Fall & Winter 2017-18 Course Offerings

For the most up to date information on course offerings for the upcoming academic year, and to enroll into these courses, please refer to the main York University courses website regarding term, day, time, instructor for the individual course details. The website linked above will be current at all times.

Note regarding the Seminar Course: GFWS 6907 3.00 MA Seminar in Gender, Feminist and Women's Studies is a required course for MA students to meet their seminar requirements. PhD students may also attend the seminars offered through this course in order to meet their PhD seminar requirements.

Required Courses

MA Required Courses

GFWS 6002 3.0 Feminist Theory

This course offers an analysis of contemporary feminist theoretical debates in the program's fields of specialization: Cultural and Literary Studies, Performance and Fines Arts; Diaspora, Transnational and Global Studies; Histories; Politics, Economies and Societies; Race; Sexualities; Theories and Methods
Required course for all MA students.

GFWS 6007 3.0 Feminist Research Colloquium

This course is designed for incoming Master's students. It provides a supportive learning environment to develop research and writing skills appropriate to the discipline. It provides a supportive learning environment to develop research and writing skills appropriate to the discipline. This course develops students' research skills in Gender, Feminist & Women's Studies, through a critical examination of a variety of social science and humanities resources, including index and periodical resources, the internet, and library finding aids. The course also develops students' writing skills in the context of specific projects, including developing MRPs, course papers and thesis proposals.

GFWS 6907 3.0 MA Seminar in Gender, Feminist and Women's Studies

This course is a multi-purpose forum designed to support students through their program of study, to prepare them for post-MA employment or PhD studies, and to foster an intellectual community among faculty and students in the program. One goal is to familiarize students with the seven fields of specialization of this program and to introduce students to the faculty members in those fields (Cultural and Literary Studies, Performance and Fine Arts; Diaspora, Transnational and Global Studies; Histories; Politics, Economies and Societies; Race; Sexualities; Theories and Methods.). The course is intended to encourage students to develop an appreciation for the breadth of Gender, Feminist and Women's Studies, to engage with current issues and debates in Gender, Feminist and Women's Studies, and to foster an intellectual community in the program. It is designed in part to introduce students to faculty from the different fields of specialization in the Fall term as the students are formulating their future research projects so they get an opportunity to meet faculty in their areas. It is also intended to promote professional development by teaching students skills such as preparing grant applications, conference papers, academic CVs, applying for jobs.
This course is required for MA students. It is graded Pass/Fail.

PhD Required Courses

GFWS 6008 3.0 Feminist Methodologies and Research Methods

This course explores the relationship among theory, methodology and research methods, prepares students to identify, critique and assess the appropriateness of selected research methods and reviews some of the current debates on feminist methodologies.
Required course for all PhD students.

GFWS 6009 3.0 Advanced Research in Feminist Theory

This required PhD course has two main objectives: to provide advanced scholarship in feminist epistemologies and theories to prepare students for their comprehensive exams and dissertations, and to provide students with an opportunity to engage critically with theoretical issues pertaining to their own research interests and the diversity of interests among the students in the class and in the range of scholarship in Gender, Feminist and Women's Studies. The course explores ways of conducting theoretical interrogation by examining central feminist thinkers and exploring how their work has been taken up and critiqued, by examining core concepts and/or debates and the ways in which they have been mobilized across the seven fields of specialization in the Graduate Program in Gender, feminist and Women's Studies, and by exploring the political and epistemological implications of different theoretical perspectives.

The design of the course includes texts proposed by the instructor and/or other team members that reflect the fields of specialization of the program and those proposed by the students that reflect their specific research projects. In addition, the course may be team-taught or faculty members from the different fields may be invited to speak to the class and to engage students in current theoretical debates in their field.

Core Course Options for both MA and PhD students

GFWS 6112 3.0 Queer Affect Theory: Public Feelings and Queer/Feminist Cultural Production

This course analyzes queer and feminist cultural production through the framework of affect theory and vice versa. This course focuses on recent work in visual and performance art, women's studies, cultural studies, sexuality studies, critical disability studies and critical race theory in order to consider how scholars take up affect, feeling and emotion. The course content introduces complex discussions of how the discursive and non-discursive connect with publics through activism and cultural production. Specifically the methodologies of queer and feminist cultural production through the visual arts, traditional and non-traditional written texts, academic and non-academic work are considered in order to think through the current strengths, tensions, potentials and shortcomings of "the affective turn".

GFWS 6123 3.0 Critical Sexuality

This course is designed to introduce graduate students to the critical study of gender and sexuality. This course is intended to enable students to identify conflicts and areas of contestation within the field of gender and sexuality studies by using a variety of feminist theoretical and methodological critiques.

GFWS 6225 3.00 Feminism in Black Africa

"Feminism is not African." Those who oppose and contest the use of feminist arguments to denounce patriarchy and African women's oppression often make this statement, which is at the centre of a controversy about African feminism. Did feminist thought ever exist in Africa? What evidence do we have regarding the existence of the concept of African feminism or African feminisms? African women and African feminists and those in the diaspora continue to raise their voices to contest patriarchy and deplore sociological, economic, political and cultural structures implicated in the exploitation and marginalization of women in Africa and abroad. These multiple voices are evidence that African feminism does exist. How is the discourse about African feminism/s articulated on the continent and in the diaspora? When analyzing African women's situation, on the other hand, African feminists draw upon postcolonial discourse to contest the Western feminist hegemony. Is the discourse constructed by African feminists merely a contestation of feminism as a concept or the contestation of imperialism which occurred in the arena of feminism? In the context of globalization, how does the discourse of African feminism position itself in relation to the global women's movement and transnational feminism?

GFWS 6404 3.0 Theorizing Women’s Work

Canadian and other feminist theorists have made important contributions to understanding women’s work. The course examines this topic within a Canadian context and relates it to international debates on women’s work.

GFWS 6901 3.00 Feminist Life Writing: Autopathographies

This course examines the subgenre of feminist life writing called autopathography, focusing on verbal/visual/digital texts that deal with illness, pain, mental and physical disabilities, and liminal (and terminal) bodies. The material is clustered around such themes as depression, cancer, living with physical impairment, losing a parent, and confronting ecological biopower. The selections of readings, films, and artwork that students will analyze constitute what Sara Ahmed would describe as "unhappy archive," that is an archive that confounds conventional expectations of pleasure and identification derived from consuming other people's lives in traditional autobiography and contemporary memoir. Rather, these imaginative works that tackle "limit cases" (Leigh Gilmore) of health trauma and body crisis tend to affect/infect their readers (viewers) with fear, discomfort, disorientation, frustration, and uncertainty. As we shall see, such negative feelings can be usefully harnessed to unsettle the naturalized, societal standards of able-bodiedness, productivity, and happiness, which are the pillars of neoliberal rationality. Erupting into the social, the powerful emotions and experiences released through autopathographies by marginalized, disabled, colonized, often-racialized subjects expose the dominant technologies of gender, race, class, sexuality, and ability that are used to produce individual, autonomous, "healthy," hetero- and homonormative bodies for capitalism. The eclectic, interdisciplinary theoretical and methodological leanings of this course allow for exploring the tensions and convergences between feminist theories and other conceptual frameworks, such as critical disability studies, queer theories, affect studies, ecocriticism, new materialisms, anti-racist and decolonial thought. The chosen autopathographies invite messy, mixed-up approaches that may expand students' understandings of knowledge-making practices.

GFWS 6905 3.00 Race, Transnationalism & Diaspora

The course examines studies of transnationalism and diaspora through a critical race perspective. Through a critical interdisciplinary approach the course will investigate how debates in feminist, postcolonial, sexuality and queer studies have contributed to an investigation of race, transnationalism and disapora. Topics will include: colonialism/postcoloniality and neoimperialism, postnational subject formations, feminist critiques of globalization and modernity, feminist transnational networks, diasporas and nationalisms, and homotransnationalism, among others. The course takes an intersectional analytical approach to the study of these topics by looking at how constructions of race, gender and sexuality inform each other and therefore complicate our understandings of transnationalism and diaspora. The course will take a seminar format that requires substantive participation, discussion and weekly presentations by students.

GFWS 6910 3.00 Black Feminisms

This seminar introduces students to Black Feminism as a body of work that stands at the nexus of struggles around race, gender, class and sexuality and specific claims to Blackness by women, especially in North America and Western Europe. It situates the emergence of Black feminisms in histories of slavery, colonialism, heteropatriarchy, and transnationalism, and in relation to broader Black, women's, anti-racist and socialist movements. It highlights the unique contribution Black women brought to feminist theory through the concept and methodology of "intersectionality," and explores such themes as internationalist and revolutionary politics, sexualities and queer black feminism, the third-wave, black men and feminism, and cultural production. It explores shifts and connections in the articulation of Black Feminism across geography, culture and time and critically examines US hegemony in the production of Black feminist thought, while encouraging research into the specificity of Canadian and non-US histories, experiences and perspectives.

Cross–listed Offerings in Other Units

* Please note these courses are offered by other graduate Programs but are cross-listed to GFWS. There may be limited spaces for GFWS students in these courses, and you will likely also need to complete a Letter of Permission form to gain access. *

GFWS 6113 3.00 Gender and the Construction of Global Markets (POLS 6750 3.00)

This course will explore key aspects of the globalization process as they reconstitute existing gender orders related to social reproduction and care in the global North and South. In order to address current transformations, we will focus on the historical development of the concept of social reproduction, and its interplay with changing systems of production, the shifting social relations of these forces and the constitution of male and female subjects across time and space.

GFWS 6207 3.00 The Political Economy of Work and Welfare (POLS 6775 3.00)

This course examines the political economy of work and welfare in industrialized contexts. Framed around classic and contemporary debates in feminist political economy as well as in scholarship on welfare regimes and in socio-legal studies, it explores the relationship between labour market trends and welfare state restructuring in comparative perspective, with particular attention to shifting employment norms, gender relations, and citizenship boundaries.

GFWS 6222 3.00 Studies in Sexual Regulation (SOCI 6181 3.00)

Sexual regulation is found in socio-legal relations, truth regimes, and normalizing discourses, but its effects extend throughout social processes. This course examines how sexual regulation is constituted through state activity, the production of 'expert' knowledges, the activities of social movements, and transnational politics.

GFWS 6805 3.00 Health and Illness (SOCI 6831 3.00)

This course is designed to consider current debates about health and care within a feminist political economy framework. The focus will be Canada but a Canada located within an international context. Of course students will be invited to introduce other perspectives and other countries into the readings, discussions and their papers.