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3000 Level Courses


Place: Glendon Campus
Time: Tuesday, 9:00am-12:00pm

This course analyzes the experiences of women as they move into age. The cult of youth and its sexist bias has roots deeply embedded in Western culture. We will explore why/how other cultures value old women differently. In Canada, the media ignore demographic facts about an increasingly aging population, dominated by women, and portray the world as if it consisted only of the young. In the course we analyze the myths that surround the concept of "old woman" using fiction, oral narratives, autobiography, poetry and film. We question her devaluation and attempt to reassess her as she is beginning to know herself across cultures. We will examine the following topics: sexuality, isolation and poverty, relationships between women, anger, creativity, the effects of self-imposed silencing and the revaluation of the crone.

Written Assignments 50%
Seminar Participation 20%
Midterm Examination 10%
Final Examination 20%

Course Texts:
Cruikshank, Julie. In Collaboration with Angela.
Sidney, Kitty Smith and Annie Ned. Life Lived Like a Story: Life Stories of Three Yukon Native Elders.
Delany, Sadie and Bessie with Amy Hill Hearth. Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First Hundred Years.
Heilbrun, Carolyn. The Last Gift of Time.
Laurence, Margaret. The Stone Angel.
Meigs, Mary. In the Company of Strangers.
Mandell, Nancy, Susannah Wilson and Ann Duffy, Connection, Compromise and Control: Canadian Women Discuss Midlife.
NWSA (National Women's Studies Association) Journal 18.1 "Aging and Ageism ," (Spring, 2006). This journal is available online.
Shields, Carol. The Stone Diaries.
Sarton, May. Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing.
Tan, Amy. The Bonesetter's Daughter.
Walker, Barbara, The Crone.

Course Kit

Course Director: R. Newman

Projected Enrolment: 40

Cross-listed-to: GL/HUMA 3604 6.0

Degree Credit Exclusions: AS/SOCI 4090P 3.0 (Fall/Winter 1984-1999), AS/SOCI 4680 3.0, AK/GWST 3001K 3.0


Place: Keele Campus
Time: Thursday, 11:30am-2:30pm

Reflections on the meaning of human existence are central to our understanding of ourselves, our place and role in society, and the possibilities for action that are available to us to interact in the world. Yet, according to some thinkers, having the choice and freedom to engage seriously in such reflections is not open to everyone. They argue that, because of the power structures in place in societies like ours, one’s personal situation and social position may some times make that endeavour unaffordable.

The French thinker Jean-Paul Sartre, through his plays and theoretical writings, tried to depict the conditions of life of human beings. In his view, human beings have no innate or essential nature and no pre-established purpose. The choice of a course of actions that will give meaning to our lives is thus entirely left up to our self-conscious selves. In this sense, in Sartre’s own words, we are “condemned to be free”. In their attempts to make sense of subjectivity under captivity and colonisation and in situations of oppression, feminist and antiracist thinkers have been brought to reflect on Sartre’s conclusions.

This course examines the views of contemporary feminist and antiracist thinkers on the self and identity, as well as that of Simone de Beauvoir, Frantz Fanon and Jean-Paul Sartre. It explores conceptions of freedom and the self and analyses the effects of various types of discrimination such as sexist and sexual, racist and ethnocultural discrimination on identity, self-determination, personal integrity and choice. Students are encouraged to reflect on this ‘condemnation to be free’ or on possible concomitant obligations to seek freedom and to make freedom accessible for all human beings within the broader context of a reflection on equality and social justice. This course is directed in the form of a discussion seminar organized around students’ presentations.

Course Director: A. François
(127 York Hall, x88250)
Participation and Oral Presentation 20%
Writing Assignments 80%
Course Texts: TBA
Projected Enrolment: 35
Cross listed to: GL/PHIL 3606 6.00


Place: Keele Campus
Time: Monday, 4:00-7:00pm

This course explores mothering-motherhood as it is examined in contemporary maternal theory. Students will read most of the key theorists on motherhood across a wide range of perspectives and disciplines. As well, students will take up various issues and perspectives from the theories and examine them in fiction. Class, cultural and racial differences of mothering and motherhood will be emphasized.

Course Director: A. O’Reilly
(223 Founders, x60366)
Participation/Attendance 10%
1st Essay 20%
2nd Essay 30%
Weekly Journals 40%
Course Texts: (Subject to change)
Margaret Laurence, The Fire Dwellers.
Toni Morrison, Beloved.
Pearson, I Don’t Know How She Does It.
Lionel Shiver, We Need To Talk About Kevin.
Andrea O'Reilly (ed), Mother Outlaws: Theories and Practices of Empowered Mothering, Women's Press, 2004.
Adrienne Rich, Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution, Norton, 1986.
Andrea O'Reilly, Maternal Theory: The Essential Readings, Demeter Press, 2007.
Projected Enrolment: 40
Cross-listed to: GL/SOSC 3608 6.00 & AS/HUMA 3960 6.00


Place: Glendon Campus
Time: Thursday, 12:00-3:00pm

This course will look at different feminist approaches on the notions of rights and of social and political citizenships. Its main objective is to study the ways in which those notions have been redefined through different forms of women's organizing. Women have organized in, through and against revolutionary, nationalist and transnational movements, trade unions, autonomous women's movements and mainstream political institutions; states, schools, workplaces, communities, and religious institutions; public and private spaces; and issues and identities. The course documents women's organizing in historical and contemporary contexts, and analyzes and assesses political strategies. Specifically, it considers different aspects of feminist organizing: women's engagement with the state and government around issues of the law and public policies; organizational strategies, such as separate structures from political parties and unions; women's involvement in national, international and revolutionary movements.

Course Director: J. Michaud
(166 York Hall, x88356)

Projected Enrolment: 40

Prerequisite: Students must have taken at least one women's studies course (at any level and in any department) before taking this course. First year courses which focus on women such as "Women and Society" or "Women and the Law" fulfil this requirement. Otherwise permission of the instructor is required.


Attendance 10%
Two short essays 10% (each term)
Two group presentations 15% (each term)
Two research papers 20% (each term)

Required Texts: TBA

Cross-listed to: AS/SOSC 3125 6.00

Degree Credit Exclusion: AS/SOSC 3990B. 3.00



Place: Keele Campus
Time: Tuesday, 11:30am-2:30pm

This course examines how and why women’s sexualities are circumscribed and liberated through historical and contemporary sexual discourses, theories, and imagery. It also considers the degree to which women’s sexualities are located in their agency, body, race, ability, class, politics, sex and gender. Finally, it investigates how women’s sexual experience and subjectivity relates to female perversions, heterosexuality, bisexuality, lesbianism, rape, prostitution, pornography, S/M, power, knowledge, and subjection.

Course Director: F. Latchford
(206A Founders, 20460)

Essay 40%
Weekly Journal 40%
Participation/Attendance 20%
Course Texts: Course Kit
Projected Enrolment: 40
Cross-listed-to: GL/SOSC 3990 3.0


Lieu: Glendon Campus

Heure: mercredi, 15h00-18h00

Ce cours porte sur l'immigration et son impact sur les rapports de genre au Canada. Les étudiant(e)s analyseront les défis d'intégration socio-économique et politique que relèvent les femmes immigrées ainsi que leurs causes. Elles/ils suggèreront des stratégies pour les surmonter.

Directrice du cours:TBA

Cours incompatibles: AP/SOCI 3370 6.00, AP/SOSC 3370 6.00 et AP/GL/GWST 3801 6.00

Cours incompatibles: AK/AS/GL/GWST 3801 6.00, AK/SOCI 3370 6.00, AK/SOSC 3370 6.00 et AK/AS/GWST 3514 6.00

Course incompatible; GL/SOSC 3695 6.00


Place: Keele Campus
Time: Tuesday, 7:00-10:00pm

This course is an interdisciplinary critical examination of various ideas and constructions of female bodies. While the body has only recently been recognized as a crucial site of exploration in social theory and philosophy, it has long obtruded in feminist work and theory as a catalyst for thought and action. The more recent intersection of gender theory, identity politics and postmodern theory has given rise to new questions, paradigms, and ways of framing feminist issues and many of these center around the body.

In this course, students will think through a number of the key feminist issues concerning the body. For example, we will examine the female body as a site through which power relations are consolidated or resisted; the female body in the arts and popular culture; the establishment of bodily and gender norms in medicine, sports and society; how bodies are involved in consumer culture and new technologies; and the crucial relationship of the body to identity. We will examine the female body as it has been and is currently inscribed by art, science, religion, philosophy and popular culture, paying attention to how the materiality of certain bodily markers of sex, gender, age, race, and class are situated in power relations. We want to also examine feminist resistance to certain constructions and regulation of bodies by looking at theoretical, social, and artistic attempts to subvert and recreate embodied identities.

While we will want to understand key theories concerning the body, we will concretize the theories through examples, issues and case studies. Various topics, concepts and examples that will be discussed might include the following: Victorian constructions of bodies, the nude in Western art, the use of bodies in commercials, the iconography of fertility, reinterpreting gender in ancient artifacts, cosmetic surgery, anorexia, breast cancer, pregnant experience, transitioning bodies, differently abled bodies, throwing “like a girl,” writing the body, ballet, African dance, veiled women, lipstick lesbians, the postmodern body, body image, fashion models, female super heroes, primate bodies, and cyborg bodies.

By critically investigating the female body in various contexts past and present, students will gain a good understanding of key current theories concerning the body, how they are put into feminist practice, and why the body has become such a site of contestation.

Towards the end of the course we will have the theoretical tools to examine current debates about the body among feminist theorists themselves as they attempt to come to grips with the lived body and the elusive interface of culture and biology, and of mind and body in embodied experience.

Course Director: C. Bigwood
(224 Founders, x33332)

Essay (1500 words) 20%
First Term In Class Test 15%
Two Presentations (one each term) 10%
Twelve 300 word response papers (six each term) 20%
Second In Class Test 15%
Final Essay (1500 words) 20%

Course Texts:
Course Kit (one each term) of selected articles
Susan Bordo. Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body.
Projected Enrolment: 40


Place: Keele Campus
Time: Wednesday, 11:30am-2:30pm

This course surveys the major texts of masculinity studies as an interdisciplinary field overlapping with feminist theory, queer theory, transgender studies, critical race studies and cultural studies. The course will explore many of the major feminist questions being asked including: Can masculinity be a feminist subject? Are all masculinities about men? What does it mean to be a "masculine" in our current historical moment? What does masculine subjectivity look like when it appears across differently raced, classed, nationalized, sexualized and gendered bodies? Can manhood be conceptualized as a feminist "counterculture"? How is masculinity constructed through social formations like the prison and military industrial complexes? In short, we will attempt to answer the question: what does masculinity want? through an intersectional and interdisciplinary approach.

Course Director: B. Noble
(132 Founders, x20897)

Essays (2) 30%
Class discussion / participation 25 %
Take home exam 25%
Group presentation 20 %

Course Texts:
Course Readings: A packet of readings will be available through the course Moodle site.

Projected Enrolment: 40


Place: Keele Campus
Time: Wednesday, 11:30am-2:30pm

This course will read key texts in, and explore several significant concepts developing in the interdisciplinary field of critical and anti-racist North American whiteness studies. We will investigate these critical concepts through a survey of key writings but also through cultural forms including one play, several documentaries, as well as feature length narrative film. Our approach will be intersectional in that we will read for the ways that the social construction of whiteness works in and through other axes of identity including gender, class, sexuality, ethnicity, and nation although we will also explore the limits of what the concept of intersectionality itself can articulate.

Course Director: B. Noble
(132 Founders, x20897)

Essays (2) 30%
Class discussion / participation 25%
Take home exam 25%
Group presentation 20%

Course Texts:
Course Readings: A packet of readings will be available through the course Moodle site.

Projected Enrolment: 40


Place: Keele Campus
Time: Monday, 6:00-9:00pm

This course will introduce students to the new field of Girlhood Studies and will focus on the social, political and cultural relations that shape girls' lives and experiences. To date, girls have not occupied their own space within women's studies or children's studies. This course will focus on and give voice to girls in their own life contexts. Dominant discourses concerning girls often lack a gender-based analysis, and represent malestream and/or adultist theories about girls' nature and children's place in society in general. Girls are too commonly spoken for and about as a homogenized group without agency, sensitivity to different cultural contexts and without the recognition of the complex power relations that weave through their diverse experiences. With the continual refinement of children's studies and women's studies in North America, there is a resurgence of interest regarding girls and girlhood.

Students will explore notions of child rights, femininity, agency and subjectivity. Building on these notions, students will engage in several areas of inquiry and dialogue including: advocacy, child rights, marginalization, ageism, violence, mental health, body image, sexuality, environmental health, gender, sport, education, societal marginalization and the impact on quality of life. Films, guests, presentations, debate, field trips, the use of photography and other aesthetics, self-directed inquiry and engaged class participation together create the framework within which students will explore how the intersectionalities of gender, age, race, class, ability, sex and sexuality, etc are central to girls' lives and to contemporary Girlhood Studies.

Learning Objectives:

Critically analyze current conceptualizations of girls;
Explore the emerging interdisciplinary field of girlhood studies;
Investigate the various girls movements in Canada;
Examine how the intersectionalities of gender, race, class, abilities, sex and sexualities, age, and geographic location are central to contemporary Girlhood Studies;
Expand their awareness of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and apply this treaty to their critical analysis and understanding of girls' lives in Canada and globally;
Analyze the values, assumptions, and beliefs surrounding adult-derived versus child/youth derived programs, literature and policies;
Acknowledge and discuss the impact of difference, diversity, and societal marginalization on girls' health and quality of life;
Critique health, social, educational, and economic policy decisions as they impact the lives of girls;
Critique and make recommendations for change with respect to current developments, policies, trends, practices and programs which are meant to "address"girls' issues.

Evaluation: (subject to change)
Midterm Test 20%
End of Term Test 20%
Analysis of Girl Culture: "Girls" Novel Study or Critical Magazine Analysis 20%
Listening to Girls: A Photo Voice Project: 40%
(10% annotated bibliography
30% scholarly write-up)

Course Texts: (subject to change)
Aapola, S., Gonick, M. & Harris, A. (2005). Young femininity: Girlhood, Power And Social Change. Palgrave MacMillan, New York.
Brown, L. (2008). The "Girls" in Girls' Studiies." Girlhood Studies, Volume 1, Number 1, Summer 2008, pp. 1-12.
Currie, D., Kelly, D., & Pomerantz, S. (2009). "Girl Ppwer': Girls Reinventing Girlhood. Peter Lang Publishing, New York.
Driscoll, C, (2008). "Girls Today - Girls, Girl Culture and Girl Studies." Girlhood Studies , Volume 1, Number 1, Summer 2008 , pp. 13-32(20)
Jiwani, J., Steenbergen, C. & Mitchell, C. (Eds) (2006). GIRLHOOD: Redefining the Limits. BlackRose Books, Montreal, Que.
Lipkin, E. (2009). Girls' Studies. California: Seal Press.
Marshall, E, (2009). "Consuming Girlhood: Young Women, Femininities, and American Girl." Girlhood Studies, 2, Number 1, Summer 2009 , pp. 94-111(18).
Mitchell, C., and Reid-Walsh, J. (2008) Girl Culture: An Encyclopedia Vol I and II. Conneticut: Greenwood Press.

Course Director: C.van Daalen-Smith
(233 Founders, x66691)

Projected Enrolment: 40


Place: Keele Campus
Time: Monday, 2:30-5:30pm

Examines major feminist theoretical approaches, both historical and contemporary, in women's and gender studies. Students will develop their analytic skills by engaging in rigorous critique and debate of feminist theorizing. Students will write detailed assessments of specific theoretical feminist approaches that take into consideration difference and intersectionality.

Course Directors:
T. Atluri (Fall)
& A. Mitchell (Winter)
(206E Founders, 44086)

Prerequisite: AP/GWST 2500 6.00 or AP/GWST 2510 9.00

Course Credit Exclusions: GL/AP/GWST 4500 6.00, AS/GWST 4501 6.00 (prior to S2007)

Evaluation: TBA

Course Texts: TBA

Projected Enrolment: 40

Course Credit Exclusions: GL/AP/GWST 4500 6.00, AS/GWST 4501 6.00 (prior to S2007)


Place: Keele Campus
Time: Wednesday, 8:30am-11:30am

This course explores the intersection of religion and superstition from ancient times to the present. It analyzes issues of gender, power and sexuality through the study of goddesses, witches and the current fascination with vampires in popular culture. It is comprised of three units. The first unit analyzes goddesses in the ancient near east and in classical Greece and Rome and issues raised around goddess culture and women's empowerment.

The second unit studies the persecution of witches in medieval Europe and thereafter in America (e.g. the Salem witch trials) as a response to the perceived power and wisdom of women. It analyzes the relationship between witchcraft and religion in the early modern and subsequent periods. The third unit explores the recent interest in and proliferation of novels, films and TV shows on vampires. Contemporary popular culture is replete with images of the supernatural, which are particularly directed towards young girls. Films and television shows such as "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and novels such as Stephenie Meyer's Twilight trilogy focus on and relate to adolescent girls and young women. The appeal of these figures in print and other media embraced by "girl" culture will be analyzed.

A course kit will include primary sources from the ancient near east, some biblical material and classical drama in order to study the early manifestations of goddess culture. Medieval texts on witches will be read and more contemporary material such as plays or representations in art, including Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" and a novel by Stephenie Meyer, will be discussed. The texts relevant to the contemporary period will include TV, film and novels.

Course Director: R. Newman
(236 Founders, x33961)

Short Written Assignment 10%
Research Essay Assignment 40%
Class Participation and submission of 2 questions on the week's readings 10%
Oral Presentation 10%
Mid-Term Examination 10%
Final Examination 20%

Course Texts: TBA

Projected Enrolment: 40


Lieu: Glendon Campus
Heure: mercredi, 12h00-15h00

Ce cours traite de l'impact de la colonisation et des politiques néolibérales sur la situation de l'Afrique et sur celle des femmes en considérant l'intersection de genre, classe, race, religion et ethnicité. Quelques thèmes sont abordés en suivant une grille d'analyse féministe/postcoloniale.

Directrice du cours: G. Mianda
(155 York Hall, x88198)

Inscriptions prévues: 25


Place: Keele Campus
Time: Wednesday, 2:30-5:30pm

The Bible offers archetypal figures for Western art, music and film as well as literature. This course will analyze women in the Hebrew Bible with a focus on sexuality, seduction, murder and mayhem. Beginning with Eve and her counterpart Lilith the Bible offers portraits of women who are inquisitive, dangerous and powerful while also demonstrating how patriarchy has attempted to silence and disempower them. Women like Rahab, Yael and Judith use their sexuality for the purposes of salvation while other women like Jezebel or Delilah are presented as evil. We will read primary sources in the Hebrew Bible. Through theoretical and textual study we will examine the ways in which these biblical women are represented in literature, art, music and film.

Course Director: R. Newman
(236 Founders, x33961)

Written Assignments 60%
Class Participation 20%
Final Examination 20%

Course Texts:
Hebrew Bible: Preferably Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures: The New JPS Translation. (Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society, 1988.)
Women In the Hebrew Bible, edited by Alice Bach. (New York: Routledge, 1999. (ISBN 0-415-91561-

Projected Enrolment: 40


Place: Keele Campus
Time: Thursday, 8:30-11:30am

This course examines the construction of heterosexualities, including normative and non-normative heterosexualities as they intersect with race, gender, sex, nation, ability/disability and social class.

Course Director: B. Noble
(132 Founders, x20897)

Prerequisites: 6 credits in SXST core or primary courses.

Essays (2) 30 %
Class discussion / participation 25 %
Take home exam 25 %
Group presentation 20 %

Course Texts:
A packet of readings will be available through the course Moodle site.

Projected Enrolment: 40