Women & Gender Studies Institute

Courses

Program requirements for the Collaborative Program in Women and Gender Studies (CWGS) changed as of the 2014-2015 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.

Required Courses

 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 to students registered in the Master’s, Ph.D. and Collaborative Program in Women and Gender Studies.

Instructor:         Professor Marieme Lo

WGS5001H S  Feminist Theories, Histories, Movements II
(This course is for Ph.D. collaborative 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 to students registered in the Ph.D. and Collaborative Program in Women and Gender Studies.

Instructor:        Professor Robert Diaz

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

WGS1004H  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 2017-2018.

Restricted enrolment.  Enrolment priority given to Ph.D, Master’s and Collaborative students in Women and Gender Studies.

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.

Enrolment is restricted to students registered in the Ph.D., Master’s or Collaborative Program in Women and Gender Studies.

Instructor:         Professor Judith Taylor

WGS1009H F  Gender and Cyberpolitics
This course focuses on theories of feminist cyber-activism and examines the relevance of gender, race, class and sexuality to understanding cyberpolitics.  We question how women transform digital sites into feminist spaces and how online networking serves to complicate, diversify and redefine feminist activism.

Instructor:          Professor Victoria Tahmasebi-Birgani

WGS1011H 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.

Restricted enrolment.  Enrolment priority given to Ph.D, Master’s and Collaborative students in Women and Gender Studies.

Instructor:         Professor Njoki Wane

WGS1013H S  Queer and Trans Oral History
For decades, oral history has been a preferred methodology in documenting social movements and the life experiences of marginalized populations. Recently, LGBTQ history, intersectional feminist politics, and queer and trans theory have given rise to new oral history projects and new methods. This seminar will be a workshop in doing LGBTQ oral history, with a focus on queer and trans lives. Students will follow the full life-cycle of the interview and learn how to: develop a theoretically informed research plan; grapple with ethical considerations; write a questionnaire and consent form; find narrators; use audio and visual technology to record interviews; write up fieldnotes; transcribe interviews; analyze and write from the material; and contribute to a digital exhibition using Omeka. Students will have an opportunity to contribute to an existing oral history project or develop their own project. We will read work in oral history theory and practice, including work by Boyd; Abrams; High; Ramirez; Murphy; and others.

Restricted enrolment.  Enrolment priority given to Ph.D, Master’s and C0llaborative students in Women and Gender Studies.

Instructor:         Professor Elspeth Brown

WGS1016H F  Migration, Mobility, Displacement in Africa
Why do people move? What are the causes and consequences of migration and displacement in Africa? This course critically examines the multifaceted dimensions of migration, mobility, and displacement through (text, art, film and narratives) with a specific focus on communities and populations displaced by war, environmental destruction and disaster, economic failings, and the quest for economic opportunities or individual freedom. We will: 1) explore canonical and emergent interdisciplinary scholarships and their epistemic claims and debates, key theories and concepts on migration, mobility and displacement; 2) engage in current debates and public discourses on these intersecting themes, analytics, and phenomena; and 3) interrogate the morality of media representation and gaze, discursive practices on the ‘migrant’ and ‘refugee’ subject formation, the ‘catastrophic’ biopolitics and governmentality of migration, the instrumentality and contingencies of political (non) interventions/(in)action, humanitarianism, and the politics of rights, justice, ethics, and solidarity. You will have the opportunity to unpack your own positionality and trajectories to reflect on the differentiated categories and trajectories of migration and mobility and to formulate your own critique and alternative epistemology.

Instructor:             Professor Marieme Lo

WGS1018H F  Queer Studies in Education
This course will examine the ways in which Queer Theory as a pedagogical project reorients. Taking as its starting point that queer theory demands an orientation that is more than sexuality, the course investigates how queer theory and its pedagogical implications produces new modes of thought and new modes of engagement. This course ask such questions as what constitutes queer method; is there a uniquely queer thought; does queer pedagogy require queer bodies; and what are the stakes of a queer educational practice? In this course students will examine the history of Queer Theory and its major interventions. Importantly, students will engage with scholarship that is interdisciplinary and therefore offers a method of queer practice with its numerous implications for educational practices and pedagogies. Finally, this course is concerned with the social and it asks what kinds of different social relations might be possible when queer ideas orient practices.

Instructor:  Professor Rinaldo Walcott

WGS1019H S  Indigenous Land Education and Black Geographies
This course attends to research approaches coming out of two distinct literatures: Indigenous land education or pedagogy, and Black feminist geographies. Texts and assignments will focus on empirical and conceptual research projects which can be informed by critical Indigenous studies and Black studies engaging place and land.

Instructor:  Professor Eve Tuck

WGS1020H S  Gender and Globalization: Transnational Perspectives
This course critically examines current interdisciplinary and feminist scholarship on globalization, its intersections with gender, race and class, neoliberal transformations, power structures, and sexualized and feminized economies. The related socio-spatial reconfigurations, “glocal” convergences, and tensions are explored, with special emphasis placed on feminist counter-narratives, alternative epistemologies and theorizing of globalization, the theoretical and political debates on the meanings and impacts of globalization, and the exploration of radical possibilities of resistance, agency, and change in local and transnational contexts.

Restricted enrolment.  Enrolment priority given to Ph.D, Master’s and Collaborative students in Women and Gender Studies.

Instructor: Professor Marieme Lo

WGS1021H  Black Diasporic Feminisms: Modernity, Freedom, Belonging
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.

Not offered in 2017-2018

Restricted enrolment.  Enrolment priority given to Ph.D., Master’s and Collaborative students in Women and Gender Studies.

Instructor:         Professor Alissa Trotz

WGS1023H F   Studies in Aesthetic Expression 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.

Instructor:         Professor Dina Georgis

WGS1024H S  Racism, Violence and the Law
This course explores the extent of racialized violence, provides a theoretical approach for understanding it, and considers appropriate anti-violence strategies. How should educators respond to the world post 911? Are we in a new age of empire? What is the connection between historical moments of extraordinary racial violence and our everyday world? How do individuals come to participate in, remain indifferent to or approve of violence? This course offers researchers and educators an opportunity to explore these broad questions through examining historical and contemporary examples of racial violence and the law.

Restricted enrolment.  Enrolment priority given to Ph.D., Master’s and Collaborative students in Women and Gender Studies.

Instructor:  Professor V. Sztainbok

WGS1025H S  Indigenous Aesthetics: Hip Hop, Media, and Futurities
Explores the complexities of decolonization in relationship to social change.  Engages various articulations of Indigenous lands and lives through film, performance, gesture and other activations.  Examines tensions around issues of appropriation, accountability in narratives and knowledge production.

Instructor:         Professor Karyn Recollet

WGS1026H  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.

Not offered in 2017-2018

Instructor:         TBA

WGS1027H F  Women’s Rights in Transnational Perspective
This course addresses the challenges of achieving substantive gender equality under different constitutional and human rights regimes. The first part of the course will examine the effectiveness of several key court decisions in achieving gender equality at the national, regional and international levels. The second part of the course will explore some of the theoretical and methodological challenges that have surfaced in applying gender equality principles. The third part of the course will focus on the opportunities and challenges of achieving particular dimensions of equality, such its redistribution, recognition, participation and transformative dimensions. The course aims to go beyond a formalistic understanding of legal obligations in order to examine the complexities of achieving gender equality in different contexts.

Restricted enrolment.  Enrolment priority given to Ph.D., Master’s and Collaborative students in Women and Gender Studies.

Instructor:         Professor Rebecca Cook

WGS1028H S  Queer of Colour Critique
This course tracks the deployment and emergence of “queer of colour critique” and its interconnections with women of colour feminisms.  We will examine theoretical texts, cultural production and forms of activism by queer scholars of colour who attend to questions of race, class, sexuality and gender as intersecting social practices.

Instructor:  Professor Cassandra R. Lord

 

Previous Course Timetables:

CWGS 2012-2013 course timetable (PDF)

CWGS 2011-2012 course timetable (PDF)