Courses & Course Timetables

The Women & Gender Studies Institute offers graduate courses during the fall and winter sessions. Certain enrolment restrictions apply.  Enrolment priority is given to students registered in the Master’s, Ph.D. or Collaborative Specialization in Women and Gender Studies (CWGS) programs. Interested UofT graduate students should contact the WGSI Program Office at to inquire about enrolment. The Institute does not offer graduate courses in the summer session.

Course Timetables


The default mode of delivery for WGSI courses for Fall 2021 will be ONLINE. Individual instructors may choose to offer in person or hybrid classes (a combination of in person classes and online delivery).  

Notice of any courses being offered in hybrid or in-person format will be posted by the first week of August, 2021.

Please note that this announcement only concerns courses offered in Fall 2021. At this point, students should assume that courses offered in Winter 2022 will take place in person.


Required Courses

Enrolment in required courses 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.

WGS5000H F  Feminist Theories, Histories, Movements I
Required course for M.A. & Ph.D. Students (Fall session)
CWGS students must take either this course 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 or Collaborative Specialization in Women and Gender Studies.

WGS5001H S  Feminist Theories, Histories, Movements II
Required course for Ph.D. Students (Winter Session)
CWGS students must take either this course or WGS5000H.

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 Victoria Tahmasebi-Birgani

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

WGS1005Y: Master’s Research Paper
Required course for M.A. Students (Summer Session)

This course provides students with the opportunity to undertake an individual research project on the topic of their choice under the supervision of a Women and Gender Studies core faculty member.  The Master’s Research Paper (MRP) is normally 50-60 pages, double-spaced, exclusive of references. Students are expected to demonstrate a thorough engagement with the conceptual frameworks relevant to their topic, to provide a clear formulation of their own perspective, and to provide substantial references to the relevant scholarly literature.  Students are required to submit a two-page proposal to their advisors by January 31, 2019.  Students who plan to do research projects which involve human subjects will normally want to submit ethics proposals for review early in the winter session.  Advisors will, after reviewing proposals, sit down with students to work out more detailed timetables for research and writing that are appropriate for the individual projects.  Please keep in mind, when making your plans, that sometimes faculty are not available during (all or much of) the summer.  You may need to thoroughly discuss your project in April/May. Your faculty member at UofT (to be decided upon and approached by you and your faculty advisor, during the winter session).  The final mark for the Master’s research paper is decided by both readers, and submitted by your academic advisor.  Unless alternative arrangements are made with your advisor and second reader, you should plan to submit your Master’s research paper no later than AUGUST 14, 2019Please email an electronic copy to both your faculty advisor and second reader and submit a hard copy to Marian Reed in the WGSI Program Office.  The MRP is kept in your student file so that we can verify that you have met your Master’s program requirements.

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

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

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

Other electives are open to UofT graduate students. Students will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please contact the WGSI Program Office at

WGS1004H F Histories, Theories, Imaginaries: Themes in Technoscience

This course mobilizes, develops and experiments with “terraformations” as a critical concept. Terraforming was first proposed as a speculative concept in science fiction that imagined the engineering of other worlds. The term then moved into scientific discussions of the possibilities of planetary colonization, naming the process whereby a hostile environment could be altered in order to become suitable for human life. Today, in response to global climate change, terraforming is increasingly invoked in common parlance to name a planetary-scaled engineering fix to the problem of massive environmental violence.  In this course, we seek to re-form terraformations as a critical term, one which points beyond the geo-engineering imaginary to the always situated and always political processes of geosocial processes of worlds-making. In this course we will study and experiment methodologically with “terraformations.” We will read and work together to consider powerful terraforming enterprises tied to the cumulative force of colonialism and capitalism. How, we will ask together, have terraforming practices built, rather than ameliorated, hostile worlds? Attending to the pluriverse of terraformations, we also ask, what other visions and practices of world building are possible?  How have core concepts of land, planet, world, and earth been forged in non-innocent formations – that is, through historically specific infrastructural, conceptual, material, and social relationships? What other relationships to land are possible, or are already here?

This course is part of the Engineered Worlds Project, a multi-year collaborative research project that examines and creates alternatives to the terms currently available for theorizing the relationships between technoscience, anthropogenic environments, and planetary conditions. The project develops a set of questions and methods for research involving the affective, imaginary, and material engagements with environment, thinking about how the long history of land in relation to anti-black, settler colonial, military, and extractive capitalist formations. An interdisciplinary undertaking, this seminar virtually brings together students and faculty from Science and Technology Studies, Anthropology, Geography, History, and Women and Gender Studies at four universities: University of Toronto (Michelle Murphy, instructor), UC Davis (Tim Choy, instructor), UC Berkeley (Jake Kosek, instructor), and University of Chicago (Joe Masco, instructor). Together we will engage works from fields such as Indigenous Studies, Black studies, science and technology studies, and environmental studies. Authors include Nick Estes, Aileen Moreton- Robinson, Daniel Nemsler, Jason De Leon, Katherine McKittrick, Zoe Todd, Marisol de la Cadena, Tiffany King, Manu Karuka, Katheryn Yussof, and others.

Instructor:  Professor Michelle Murphy

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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, 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

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WGS1009H S  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.

Not offered in 2019-2020

Instructor:  Professor Victoria Tahmasebi-Birgani

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WGS1010H S  Gender in the International Order

Description coming soon…

Instructor:  Professor Kerry Rittich

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WGS1011H S Black Diasporic Feminist Intellectual Traditions

Description coming soon…

Instructor:  Professor Rinaldo Walcott

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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

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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 D. Alissa Trotz

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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.

Not offered in 2019-2020

Instructor: Professor Marieme Lo

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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

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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

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WGS1019H S  Decolonization, Settler Colonialism, and Anti-blackness

This course examines settler colonialism and antiblackness as entwined historical and contemporary social structures. Appraises lived consequences for Indigenous peoples, Black peoples, European settlers, and other arrivals. Considers theories of decolonization and abolition within settler colonial contexts.

Instructor:  Professor Eve Tuck

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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:  Professor Marieme Lo

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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

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WGS1022H S  Race, Space and Citizenship

How do we come to know who we are and how is this knowledge emplaced, raced and gendered? For educators, these questions underpin pedagogy. In focusing on the formation of racial subjects and the symbolic and material processes that sustain racial hierarchies, educators can consider how dominance is taught and how it might be undermined. Drawing on recent scholarship in critical race theory, critical geography, history and cultural studies, the course examines how we learn who we are and how these pedagogies of citizenship (who is to count and who is not) operate in concrete spaces–bodies, nations, cities, institutions. This course is about the production of identities–dominant ones and subordinate ones in specific spaces. It is taught from an educator’s and a researcher’s viewpoint. As an educator, the compelling question is how we might interrupt the production of dominant subjects. As a researcher, the question is how to document and understand racial formations, and the production of identities in specific spaces. The course begins by exploring the racial violence of colonialism, of periods of racial terror (lynching, the Holocaust), and of the New World Order (in particular, the post 911 environment, and the violence of peacekeeping and occupations) as well as state violence. In all these instances, law often has a central role to play in producing and sustaining violence. It is through law, for example, that nations are able to legally authorize acts of racial violence and legal narratives often operate to secure social consent to acts of racial terror. Through a feminist and anti-racist framework, we explore how racial violence is sexualized and gendered, and how it operates as a defining feature of relations between dominant and subordinate groups. The course examines how racial violence is linked to empire and nation building, and how individuals come to participate in these racial and gendered social arrangements.

Instructor:   Professor Vannina Sztainbok

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WGS1023H  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.

Instructor:  Professor Dina Georgis

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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.

Instructor:  Professor Shauna Sweeney

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WGS1025H S  Indigenous Aesthetics: Hip Hop, Media and 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.

This is an online (synchronous) seminar course. This course will be delivered online per the meeting schedule. Students will need BbCollaborate; access to the course website (Quercus) and the ability to use learning platforms and software made available by the university, including Office 365 (including power point), Piazza (for discussion), Bb Collaborate, and access to a google account for collaborative work via google documents and slides. Students require access to a webcam and microphone.

Instructor:  Professor Karyn Recollet

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WGS1027H S   Performing Queer Irreverence

Description coming soon.

Instructor:  Professor Robert Diaz

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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

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Required Courses offered from 2009-2014:

WGS1000H  Theories, Histories, Feminisms
(This course was discontinued as of the 2014-2015 academic year)
What is the context in which we now study histories and theories of feminism? This course will identify some themes and concepts important to feminisms of the past and evaluate them in light of new historical conditions. It will interrogate the status of feminism and examine its place and value in contemporary thought. What, for instance, can be said in the name of women? How do we understand sexual difference? And under what sign of sex? How do we understand feminism’s relationship to race and class beyond simplified analyses of intersectionality? Why the move to transnational feminism?

WGS1001H  Feminism, Transnationalism and Postcolonialism
(This course was discontinued as of the 2014-2015 academic year)
Over the past fifteen years, feminist studies has been defined by a turn towards transnational and postcolonial perspectives. In this course, we will conduct a genealogy of this turn, reviewing some defining texts and reflecting on their impact. We will examine the political and theoretical milieu in which transnational and postcolonial approaches have gained currency. We will explore the kinds of questions that are facilitated, and also those that are eclipsed, by such approaches.

WGS1002H  Feminist Methodologies and Epistemologies
(This course was discontinued as of the 2014-2015 academic year)
How do we know what we know? What are the underlying epistemological and ideological assumptions we bring to this project of knowing? What are the terms upon which we can claim that project as a particularly transnational feminist one? And what are the set of ethically grounded practices that delineate it? Why are some forms of knowledge and ways of knowing privileged over others? Where do Mystery and uncertainty fit into this project? These are some of the questions that this course takes up for examination. We will seek to understand the processes of transnational feminist knowledge production by paying close attention to the problematics of place, space, time, genealogies, multiple histories, and cross-cutting identities and the various ways these are made to matter in this thing we call knowledge.