may no longer have a long-term future? What do social justice perspectives contribute to an analysis of the causes and appropriate responses to the Anthropocene? How have the appropriation and exploitation of natural resources that have driven anthropogenic transformation of the planet been embedded in patriarchal and colonial power? What becomes of many feminist causes in the shadow of climate change, or when we think in terms of geopolitics and geohistorical time? Has the pressing social justice issue of our time become ensuring that adaptation, survival, and extinction occurs as justly and painlessly as possible, and how may we pursue these objectives?

    Instructor: TAYLOR, Chloë
    Days & Time:
    W, 14:00 - 16:50
    Units: *3.00

    Prerequisite: Any 100- or 200-level WGS (or W ST) course, or Department consent
    Note: Taught in conjunction with GSJ 507


Graduate Courses

  • GSJ 502: Gender 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, 14:00 - 16:50
    Units:
    *3.00

  • GSJ 505: Gendering Development

    This course explores central themes in gender and development discourse. The 2017 winter semester will focus on the forms and patterns of bodily violence against women from the global south, using three controversial entry points: Veiling, Female Circumcision and Sex Trafficking. Students will explore relevant questions such as: In what ways does veiling define or influence women’s cultural rights and religious freedom in specific contexts? How do these definitions and influences inform our understanding of the relationship between veiling and violence against women? Why does female circumcision seem to attract more attention than vaginoplasy in contemporary debates on gender and development? What drives sexual trafficking and why do many of its victims seem to embrace their fate? Why is the global discussion on sex trafficking often detached from larger bodies of discourse on the exploitation of human labor? This course provides the opportunity for students to critically examine the heated controversies around violence against women in the global south based on insights gained from feminist debates, the survivors’ experiences of trauma, and the studies of “experts” in the field. Through class discussions/commentaries, seminar presentations, group debates and research essays, students gain a deeper understanding of the complexity of factors that structure or reinforce violence against women as well as the challenges of addressing what remains one of the important social responsibilities of our time.

     

    Instructor: OKEKE-IHEJIRIKA, Philomina
    Days & Time:
    T/R, 09:30 – 10:50
    Units:
    *3.00 

  • * GSJ 507: Feminist Theory Now - Anthropocene Feminism

    Geologists increasingly concur that the ‘now’ we live in—and thus the now in which feminists must theorize—is a new geological epoch that they are naming the Anthropocene. The Anthropocene is marked, first and foremost, by anthropogenic environmental change. Climate change is the most pressing social and political concern of our time, with geologists describing a sixth Great Extinction that may well include our own species. Although by all appearances many humans—including feminist scholars and political theorists—are continuing with business as usual, we are also hurtling towards extinction and taking much planetary life with us, and this puts all of our political causes into question. This course will introduce students to the academic literature on the Anthropocene, and will provide students with the opportunity to explore the following kinds of questions: How do we engage in political struggles today, when the species may no longer have a long-term future? What do social justice perspectives contribute to an analysis of the causes and appropriate responses to the Anthropocene? How have the appropriation and exploitation of natural resources that have driven anthropogenic transformation of the planet been embedded in patriarchal and colonial power? What becomes of many feminist causes in the shadow of climate change, or when we think in terms of geopolitics and geohistorical time? Has the pressing social justice issue of our time become ensuring that adaptation, survival, and extinction occurs as justly and painlessly as possible, and how may we pursue these objectives?

    Instructor: TAYLOR, Chloë
    Days & Time:
    W, 14:00 - 16:50
    Units: *3.00
    Note: Taught in conjunction with WGS 498 (SEM A3)


Winter Term 2019 (1660)

Undergraduate Courses

  • WGS 102 (B1): Gender and Social Justice

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

    Instructor: OKEKE-IHEJIRIKA, Philomina
    Days & Time: M/W/F, 10:00 - 10:50
    Units: *3.00
    Prerequisite: none

  • WGS 102 (X50): Gender and Social Justice

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

    Instructor: BEUKIAN, Sevan
    Days & Time: W, 17:00 - 20:00
    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: MEAGHER, Michelle
    Days & Time:
    T/R, 09:30 - 10:50
    Units:
    *3.00
    Prerequisite: none
    Note: Not open to students with credit in WGS 320 (or W ST 320)

  • WGS 260: Women and War

    Introduction to how women experience political conflicts, either in contemporary or historical contexts, focusing on how violence, access to resources, public decision-making, and social security impact women during and after conflict.

    Instructor: OKEKE-IHEJIRIKA, Philomina
    Days & Time: M/W/F, 13:00 - 13:50
    Units: *3.00
    Prerequisite: none

  • WGS 270 (B1): 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: NIXON, Randi
    Days & Time: T/R, 14:00 - 15:20
    Units: *3.00
    Prerequisite: none
    Note:  Not open students with credit in WGS 370 (or W ST 370)

  • WGS 270 (X50): 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: BALZER, Samantha
    Days & Time: R, 17:00 - 20:00
    Units: *3.00
    Prerequisite: none
    Note:  Not open students with credit in WGS 370 (or W ST 370)

  • * WGS 298: Critical Issues - Feminist Perspectives on Sport and Recreation

    Coming soon.

    Instructor: MEYER, Pony
    Days & Time: M/W/F, 11:00 - 11:50
    Units: *3.00
    Prerequisite: none

     

  • 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: BELL, Mebbie   
    Days & Time: T/R, 15:30 - 16:50 
    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: FROST, Helen
    Days & Time:
    M/W/F, 11:00 - 11:50 
    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 390: Environmental Feminisms and Social Justice

     Feminist approaches to environmental ethics and politics.

    Instructor: HAYNES, Lisa
    Days & Time: M/W/F, 14:00 - 14:50
    Units: *3.00
    Prerequisite: Any 100- or 200-level WGS (or W ST) course, or Department consent

  • WGS 420: Law and Feminism in Canada

    A focus on the fundamentally contradictory role of law for women in Canada, building upon role of insights offered by feminist cross-disciplinary legal scholarship.

    Instructor: GOTELL, Lise
    Day & Time: W, 17:00 - 20:00

    Units:
    *3.00
    Prerequisite: Any 100- or 200-level WGS (or W ST) course, or Department consent
    Note: Taught in conjunction with GSJ 520 X50

  • 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, 11:00 - 12:20
    Units:
    *3.00
    Prerequisite: Any 100- or 200-level WGS (or W ST) course, or Department consent

  • WGS 460: Masculinities

    This course is a deep interrogation of the topic of masculinities. What is masculinity? How many masculinities are there and how do they relate to one another? What is the relationship between maleness and masculinity? What place does masculinity have in feminism? What is the relationship between masculinity and social justice? Drawing on social theory and several critical traditions including intersectional feminist, queer, trans, anti-racist and decolonial theory, we will examine some of the contemporary complexities of masculinity in relation to topics such as sexuality, citizenship, race, fatherhood, sport, and music.

    Instructor: NIXON, Randi
    Days & Time:
    M/W/F, 12:00 - 12:50
    Units:
    *3.00
    Prerequisite: Any 100- or 200-level WGS (or W ST) course, or Department consent

  • WGS 460 (X50): Masculinities

    This course is a deep interrogation of the topic of masculinities. What is masculinity? How many masculinities are there and how do they relate to one another? What is the relationship between maleness and masculinity? What place does masculinity have in feminism? What is the relationship between masculinity and social justice? Drawing on social theory and several critical traditions including intersectional feminist, queer, trans, anti-racist and decolonial theory, we will examine some of the contemporary complexities of masculinity in relation to topics such as sexuality, citizenship, race, fatherhood, sport, and music.

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

  • * WGS 498 (B1): Topics in Women's & Gender Studies - Making Feminist Media

    Making Feminist Media.  More information to come.

     

    Instructor: MEAGHER, Michelle
    Days & Time:
    T/R, 12:30 - 13:50
    Units:
    *3.00
    Note:  Taught in conjunction with GSJ 504 B1

  • * WGS 498 (B2): Topics in Women's & Gender Studies - Indigenous Women and Feminism

    [coming soon] 

    Instructor: BEAR, Tracy
    Days & Time:
    W, 14:00 - 16:50
    Units: *3.00
    Prerequisite: Any 100- or 200-level WGS (or W ST) course, or Department consent
    Note: Taught in conjunction with GSJ 598 A1

     


Graduate Courses

  • GSJ 501: Praxis Workshop

    The Praxis Workshop enables students to critically interrogate the relationship between social justice theory and practice, to understand the relationship between volunteerism, engaged citizenship, and knowledge production for social change. The focus will be on feminist approaches and a reflexive practice organized around a mandatory (20 hours) Community Service-Learning project.

     

    Instructor: LUHMANN, Susanne
    Day & Time:
    T, 17:00 - 20:00
    Units:
    *3.00

  • GSJ 504: Feminist Cultural Studies - Making Feminist Media

    Beginning with an examination of turn-of-the-century suffrage publications like the WSPU’s Votes for Women, and turning to the late 1960s to early 1970s rise of the "women in print" movement in North America, which was marked by an explosion of feminist publications (Spare Rib, Heresies) and publishers (Virago Press), this course will consider the often complex role that print culture played and continues to play in developing as well as publicizing feminist activisms and actions. Insofar as the class is shaped by the framework of feminist cultural studies, our emphasis will be on examining how texts are produced, circulated, and consumed. We will consider the ways that manifestos, magazines, zines, newsletters, blogs, and independently published books imagine and make social change.

     

    Key questions include: How does feminist publishing produce feminist communities and/or feminist counterpublics? What role have feminist publishing practices - and the recent emergence of feminist print culture studies - played in the (re)narration of feminist histories? How have older circuits that relied on bookstores, marks on paper, woman-only print shops, feminist-friendly distributors, and world-of-mouth been replaced or displaced by virtual circuits?

     

    Sample texts:

    Kathryn Thoms Flannery, Feminist Literacies 1968-1975 (Illinois Press, 2005)
    Jaime Harker and Cecilia Konchar Farr, This Book is an Action: Feminist Print Culture and Activist Aesthetics (Illinois Press, 2016)
    Alison Piepmeier, Girl Zines: Making Media, Doing Feminism (NYU Press 2009)
    Kristin Hogan, The Feminist Bookstore Movement: Lesbian Anti-Racism and Feminist Accountability (Duke 2016)
    Simone Murray, Mixed Media: Feminist Presses and Publishing Politics (Pluto 2004)

     

    Instructor: MEAGHER, Michelle
    Days & Time:
    T/R, 12:20 - 13:50
    Units:
    *3.00
    Note:  Taught in conjunction with WGS 498 (SEM B1)

  • * GSJ 598: Topics in GSJ - Indigenous Women and Feminism

    [coming soon]

     

    Instructor: BEAR, Tracy
    Days & Time:
    W, 14:00 - 16:50
    Units:
    *3.00
    Note: Taught in conjunction with WGS 498 (SEM B2)