2018- 2019 Women and Gender Studies: Topic Courses

WGS337H5F: Special Topics in Women and Gender Studies: Feminist Pedagogies in Times of Political Crisis (B. Bain)

This course seeks to engage new feminist pedagogical tools to intervene in the current discourses and practices of white supremacy, Islamaphobia, anti-black racism, settler colonialism and neoliberalism. Students will be introduced to feminist and critical approaches to Justice and Liberation through engagement with the work of Indigenous, Black, South and East Asian and Middle-Eastern feminist activist and artists.

WGS434H5SSpecial Topics in Women & Gender Studies: Queer Africa (J. Ellapen)

This course examines histories, theories, and representations of gender and sexuality in Africa in order to develop a language to think, write, and talk about sexuality from the perspective of the continent and its diasporas. We will focus specifically on “queerness” as a category of analysis and will examine “queer” identities, practices, communities, and cultures.  In recent years, many African countries have adopted harsh anti-homosexuality laws and much of the political and popular discourse frames expressions of same-sex desire as “un-African.” However, there is a long history of non-normative gender and sexual identities and practices in Africa, challenging the heterosexualization of the continent by both local and global forces. By drawing on historical, theoretical, and aesthetic texts, we will examine the debates concerning, and relationships between, sexuality, political culture, citizenship, nationalism, and human rights on the continent as well as their relationship to global issues around sexual citizenship and human rights. We will focus on the lived experiences of LGBTQ subjects, whilst exploring the limits of “queerness” as a category of analysis for the diversity of sexual expressions within a non-Western context. This interdisciplinary reading intensive, course will familiarize students with the debates and issues in Queer African Studies, Black Queer Studies, and Black and African Feminist Thought.