Women's and Gender Studies

Current Special Topics Courses

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Fall Term 2019 (1690)

  • WGS 298: Critical Issues - Consent

    Description coming soon.

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


  • WGS 498: Topics in WGS - 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 traumatic pasts (usually 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, 17:00 - 20:00
    Note: Taught in conjunction with GSJ 598 X01

  • WGS 498: Topics in WGS - Gender, Violence, and Social Justice in Africa

    This course explores the forms, patterns, controversies and consequences of bodily violence against women in and from Africa, using specific experiences of violence as entry points. For this semester, we will focus on: Female Circumcision, Forced Sexual Recruitment and Sex Trafficking. Students will explore relevant questions such as: What factors render African women vulnerable to these forms of violence? In what ways do these forms of violence define or influence African women’s cultural and socials in specific contexts? How do African women navigate or confront these experiences? In what ways do Western representations of these forms of violence inform our understandings of African women’s lives and place in society? This course provides a rare opportunity for students to critically examine the heated controversies around violence against African women 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. 

    Course Objectives: Students should leave this class with a critical understanding of (1) Violence against women as a problem of as well as an obstacle to building healthy societies, (2) the complicity of systematic inequities in violence against women, 3) Importance of social and academic discourses on new forms of violence that target women’s bodies.


    Instructor: OKEKE-IHEJIRIKA, Philomina
    Days & Time:
    T/R, 12:30 - 13:50
    Note: Taught in conjunction with GSJ 515 A1

Winter Term 2020 (1700)

  • WGS 470: Sexualities - Sex and Disability

    Introducing students to various models of disability, this course will explore the assumption of asexuality and “innocence” often ascribed to disabled people. We will consider the practical issues and variations in sexual experience for people living with disabilities, and examine many ethical questions including: medically assisted sex; intellectual disability and consent; caregiver relationships; sex and institutionalization; disability and sex workers; pornography and fetishization; and reproduction, eugenics, and sterilization. We will also explore the vast intersections of disability and LGBTQIA identities.

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

  • WGS 498: Topics in WGS - Women of Color Feminisms

    This seminar focuses on the experiences, work, politics, scholarship, and activism of femmes of colour in various national, political, and cultural contexts. We will examine the historical processes of colonial capitalism through which race and gender have been formed, and how Black, Indigenous, and POC feminist scholars and activists have theorized interlocking structures of power. The course will explore intersectional, Indigenous, Black, Marxist, and anti-colonial feminisms, along with their critiques. Students will encounter a variety of media, such as scholarly texts, film, literature, memoir, podcast, news and magazines, and Internet discourses. There will be a variety of shorter assignments throughout the term as well as a final research paper.

    Instructor: RANGWALA, Shama
    Days & Time: M, 14:00 - 16:50
    Units: *3.00
    Prerequisite: Any 100- or 200-level WGS (or W ST) course, or Department consent