Women's and Gender Studies

Upcoming GSJ Courses

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

Fall Term 2018 (1650)

  • 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)

  • 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)