Current Special Topics Courses

Click the '+' to see the course description and other details. For a complete list of all our current course offerings or to register in one our of awesome special topics courses, visit BearTracks!  Note that special topics courses can be taken multiple times for credit - so you don't have to worry about missing out on future subjects!

Summer Term 2020 (1720)

  • WGS 498: Topics in WGS - Building Intersectional Feminist Archives

    This is an all hands-on deck, intensive course in which students will collaborate with a community organization to create an online information archive. In this process we will explore the capabilities and limitations of standardized information practices and develop an alternative digital archive inspired by intersectional feminist principles. Both existing and innovative information tools and techniques will be studied and evaluated. Topics such as open data, information inequality, collections as data, vernacular ontologies, data sovereignty and serendipitous discovery will be interrogated. No prior technical expertise is required for this course.

     

    Instructor: VERHOEVEN, Deb
    Days & Time:
    M/T/W/R, 9:00 - 11:50
    Units:
    *3.00
    Note: Taught in conjunction with GSJ 598 Sem B1


Fall Term 2020 (1730)

  • WGS 298: Critical Issues - Consent

    We are in the midst of an unprecedented period of mobilization around sexual violence. In the #MeToo era, discussions about consent are all around us. Consent is presented as an unadulterated good and as a straightforward solution to the social problem of sexual assault. As the viral video “Tea and Consent” proclaims, “Consent: It’s not that Complicated.” In this course, we will unpack and complicate the concept of sexual consent. Consent is rooted in liberal theory and in “the sexual contract.” While we often think about consent as if it were a sign of freedom and autonomy, feminist theorists have shown how consent is a specifically modern means of legitimizing power relations. Through interdisciplinary explorations of the concept of consent, we will interrogate the meaning of consent historically, as well as in the contemporary period of neoliberalism. We will consider a number of complex theoretical, legal and political issues, including: unrapeable subjects; the role of sexual violence in colonization; claims about the impossibility of consent in a context of heteropatriarchy; feminist law reform focused on consent; the ongoing presumption of consent in intimate relationships; the significance of unwanted sex; the celebration of sexual agency in a context of neoliberalism; sexual fraud; challenges to heteronormative consent; and the limitations of consent-based prevention.

     

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

  • WGS 498: Topics in WGS - On Complicity & Being Implicated: Difficult Questions for Social Justice

    Informed by an intersectional-type framework, this course will look at the ways that feminists and other social justice warriors consider (or not) their implications in complex histories, structures, and practices of inequality. We will read theoretical and methodological work that considers multiple axis of oppression, for example, settler colonialism, classism, heteronormativity, white supremacy etc.. to grapple with the difficult knowledge of implication and to consider scholarship and activism for social change.

     

    Instructor: LUHMANN, Susanne
    Days & Time:
    W, 17:00 - 20:00
    Units:
    *3.00
    Note: Taught in conjunction with GSJ 598 X01


Winter Term 2021 (1740)

  • WGS 498: Topics in WGS - Feminist Historiography

    Everything has a history, because everything changes over time and space. This includes bodies, sexualities, governments, prisons, sex work, food, drink, gender, slavery, work, education, childhood, old age, medicine, magic, war, art, music, literature, theatre, marriage, family, religion, dress, science, the weather, the landscape, media, movies, travel, transportation, language(s), buildings, love, disability, race, ethnicity, friendship, sports, cities, agriculture…in short, everything, including the writing of history itself. Everything also has a historiography, for the histories of bodies, sexualities, prisons, food, work, childhood, war, family, love, race, and so on have been told and retold, constructed and reconstructed, envisioned and revised, imagined and re-conceptualized, differently across time and space. Finally, it is possible to say that, in 2020, every historiography includes a feminist strand, indeed a whole range of feminist approaches to telling the stories of dress, disability, movies, travel, ethnicity, the weather, and so on. The class will examine, as a group, some particularly significant examples of feminist historiography, and will allow ample room for students to pursue the specific historiographies of the subjects most of interest to them. Students are strongly encouraged to contact the instructor in advance of the class, in order to make their interests known and thereby have an impact on the assigned readings for the class.

    Instructor: LIFTSHITZ, Felice
    Days & Time: F, 14:00 - 16:50
    Units: *3.00
    Note: Taught in conjunction with GSJ 508 Sem B1

  • WGS 498: Topics in WGS - Women Theologians

    #Women Also Do Theology. The course will examine the contributions of various women, some historical and some contemporary, to Western (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Goddess thealogy), Eastern (Buddhism and Hinduism), and Indigenous (global) spiritual traditions. The course will understand theology to include the study (systematized or not) of religious faith, practice, and experience, the creation of beliefs, practices, and guidelines for right living (ritualized or not) associated with the holy, and the expression of spiritual and ethical beliefs in a range of textual, visual, performative, and material media. 

    Instructor: LIFTSHITZ, Felice
    Days & Time: R, 14:00 - 16:50
    Units: *3.00
    Note: Taught in conjunction with RELIG 497 Sem B1 & RELIG 510 Sem B1