Women & Gender Studies Institute


Program requirements for the Collaborative Program in Women and Gender Studies (CWGS) will change as of the 2015-2016 academic year.

WGS graduate courses are offered in the Fall/Winter session.  Certain enrolment restrictions apply.  First preference is given to students registered in graduate programs at the Women & Gender Studies Institute.

New Core Course(s) as of the 2014-2015 academic year:

 WGS5000H F  Feminist Theories, Histories, Movements I
 (Master’s students are required to take this course.  Ph.D. students have the option of completing WGS5000H or WGS5001H)
This core course explores interdisciplinary feminist theories, methodologies and epistemologies, with particular attention to transnational feminism, anti- and post-colonialism, global capitalism, critical race theory, nation and state formation, gender and sexuality studies and affect theory.
Enrolment is restricted.  Please contact grad.womenstudies@utoronto.ca for details.

Scheduling Information
Instructor:         Professor Marieme Lo

WGS5001H S  Feminist Theories, Histories, Movements II
(This course is for Ph.D. students only)
This is an advanced course designed for doctoral students, which explores interdisciplinary feminist theories, methodologies and epistemologies, with particular attention to transnational feminism, anti- and post- colonialism, global capitalism, critical race theory, nation and state formation, gender and sexuality studies and affect theory.
Enrolment is restricted.  Please contact grad.womenstudies@utoronto.ca for details.

Scheduling Information
Instructor:         Team Taught

WGS Electives (not all courses are offered every year):

WGS1004H S  History and Biopolitics
This course explores the current and past politics of knowing and governing human and non-human forms of life. It seeks to challenge Michel Foucault’s concept of “biopolitics” – defined as practices that imbue living-being with politics – through engagement with interdisciplinary scholarship that investigates how embodiments and environments are sites in which race, capitalism, colonialism, sexuality, property, dispossession, and technoscience are produced and entangled.
Not offered in 2015-2016.

Scheduling Information
Instructor:           Professor Michelle Murphy

WGS1006Y  Community Engagement (Practicum)
This course provides students the opportunity to study, engage directly in, and reflect upon the multiple definitions of feminist social change work outside the university classroom. Students can choose from among many organizations in the Greater Toronto Area. Students will develop new understandings of the relationship between academic and activist work in thinking critically about the practice of experiential learning. Students will spend approximately 7-10 hours a week in their organization from September through February and will have scheduled progress meetings with an on-site mentor. They will gain exposure to the breadth of tactics organizations use, and will think about the politics of scale, coalition across groups/movements/borders, intersectionality and diversity, and neoliberalism. Students will learn how to conduct feminist social action research and program evaluation, and will gain practical skills in areas such as writing grant applications, press releases, outreach materials, organizational histories, and participating in community organizing. The final project is a written case study that contends with a central organizational problem or contradiction.

Scheduling Information
Instructor:         Professor Judith Taylor

WGS1009H   Digital Networks and Transnational Activism
In the last few decades, online networking has offered women an important venue for reimagining activism and forging transnational feminist networks. The seminar will be a space for a collaborative examination of how activism is represented, experienced and performed among selected online communities of women around the world, including women in diasporic spaces.
Not offered in 2015-2016.

Scheduling Information
Instructor:          Professor Victoria Tahmasebi-Birgani

WGS1010H S Black Feminist Thought
Various discourses, theoretical frameworks and ideological proclamations have been employed to analyze, criticize and interrogate everyday lived experiences of black peoples. This course examines the multiple oppressions and social representations of black women using a black feminist theoretical framework. Part of the course will be devoted to black feminist theory — a theory developed out of black women’s experiences and rooted in their communities. The course will also examine the following issues among others: strands of feminisms with particular emphasis on feminisms as advocated by the visible minorities; the divergences and similarities of black feminisms; and the heterogeneous nature of black women’s experiences. The course will be sociological and historical in nature and will examine the intersections of race, class, gender and homophobia.

Scheduling Information
Instructor:         Professor Njoki Wane

WGS1013H F  Restructuring Work and Care: Family, State and Market in Times of Crisis
This course is designed to introduce students to the basic dimensions of the contemporary crises in work and care and how they are related to questions of law and policy.  The course will explore two inter-related issues.  The first is how care work is distributed and compensated along lines of gender, race and citizenship, the vulnerabilities that care work entails, and the way that issues around care intersect with experiences and problems in the labour market.  The second is the transformation of work.  We will examine the legal and social underpinnings of the decline of the ‘standard employment relationship’ and feminization of work; the rise of precarious forms of work; and the interconnections between labour market change, transformations in the state and economy, and growing economic insecurity and inequality.

Scheduling Information
Instructor:         Professors Kerry Rittich and Professor Jennifer Nedelsky

WGS1014H S: Troubling Militarism: Space, Affect, Economy
In this course we examine the spatial politics and affective economies of militarism. Our approach is feminist, queer, and geographical, and combines questions of geopolitical and geoeconomic inquiry. Rather than approach “militarism” as a coherent set of ideas and practices that must simply be opposed, resisted or reversed somehow, we seek to trouble militarism and its affective mobilization. We will grapple with the violence of militarism, not only in the immediately martial practices that the term typically denotes, but also in the imperial and colonial political geographies out of which the modern use of the term arises, and through its everyday and banal attachments. The ultimate aim is to develop conceptual and theoretical tools to explain militarism, militarization, and militancy through a critical engagement with ideas of race, class, gender, identity, and difference.

Scheduling Information
Instructor:       Professor Deborah Cowen

WGS1020H  Gender and Globalization: Transnational Perspectives
This course critically examines current interdisciplinary scholarship on globalization and its intersections with gender, power structures, and feminized economies. Related socio-spatial reconfigurations, ‘glocal’ convergences, and tensions are explored, with emphasis on feminist counter-narratives and theorizing of
globalization, theoretical debates on the meanings and impacts of globalization, and possibilities of resistance, agency and change.
Not offered in 2015-2016.

Scheduling Information
Instructor: Professor Marieme Lo

WGS1021H F  Black Diasporic Feminisms: Modernity, Freedom, Citizenship
This course examines transnational feminist genealogies of the black diaspora, paying careful attention to the contexts and movements that generated key questions, and exploring how these interventions disclose preoccupations with modernity, freedom and citizenship.  Topics include history, trauma and memory, diaspora and indigeneity, racialised embodiment, queer kinship, Afrofuturism, confinement and deportation, and the careful calibration of political communities.

Scheduling Information
Instructor:         Professor Alissa Trotz

WGS1022H F  Queer Archives and LGBTQ History
This course explores the “archival turn” in feminist and queer studies, and explores the role of archives in LGBTQ history, with an emphasis on post-45 US and Canadian historiography. We will read some interdisciplinary work theorizing archives (such as Foucault, Derrida, Stoler, Munoz, Cvetkovich, and Eichhorn). We will consider how queer and trans* artists, activists, and community organizations use “the archive” in their cultural interventions. Finally, we will read recent work in post-45 US and Canadian queer and trans* history that draws upon archives to anchor historical claims. The course is not meant as a comprehensive overview of LGBTQ history in the post-45 period. Instead, we will ask questions such as: how has the availability of particular archives shaped the production of queer and trans* histories? What is the relationship between the discipline of academic history and homonormativity? How does one archive the ephemeral, including affect, gesture, and glance? What is the role of sex and porn in the production of LGBTQ history? Students will be asked to work closely with, or create themselves, a queer archive as their final project, and to develop a piece of writing or media production based on that archive. The course will provide tours of the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives and the University of Toronto’s Sexual Representation Collection (among other GTA resources) as part of the seminar.

Scheduling Information
Instructor:         Professor Elspeth Brown

WGS1023H F   Studies in Aesthetic Imagination, Creativity and Radical Hope
This course treats aesthetic imagination and creativity as the processes by which we give value to human experience and make knowledge. Students will study the relationship between aesthetic expression and radical hope/futures. Readings will be drawn from the fields of cultural theory, affect studies, and psychoanalysis. Students will also examine and reflect on expressive texts.

Scheduling Information
Instructor:         Professor Dina Georgis

WGS1024H S Space, Power and Geography: Understanding Spatiality
The course charts new ways of thinking about space and power that are non-Cartesian, non-Hobbesian, and non-representational originating in divisions in Enlightenment thinking 400 years ago. Contemporary manifestations of this shift can be seen in the work of Foucault and Deleuze, Hardt and Negri, Bruno Latour their growing influence in geography manifest in geo-philosophy, non-representational space, emotional geographies, geographies of affect, politics of the multitude, networks and assemblages. The course explores the conceptual developments that give rise to this shift, introducing students to new ways of thinking about the nature of power, the nature of resistance, forms of social organization and mobilization, and the organization of space itself.

Scheduling Information
Instructor:         Professor Susan Ruddick

WGS1024H  Women and Revolution in the Middle East
This course examines the complex and conflictual relations between women and revolutionary struggles and focuses on a number of theoretical and empirical issues relevant to the Middle East and North Africa context.
Not offered in 2015-2016.

Scheduling Information
Instructor:         Professor Shahrzad Mojab

WGS1025H F  Decolonial Indigenous Aesthetics: Performance, Hip Hop, and Indigenous New Media
Engages intersectional analysis of decolonial aesthetics created through Indigenous new media, Indigenous performance, and Indigenous hip hop feminist texts. Fosters the use of critical reflection and embodiment as strategies stemming from Indigenous hip hop feminist critique to explore Indigenous gender production, and racialization practices. Explores pedagogical implications of hip hop feminism in relationship with Indigenous new media to create new world(s) into being.

Scheduling Information
Instructor:         Professor Karyn Recollet

WGS1026H F  Race, Space and Citizenship
How do we come to know who we are and how is this knowledge raced, as well as “embodied, engendered and embedded in a material context of place and space” (Duncan, 1996)?  Drawing on recent scholarship in critical race theory, critical geography, history and cultural studies, the course examines how we learn who we are and how these pedagogies of citizenship (who is to count and who is not) operate in concrete spaces, bodies, nations, cities, institutions. This course is intended for graduate students who wish to consider how their own research might draw upon the concepts associated with the production of racial and gendered subjects in space and time. It is organized as an intensive ten-week seminar (with readings equivalent to thirteen weeks or approximately 100 pages per week) and a mandatory day-long conference during which students present their work.

Scheduling Information
Instructor:         Professor Sherene Razack

WGS1027H F  Reproductive Health Law in Transnational Perspective
This course addresses significant developments in the legal regulation of reproduction in transnational perspective.  The course builds primarily on this century’s legal developments including judicial decisions, constitutional amendments, regulatory reforms and informal laws to ask why and how abortion law is changing.  It explores possible responses by analyzing developments in abortion law through four themes: constitutional values and regulatory regimes, procedural justice and liberal access, framing and claiming rights, and narratives and social meaning.  The course will illustrate various dimensions of the transnational enterprise including the transnational influence of religious teachings, social movements and technological innovations on the evolution of reproductive health law.

Scheduling Information
Instructor:         Professor Rebecca Cook


Previous Course Timetables:

CWGS 2012-2013 course timetable (PDF)

CWGS 2011-2012 course timetable (PDF)