Women & Gender Studies Institute

Courses

 

Program requirements for the Collaborative Specialization in Women and Gender Studies (CWGS) changed as of the 2014-2015 academic year.

WGS graduate courses are offered in the Fall/Winter session.  Certain enrolment restrictions apply.  First preference is given to students registered in graduate programs at the Women & Gender Studies Institute.

Required Courses

 WGS5000H F  Feminist Theories, Histories, Movements I
 (Master’s students are required to take this course.  Ph.D. students have the option of completing WGS5000H or WGS5001H)
This core course explores interdisciplinary feminist theories, methodologies and epistemologies, with particular attention to transnational feminism, anti- and post-colonialism, global capitalism, critical race theory, nation and state formation, gender and sexuality studies and affect theory.

Instructor:         Professor Shana Ye

Enrolment is restricted to students registered in the Master’s and Ph.D. Degree Programs in Women and Gender Studies and Collaborative Specialization in Women and Gender Studies.

WGS5001H S  Feminist Theories, Histories, Movements II
(This course is for Ph.D. students only)
This is an advanced course designed for doctoral students, which explores interdisciplinary feminist theories, methodologies and epistemologies, with particular attention to transnational feminism, anti- and post- colonialism, global capitalism, critical race theory, nation and state formation, gender and sexuality studies and affect theory.

Instructor:        Professor Michelle Murphy

Enrolment is restricted to students registered in the Master’s and Ph.D. Degree Programs in Women and Gender Studies and the Collaborative Specialization in Women and Gender Studies.

WGS Electives (not all courses are offered every year):

WGS1004H  History and Biopolitics
This course explores the current and past politics of knowing and governing human and non-human forms of life. It seeks to challenge Michel Foucault’s concept of “biopolitics” – defined as practices that imbue living-being with politics – through engagement with interdisciplinary scholarship that investigates how embodiments and environments are sites in which race, capitalism, colonialism, sexuality, property, dispossession, and technoscience are produced and entangled.

Not offered in 2019-2020.

Instructor:           Professor Michelle Murphy

Enrolment is restricted to Ph.D, Master’s and Collaborative students in Women and Gender Studies.

WGS1006Y  Community Engagement (Practicum)
This course provides students the opportunity to study, engage directly in, and reflect upon the multiple definitions of feminist social change work outside the university classroom. Students can choose from among many organizations in the Greater Toronto Area. Students will develop new understandings of the relationship between academic and activist work in thinking critically about the practice of experiential learning. Students will spend approximately 7-10 hours a week in their organization from September through February and will have scheduled progress meetings with an on-site mentor. They will gain exposure to the breadth of tactics organizations use, and will think about the politics of scale, coalition across groups/movements/borders, intersectionality and diversity, and neoliberalism. Students will learn how to conduct feminist social action research and program evaluation, and will gain practical skills in areas such as writing grant applications, press releases, outreach materials, organizational histories, and participating in community organizing. The final project is a written case study that contends with a central organizational problem or contradiction.

Instructor:         Professor Judith Taylor

Enrolment is restricted to students registered in the Master’s and Ph.D. Degree Programs in Women and Gender Studies and the Collaborative Specialization in Women and Gender Studies.

WGS1009H F  Gender and Cyberpolitics
This course focuses on theories of feminist cyber-activism and examines the relevance of gender, race, class and sexuality to understanding cyberpolitics.  We question how women transform digital sites into feminist spaces and how online networking serves to complicate, diversify and redefine feminist activism.

Instructor:          Professor Victoria Tahmasebi-Birgani

This course is open to UofT graduate students.  Students are considered on a case-by-case basis.  Please contact the WGSI Program Office at grad.womenstudies@utoronto.ca

WGS1010H F  Race, Sex and Pleasure
This course examines and interrogates the concept of pleasure, particularly as it relates to race and racialization.  Pleasure occupies a fraught place in feminist and queer theory.  However, recent shifts in feminist and queer theory (particularly black feminist thought, black queer studies, Queer African Studies, queer of color critique) point to the importance of pleasure as an analytic to think about, and theorize, racialized difference.  In this class, we are not interested in defining what pleasure is, but in interrogating what the stakes of talking about pleasure have been within contemporary theory and culture.  Thus, we will examine the various ways in which people have theorized pleasure as a space for politics, a space for conservatism, and as a way to think about racialized difference.  This course will begin with an examination of early theorizations of pleasure in foundational texts in sexuality studies (Freud, Foucault, and Fanon) before we interrogate the “pleasures in racialization.”  Topics may also include pleasure in the context of early twentieth century sexology, the sex wars of the 1970s, the turn towards pleasure as a site of protests, and thinking of ways to imagine pleasure, racialized pleasure, outside of current paradigms of sexuality.  The course takes gender, race, and sexuality as central analytic components to understand how pleasure is defined and who has access to it.

Instructor:  Professor Jordache Ellapen

This course is open to UofT graduate students.  Students are considered on a case-by-case basis.  Please contact the WGSI Program Office at grad.womenstudies@utoronto.ca.

WGS1011H F  Transnational Filipino Studies: Directions, Dialogues & Debates
Grounded in feminist, queer, and postcolonial reading practices, this course examines the field of Filipino studies from a global and diasporic perspective.  It offers students the critical vocabularies needed to pursue interdisciplinary research on and by Filipinx communities. This course historicizes the effects of empire, dictatorship, migration, militarism, globalization, multiculturalism, and settler colonialism on the diaspora. It also explores how everyday practices of solidarity, community, and care reframe conceptions of gender, sexuality, class, and race. By placing scholarship produced in Philippines, United States, and Canada in productive dialogue, students will ultimately examine the key contributions of Filipino Studies to broader theories of social justice.

Course Instructor:  Professor Robert Diaz

This course is open to UofT graduate students.  Students will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  Please contact the WGSI Program Office at grad.womenstudies@utoronto.ca.

WGS1013H  Intimacy, Empire, Violence
This course surveys scholarship on contingency and mutual construction of violence, normality and intimacy, emerged from critical race and ethnic studies, feminist and queer studies, and postcolonial studies. We will explore the geopolitics of war, border control, sex work, labor exploitation, slavery in relation to colonialism/empire, neoliberalism and nation-state.

Not Offered in 2019-2020

Instructor:  Professor Shana Ye

WGS1014H  Challenging Coloniality: Caribbean Sexualities in Transnational Perspective
This course foregrounds the Caribbean as a transnational space, where sexuality, gender, race and class are intimately connected and shaped by colonial legacies and contemporary circuits of globalization.

Not Offered in 2019-2020

Instructor: Professor Alissa Trotz

WGS1016H S  Migration, Mobility, Displacement in Africa
Why do people move? What are the causes and consequences of migration and displacement in Africa? This course critically examines the multifaceted dimensions of migration, mobility, and displacement through (text, art, film and narratives) with a specific focus on communities and populations displaced by war, environmental destruction and disaster, economic failings, and the quest for economic opportunities or individual freedom. We will: 1) explore canonical and emergent interdisciplinary scholarships and their epistemic claims and debates, key theories and concepts on migration, mobility and displacement; 2) engage in current debates and public discourses on these intersecting themes, analytics, and phenomena; and 3) interrogate the morality of media representation and gaze, discursive practices on the ‘migrant’ and ‘refugee’ subject formation, the ‘catastrophic’ biopolitics and governmentality of migration, the instrumentality and contingencies of political (non) interventions/(in)action, humanitarianism, and the politics of rights, justice, ethics, and solidarity. You will have the opportunity to unpack your own positionality and trajectories to reflect on the differentiated categories and trajectories of migration and mobility and to formulate your own critique and alternative epistemology.

Instructor:          Professor Marieme Lo

This course is open to UofT graduate students.  Students are considered on a case-by-case basis.  Please contact the WGSI Program Office at grad.womenstudies@utoronto.ca.

WGS1017H   Black Feminist Movements: Transnational Histories
An introduction to historical methods in transnational black feminist studies. This course examines foundational and emerging scholarship on women, gender and black radical traditions, with a focus on intellectual, social, and political histories of Pan-Africanism, anticolonialism, and Black Marxism. We will explore disparate but interconnected genealogies, itineraries, demands and visions of Black Feminist, Pan-Africanist, Women of Colour and Third World feminist campaigns against racism, heterosexism, capitalism, and imperialism; aesthetic insurgencies; and the challenge of building solidarity across difference.

Not Offered in 2019-2020

Instructor:  Professor Chris Johnson

WGS1018H S  Theories of the Flesh: Transnational Feminist Sensibilities
What does it mean to sense? What epistemological and ideological assumptions do we bring to the project of sensing? Grounding these questions within women of colour and transnational feminist theory, this course explores flesh and skin and as the meditations required for theorizing the sensorial across studies of decolonization, technology, biopolitics and citizenship.

Instructor:  Professor Nicole Charles

This course is open to UofT graduate students.  Students are considered on a case-by-case basis.  Please contact the WGSI Program Office at grad.womenstudies@utoronto.ca.

WGS1020H   Gender and Globalization: Transnational Perspectives
This course critically examines current interdisciplinary and feminist scholarship on globalization, its intersections with gender, race and class, neoliberal transformations, power structures, and sexualized and feminized economies. The related socio-spatial reconfigurations, “glocal” convergences, and tensions are explored, with special emphasis placed on feminist counter-narratives, alternative epistemologies and theorizing of globalization, the theoretical and political debates on the meanings and impacts of globalization, and the exploration of radical possibilities of resistance, agency, and change in local and transnational contexts.

Not Offered in 2019-2020

Instructor: TBA

Enrolment is restricted to students registered in the Master’s and Ph.D. Degree Programs in Women and Gender Studies and the Collaborative Specialization in Women and Gender Studies.

WGS1021H  Black Diasporic Feminisms: Modernity, Freedom, Belonging
This course examines transnational feminist genealogies of the black diaspora, paying careful attention to the contexts and movements that generated key questions, and exploring how these interventions disclose preoccupations with modernity, freedom and citizenship.  Topics include history, trauma and memory, diaspora and indigeneity, racialised embodiment, queer kinship, Afrofuturism, confinement and deportation, and the careful calibration of political communities.

Not offered in 2019-2020

Instructor: Professor Alissa Trotz

WGS1023H F   Studies in Aesthetic Expression and Radical Hope
This course treats aesthetic imagination and and creativity as the processes by which we give value to human experience and make knowledge. Students will study the relationship between aesthetic expression and radical hope/futures. Readings will be drawn from the fields of cultural theory, affect studies, and psychoanalysis. Students will also examine and reflect on expressive texts.

Not offered in 2019-2020

Instructor:  Professor Dina Georgis

WGS1024H F  Gendering Racial Capitalism
This course historicizes racial capitalism – as both a theoretical intervention and as a system of political economy – while also asking how and in what ways it intersects with categories of gender difference. This course asks: if racial capitalism achieves class stratification through racialism, then how was and is gender difference co-constructed and mobilized alongside racial differentiation in order to facilitate capitalism’s need to separate workers from owners and from each other? Students will also critically examine select black feminist writings that center the simultaneous importance of race and gender to liberation movements. Through a close reading of Cedric J. Robinson’s hallmark text, Black Marxism: The Black Radical Tradition, as well as scholarship from South African Marxist thinkers, historians of race and reproduction, the writings of Claudia Jones, Angela Y. Davis, and black feminist thinkers and writers, students will gain a deeper historical understanding of the genealogies of gendered racial capitalism. Topics engaged in this course include: black Marxism, early modern transnational capital formation, race and reproduction from slavery to the contemporary moment, black women and superexploitation, racial capitalism and neoliberalism, racial capitalism and the carceral state.

Course Instructor:  Professor Shauna Sweeney

This course is open to UofT graduate students.  Students are considered on a case-by-case basis.  Please contact the WGSI Program Office at grad.womenstudies@utoronto.ca.

WGS1025H S  Indigenous Aesthetics: Hip Hop, Media an Futurities
Explores the complexities of decolonization in relationship to social change.  Engages various articulations of Indigenous lands and lives through film, performance, gesture and other activations.  Examines tensions around issues of appropriation, accountability in narratives and knowledge production.

Instructor:  Professor Karyn Recollet

This course is open to UofT graduate students.  Students are considered on a case-by-case basis.  Please contact the WGSI Program Office at grad.womenstudies@utoronto.ca.

WGS1027H  Women’s Rights in Transnational Perspective
This course addresses the challenges of achieving substantive gender equality under different constitutional and human rights regimes. The first part of the course will examine the effectiveness of several key court decisions in achieving gender equality at the national, regional and international levels. The second part of the course will explore some of the theoretical and methodological challenges that have surfaced in applying gender equality principles. The third part of the course will focus on the opportunities and challenges of achieving particular dimensions of equality, such its redistribution, recognition, participation and transformative dimensions. The course aims to go beyond a formalistic understanding of legal obligations in order to examine the complexities of achieving gender equality in different contexts.

Not offered in 2019-2020

Instructor:  Professor Rebecca Cook

WGS1028H F  Queer of Color Critique
This course tracks the deployment and emergence of “queer of color critique” and its interconnections with women of color feminisms.  We will examine theoretical texts, cultural production and forms of activism by queer scholars of color who attend to questions of race, class, sexuality and gender as intersecting social practices.

Instructor:  Professor R. Cassandra Lord

This course is open to UofT graduate students.  Students are considered on a case-by-case basis.  Please contact the WGSI Program Office at grad.womenstudies@utoronto.ca.

Previous Course Timetables:

CWGS 2012-2013 course timetable (PDF)

CWGS 2011-2012 course timetable (PDF)