Fall & Winter 2020-21 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 6005 3.0 Gender and Public Policy

The course explores the theoretical underpinnings and methodologies of different feminist approaches to gender and public policy, including standard liberal feminist approaches, feminist institutionalism, feminist political economy, institutional ethnography, feminist anti-racist, Indigenous feminist, Foucauldian and post structuralist approaches.  It examines the application in feminist policy research of each of the approaches studied and highlights their assumptions about the nature and role of the state in shaping gender relations.  Students will experiment with using one (or more) of the approaches in their research on a current policy issue of their choosing.

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 6216 3.0 Transnational Sexualities

This course examines the contemporary articulation and organization of sexual identities and rights in the developing world, and considers how interventions by international agencies, nation-states and advocacy groups have informed/been informed by racial and gender politics, and notions of citizenship.

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 6225 3.0 Feminism in Black Africa

Explores contemporary African feminism/s and to engage in critical conversation with it. Some of the key issues on the continent and in the diaspora are examined through the feminist intersectional lens.

GFWS 6404 3.0 Theorizing Women’s Work (not offered for 2020-21)

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 3.0 Autopathographies

Examines the subgenre of feminist life writing called autopathography, including verbal/visual/digital texts that deal with illness, pain, mental and physical disabilities, and disruptive corporealities. It draws on recent theories and methodologies developed by scholars of auto/biography, affect, new materialisms, critical disability, ecocriticism, and decolonial thought.

GFWS 6904 3.00 Critical Theories of Race and Racism

This course reviews and critically examine critical approaches to `race’ and racism. These perspectives include Marxist approaches, cultural studies approaches, post-colonial approaches, post-modern approaches, Foucauldian approaches, critical race theory, critical theories of whiteness, and transnational approaches. In interrogating these approaches, our focus will be to identify the differences as well as similarities between writers. In particular we will focus on exploring the epistemological and ontological assumptions underlying each approach. For example, we will ask how do writers that have been categorized in each approach theories `race’ and racism? We will ask to what extent does each writer/approach allow for an understanding of how gender is central in constituting `race’ and racism.

GFWS 6910 3.00 Black Feminisms (not offered for 2020-21)

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.

GFWS 6911 3.00 Feminism, Neoliberalism and Beyond

This course examines the global history and development of neoliberalism, its impact on gender regimes and daily life, and the range of critiques of it developed by feminist scholarship and activism. The course also explores selected alternative policy frameworks and modes of social organisation such as social democracy and socialism and examples of creative imaginative alternatives in film and fiction.

GFWS 6912 3.00 On Violence and Memory: Transnational Feminist Readings (not offered for 2020-21)

This course uses a transnational feminist lens to examine the relationship between political violence and memory. How mass atrocities and colonial oppression are remembered and memorialized – and by whom – are sites of contestation, rooted in ongoing histories and structures of colonial and imperial power. Context is crucial; violence is not a homogenous or universal category or experience undifferentiated by history, as such, it is important to understand its everyday specificity in relation to indigeneity, racialization, gender, class, sexuality. Memory practices have transnational dimensions; the traveling of racialized gendered tropes, signs, claims, and power relations across borders influences how and by whom the experience of violence is represented and redressed. The course will examine how international rights regimes attempt to shape the form and content of memory practices, through for example the 20th century turn to the paradigm of “transitional justice,” as embodied in truth and reconciliation commissions and reparations programs. We will explore how such (neo)liberal politics of recognition are contested by those resisting ongoing colonial violence and repression. The course will draw on interdisciplinary and feminist theories and practices of memory and memorialization. This will include a focus on cultural production, through an examination of memorialization practices such as memorials, monuments, tombstones, archives, museums, photographs, murals, plays, performance, and art installations.


Cross–listed Offerings in Other Units

* Please note these courses are offered by other graduate programs but are cross-listed to GFWS courses. There may be limited spaces for GFWS students in these courses. *

GFWS 6111 3.00 (De) Colonizing Research Methodologies (EDUC 5225 3.00, WMST 6111 3.0)

This course examines the colonizing roots, contemporary problems, and possibilities of field-based research methodologies with relevance to education. From issues in science and positivism to anthropological questions of representation and ethics, the course asks what it means to decolonize methodology.

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 6133 3.00 Gender and International Human Rights: Law, Citizenship and Borders (POLS 6705 3.00, SLST 6055 3.00)

Introduces students to the structure and the main mechanisms of international human rights law and its impact on women and gender relations. The focus of the course is on the United Nations, its agencies, and its system of international Conventions and Declarations designed to increase gender equality.

GFWS 6207 3.00 The Political Economy of Work and Welfare (POLS 6775 3.00)  (not offered for 2020-21)

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 6507 3.00 Feminist Pedagogy (EDUC 5820 3.0)

The course explores feminist theories and philosophical concerns emerging from and related to experiences and objects of pedagogy. It considers ongoing critique and revision of feminist discourse, and challenges socio-cultural and ideological assumptions underscoring theories of learning, teaching, and curriculum.

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.