2020-2021 - Women and Gender Studies: Topic Courses

WGS337H5F: Special Topics in Women and Gender Studies: Sustainability, Society and Feminist Praxis (C. Grey)

This course employs 'sustainability' as a starting point to think through a feminist politic of care. Students will explore the different ways that feminist, anti-racist and decolonial thinkers have sought to enact sustainable ways of living in conversation with, and opposition to, organizations and governments tasked with responding to political, economic and environmental crises. In doing so, we reflect on our relationship to land and community, all the while rethinking and revising conceptions of responsibility, stewardship and care. We will focus specifically on the ways people are affected along lines of race, gender, class, sexuality and citizenship. Weekly topics include gentrification, fast fashion, environmental racism, land and water justice, food production.


WGS337H5S: Special Topics in Women and Gender Studies: Violence on the Land, Violence on Our Bodies (K. Bos)

There is an undeniable connection between the health of our bodies and the health of our planet. From polluted waters and contaminated soils, to reproductive illnesses, transnational corporations and legislation targeting land protectors, this course engages with Black, Indigenous and other decolonial thinkers and practitioners to build a response to historic and ongoing environmental violence in Canada. Students can expect to interact with each other through creative and generative readings, activities and projects as we imagine, plot and theorize towards more just worlds.


WGS434H5F: Special Topics in Women and Gender Studies: Reimagining the Archives (B. Bain)

This course takes a critical feminist intersectional and queer approach to exploring and discovering how feminist and queer theorists, artists and activists are intervening, reimagining, rethinking and recreating archival spaces. This course challenges the notion of the archives as institutions and repositories of historical 'truths' in relation to colonized peoples. It examines the workings of power that refuses to document, reveal or humanize the presence of these lives in archival spaces and place.


WGS434H5S: Special Topics in Women and Gender Studies: Women and Violence (R. Maynard)

This course explores feminist resistance to gendered violence through an abolitionist and anti-colonial lens. We will explore several canonical texts (including scholarly texts, activism, journalism and archival sources) by Black, Indigenous, Muslim, South Asian, LBGQI*, trans, disabled and incarcerated feminists (categories that are not mutually exclusive) who have worked to name, theorize and combat gendered violence in their communities.  Specifically,  we will explore how these feminists have theorized interpersonal violence (intimate partner violence, sexual assault), as well as a broader array of forces of gendered harm including institutional or state violence (e.g., jails, prisons, police), structural violence (e.g., poverty), and imperialist violence (e.g., Western wars impacting women of color in the Global South). This will foster a critical understanding and provide the analytic tools that can be used to understand and resist gender-based violence in contemporary society.