Graduate Classes – WGST

WGST 800.3 – Feminist Theories

The body of work which comprises "feminist theory," confounds disciplinary, linguistic, national, cultural, historical, thematic, and indeed "political" categorization. Therefore, this multi-sited interdisciplinary seminar will foreground “doing theory” as a critical activity and an imaginative mode of thought that questions existing meanings, inheritances and social phenomena, while articulating new possibilities and forms of knowledge. This course introduces students to theoretical approaches, vocabulary and key texts which have influenced feminist research, activism and practice in local and global arenas, in order to prepare them for advanced courses in our areas of specialization.

WGST 810.3 – Gender Representation and Cultural Studies

This course will explore intersections between feminist theory, cultural studies and cultural production. In particular, the course presents culture as a dynamic arena of social struggle and possibility and aims to introduce students to some of the key thinkers and critical frameworks in the field of feminist cultural studies. The course examines how meaning is generated and mediated through various cultural practices, products, archives and phenomena and engages students in the analysis of a range of cultural texts which may include digital and social media, film and television, art, advertising, visual and popular culture, print culture and literature, performance, material culture and archives. The course is divided into four units of study including a foundational unit in cultural studies theory and three additional units each of which focuses on a unique cultural text, product, phenomena, practice or archive. Each unit will examine relationships between cultural texts/ cultural phenomena and their ideological and socio-historical contexts.

WGST 811.3 – Queer and Sexualities Studies

Rooted in philosophy, literary theory and other humanities projects, queer theory can trace important elements of its genealogy to postmodern feminism, lesbian and gay studies, as well as queer activist practices. Sexualities studies is rooted in developments in sociology, anthropology, psychology and other social and human sciences, and exists in critical dialogue with queer theory. The use of the term ‘queer and sexualities’ studies is intended to include recent developments in trans studies. Students will explore the intersections of queer and sexualities theories with critical race, disabilities, intersex and transnational perspectives, in preparation for a community-engagement research project that investigates everyday struggles for actualization in evolving constructions of queer-positive publics.

WGST 812.3 – Indigenous Transnational International Gender Justice

Beginning with a focus on Indigenous cultures in local, regional and international contexts, this course examines potentials for and challenges to achieving gender justice across borders and within communities. Centered on women’s contextual relationships with the land, each other, the nation state, identity systems and other resources, the course provides a spotlight on world views that emerge at sites of resistance to colonialisms/imperialisms and racialization processes. Emphasizing women’s self-determination in social movements ranging from the interpersonal to the international, this class will introduce students to intersecting gendered struggles involving: environmental sustainability, food and water sovereignty, the feminization of poverty and migration, women in politics, anti-militarization and conflict resolution, reproductive, labour, human and children’s rights.