Course Descriptions

Program Requirements:

WMGS 100 is required as a foundation course for all first- and second-year students taking further core women's and gender studies courses, but this requirement is normally waived for third- and fourth-year students seeking a first course in women's and gender studies. Please consult the course instructor directly to have a prerequisite waived if you are a third- or fourth-year student.

* Students should also make sure to check prerequisites for all cross-listed courses.

Core Courses:

  • WMGS 100:11 - Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies
  • WMGS 100:12J - Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies (See Social Justice Colloquium)

This course will offer an overview of Women's and Gender Studies from an interdisciplinary perspective. Students will study the development of feminist movements and will examine how concepts of race, class, sexuality and ability intersect in shaping colonialism, sexual and reproductive health, violence, family relations, paid and unpaid labour, political systems and poverty. The course will consider the relationship between the local and the global through discussion of such topics as popular culture, consumerism and environmentalism. Six credits.

  • WMGS 205 - Gender, Sexuality and the Body

This course focuses on the ways that all bodies are sexualized and gendered in Western philosophical thought, biomedicine and science. Topics include Western binaries (man/woman, form/matter, mind/body), the sociocultural processes through which bodies are sexualized, the biological/medical sciences and objectivity, a critique of the dual sex model from the perspective of transfeminist theory and bodily transformations and normalizations (including cosmetic surgery, monstrosity and disability, and the feminist debate about female genital surgeries). Prerequisite: WMGS 100. Three credits.

  • WMGS 232 – Gender and Popular Culture

This course will introduce a range of topics within the broad field of gender and popular culture as well as how to study and critique genres of popular culture. Beginning with questions, "What is cultural studies?" and "Why is it important to study popular culture?" we move on to study a range of pop culture media, including music, television, film, video games and graphic novels/memoirs through this methodological and theoretical lens. Prerequisite: WMGS 100. Three credits.

  • WMGS 299 – Selected Topics in Women's and Gender Studies I

Three credits.

  • WMGS 303 - Feminist Theory

This course examines various directions feminists have taken in studying women's experiences and the construction of gender. Students will learn how these theoretical approaches have influenced feminist research and critical practice. The course will include early feminist thought as well as contemporary feminist theory. Crosslisted with SOC XXX. Prerequisites: WMGS 100 or SOCI 100. Three credits.

  • WMGS 346 – Critical Race and Sexuality Studies in Canada

This seminar course offers students a survey of feminist approaches to contemporary critical race theory and sexuality studies in Canada, with a particular focus on the values of 'multiculturalism' and 'tolerance.' The course will consider the intersections of gender with such topics as colonialism, racism and immigration, whiteness, as well as homophobia and homonationalism. Credit will be granted for only one of WMGS 346 or WMGS 399 "ST: Critical Race & Sexuality." Prerequisite: WMGS 100.  Three credits.

  • WMGS 395  - Selected Topics in Women’s and Gender Studies I - "Women and Popular Music"

A survey and examination of women and their work through eras of popular music; pop singers and entertainers will be examined from different periods including early 20th century (pre/post jazz age), post-swing, rock, singer-songwriter and R&B. Through investigating artists and styles, the course explores themes of gender, sexuality, artistry, celebrity and image. Cross-listed with Music 385. Three credits.

  • WMGS 399 - Selected Topics in Women’s and Gender Studies II

Prerequisite: WMGS 100. Three credits.

  • WMGS 400 - Research Methods Seminar

This course focuses on understanding inequality from an academic perspective, and seeks to do so through understanding grassroots activism and movements for social change. This course is designed to combine feminist theories with feminist activist work, allowing students to learn from how feminism looks as gender challenges are enacted in homes, workplaces and political spaces. Students will examine research regarding social change through a feminist lens, and will gain field-based knowledge through placement with an organization, community group or service. Six credits.

Cross-listed Courses:

(Other courses may be considered WMGS cross-listed courses after consultation with the Women's and Gender Studies Coordinator.)

WMGS 203/SOCI 203 - Gender

The course is about gender differences and gender inequality. The main objective of the course is not only to examine differences in women's and men's social positions, but also to stimulate critical and informed thinking about the sources of gender inequality in our society. More generally, the course aims to explore the many ways in which this society is organized around gender differences and divisions. Credit will be granted for only one of SOCI 203 and SOCI/WMGS 310. Prerequisite: SOCI 101, 102. Three credits.

WMGS 217/SOCI 217 - Race, Class, Gender, and Sex

This course discusses the interconnected realities of race, class, gender and sex from various sociological perspectives. Substantive topics will include the socially constructed nature of these concepts in places like media, and the experiences of classism, sexism and racism in the workplace, schools, and everyday life. Credit will be granted for only one of SOCI 217 or SOCI 215. Three credits.

WMGS 221/SOCI 221 - Sociology of Marriage and Family Life

This course analyzes the marriage and family life from a sociological perspective. It provides an overview of social changes over the past century, such as the falling birth rate, the rise in cohabitation and legalization of same-sex marriage. Topics include marriage and fertility rates, the rise of intensive parenting and the dual earner family, the normalization of separation and divorce, the social cost of family violence, and how technology is influencing parenting. Credit will be granted for only one of SOCI 221, SOCI 210, or WMGS 210. Three credits.

WMGS 310/SOCI 310 - Gender

This course will examine the origin and persistence of gender-based inequalities in our society and their impact on personal lives. Biological, psychological, economic, and cultural analyses of male-female social relations will be considered. Six credits.

WMGS 316/RELS 316 - Women in Early Judaism

This course investigates the depiction and experience of women from the earliest biblical narratives to the separation of Christianity from Judaism. Students analyze responses to women and ideas about women in Biblical and other early Jewish writings, in comparison to women in the rest of the Ancient Near East, in conversation with feminist interpreters of the Bible and early Judaism, we will note the relevance of this material for contemporary gender issues. Three credits.

WMGS 317/HIST 317 - Canadian Women's and Gender History: From Colony to Nation

This course introduces students to major themes in the field of Canadian women's and gender history. Covering the period from the late 16th century to the late 19th century, the course examines the historical development of women's roles, experiences, identities and gender relations. Particular attention is given in this course to the impact of colonialism, and the intersection of gender, race, economic/class status, and Indigenous/non-Indigenous status in shaping women's work, family roles, sexuality, political engagement and activism. Credit will be granted for only one of WMGS 317 and WMGS 308. Three credits.

WMGS 318/HIST 318 - Canadian Women's and Gender History: Modernity
 

This course introduces students to major themes in the field of Canadian women's and gender history. Covering the period from the late 19th century to the late 20th century, the course examines the historical development of women's roles, experiences, identities and gender relations. Particular attention is given to the intersection of gender, race, economic/class status, and Indigenous/non-Indigenous status in shaping women's work, family roles, sexuality, political engagement and activism. Credit will be granted for only one of HIST 318 and HIST 308. Three credits. 

WMGS 324/ANTH 324 - Anthropology of Gender

From a cross-cultural perspective and using examples from physical anthropology, archaeology, linguistic anthropology and socio-cultural anthropology, students will explore various questions such as: Can the differences observed between men and women be best explained by biology or culture? What factors explain the subordination of women found in many societies around the world? How are political, economic and symbolic powers acquired and used by men and women in cultural contexts around the world? Prerequisites: ANTH 110, ANTH 111/112, WMGS 100 or permission of the instructor. Three credits.

WMGS 325/RELS 325 - Early Christian Women

The course investigates women's participation in early Christian groups from the time of Jesus' ministry to the 6th century. Christian women's lives will be compared to those of women in Jewish and Greco-Roman societies. Students will analyze New Testament and other early Christian writings, read feminist scholarship, and examine such issues as women's leadership and violence against women. Prerequisite: any 100-level RELS course. Three credits. 

WMGS 326/ANTH 326 - Issues in the Anthropology of Kinship

The course explores current themes and debates about the constitution of families cross culturally. It will examine topics such as: cultural understandings of kinship; historical transformations of kinship systems; current reconfigurations of marriage; partnering strategies; new reproductive technologies; transnational adoption; intra-familial conflict; the role of kinship for individuals and in societies; and the influence of the state of kin patterns. Course material will include ethnographic examples from around the world. Prerequisite: ANTH 110 or ANTH 111/112 or WMGS 100 or permission of the instructor. Three credits.

WMGS 327/ANTH 324 - Feminist Anthropology

This course examines how past and present feminist anthropologists have used and problematized categories of difference and identity, such as, gender, class, sexuality, race, ethnicity, ability, religion and nationality as they pursue anthropological research. Focusing primarily on socio-cultural anthropological research, but also addressing work by linguistic and biological (physical) anthropologists and archaeologists, the course will highlight the theoretical, methodological, and empirical contributions of feminist anthropologists to anthropology and to women and gender studies. Credit will be granted for only one of ANTH 323 and ANTH 324 and WMGS 324. Prerequisite: ANTH 110 or ANTH 111/112 or WMGS 100 or permission of the instructor. Three credits.

WMGS 328/SOCI 327 - Canadian Families and Parenting

The course explores the impact of social, political, economic and cultural changes on families and parents. Topics include the diversity of family relations, work-life balance, family time, the 'parenting expert industry,' 'intensive parenting,' the 'boomerang generations,' and 'grand' relations. Across this range of topics, we consider how gender, race, sexuality, social class, and health influence families and parents. Three credits.

WMGS 329/ENGL 329 - Studies in Women Writers I: Feminisms and their Literatures

An introduction to feminist theories within historical, cultural, and philosophical contexts, this course explores the relationship between feminist theories and literary texts that exemplify or extend them. Prerequisite: 9 credits ENGL. Three credits.

WMGS 330/ENGL 330 - Studies in Women Writers II: Genres, Cultures, and Contexts

This course explores modern and contemporary poetry written by women in English. Prerequisite: 9 credits ENGL. Three credits.

WMGS 332/HKIN 332 - Gender in Sport and Physical Activity

Explores the role of women and men in sport/physical activity/recreation from an historical, philosophical and sociocultural perspective. This covers embodiment, objectification, equity, racism, homophobia, politics of difference and identity. Three credits.

WMGS 333/HIST 332 - The Medieval Body

This class explores late medieval conceptions of the physical body, which were always essential to identity in the Middle Ages. Medieval discussions of the practice of reading, clothing and fashion and even spiritual union with God, often involved debates and metaphors based upon the physical body. Through an exploration of primary and secondary texts along with seminar discussions, the class will explore the interconnectedness of late medieval ideas of corporeality, identity, spirituality and sexuality. Three credits.

WMGS 343/PSYC 364 - Psychology of Gender

This course will review theories and research regarding gender in psychological development, social roles, and personality. Topics to be covered will include the history of research in gender; issues to consider in conducting gender research; gender role development and the socialization of gender; gender as a social variable in education and the workplace. Credit will be granted for only one of PSYC 364/PSYC 360. Prerequisite: 6 credits PSYC at the 200 level. Three credits.

WMGS 344/PSYC 365 - Developmental Social Psychology of Gender

This course will review theories and research that integrate developmental and social perspectives on gender. Topics will focus on gender as a social construct and include gender role development, gender role socialization in the family, gender development in cross-cultural perspective. Credit will be granted for only one of PSYC 365 or PSYC 360. Prerequisite:  6 credits PSYC at the 200 level. Three credits.

WMGS 345/PSCI 345 - Women and Politics

An introduction to the study of women and politics, this course has three parts: feminist political thought and the Canadian women's movement; political participation and representation; and public policy. Topics include feminist political thought in the Western political tradition; the evolution and politics of the women's movement; political parties and legislatures; women and work; women and the welfare state. Prerequisite: PSCI 101/102 (100) or WMGS 100. Three credits.

WMGS 360/HIST 360 - Gender & Sexuality in Modern European Empires

This course examines major issues in the history of gender and sexuality in the new imperialism. Themes to be covered include imperial families, race, gender and professionalism, gender, sexuality and citizenship, and women in imperialism and global movements. Three credits.

WMGS 364/NURS 364 - Social Justice and Health

Examines the relationship between injustice and health outcomes nationally and globally. Core social justice ideas are analyzed, including the cycle of oppression, distinctions between equality and equity, and achievement of human rights as an ethical imperative. Modern and historical contexts are explored in key justice related areas: corporatization of health care; policy-created poverty; worldwide water crisis; links between planetary health and human health; and global conflict as a key driver of injustice. Learning includes analysis of selected award winning films. Three credits.

WMGS 365/NURS 365 - Gender and Health

This course examines theoretical concepts relevant to gender and health. The broad determinants of health, sexuality, reproductive health and fertility, common diseases, substance abuse, violence and culture are examined from a gender perspective. Strategies for promoting holistic health and preventing disease will be examined. Three credits.

WMGS 367/BSAD 367 - Gender and Management

Reviews the recent growth of women managers in today's organizational world. Students examine gender roles in organizations and identify some of the barriers women experience in reaching the top. The course explores the systemic discrimination facing women, and presents potential management models for women and men. Prerequisite: BSAD 261. Three credits.

WMGS 370/HIST 365 - Gender & Sexuality in Modern European Empires

This course examines major issues in the history of gender and sexuality in the new imperialism. Themes to be covered include imperial families, race, gender and professionalism, gender, sexuality and citizenship, and women in imperialism and global movements. Three credits.

WMGS 378/PSYC 378 – Human Sexuality

This course provides a broad introduction to research and theory in human sexuality. It includes examination of fundamental topics such as the nature of human sexuality and contemporary issues. Specific topics include historical perspective, theories of sexuality, sex research, sexual anatomy, sexual variation, sexual response, gender, sexual dysfunction and sex therapy. Prerequisites: 6 credits of PSYC at the 200 level. Three credits.

WMGS 397/RELS 315 - Power & Gender in Hinduism and Buddhism

This course reflects on the nature of power as understood in Hindu and Buddhist traditions. It does this by examining the sacred and gender. We will study inter-dependence and transcendence by tracing the relationship of the masculine and feminine principles in the philosophy, mythology and experience of people in the Hindu and Buddhist traditions of India and Tibet. Prerequisite: any 100-level RELS course or WMGS 100. Three credits.

WMGS 398/HIST 398 - Themes in the History of Sexuality

A comparative study of the history of sexuality during the modern period from the eighteenth through the twentieth centuries. Following a broadly chronological and thematic approach to a diverse history of sexualities, the course will explore in particular the changing meanings of and interconnections between sexuality, race, class and gender. Topics will include: indigenous sexual cultures; sexuality and colonialism; inter-racial sexual relationships; the ‘invention of heterosexuality’; moral panics, prostitution, the regulation of sexual desire; and sexual subcultures. Three credits.

WMGS 411/RELS 401 - Religious Approaches to Sexuality

Human sexuality is explored from two main perspectives: first, the teachings and practices of various religious traditions; and second, contemporary developments in sexual and reproductive health and rights. Among the issues to be considered are sexuality and gender roles, contraception and abortion, marriage and family. Prerequisite: any 100-level RELS or WMGS course. Three credits.

WMGS 412/RELS 402 - Religious Approaches to Sexual Diversity

This course will focus on religious teachings and traditions on sexual diversity within the broader context of human rights associated with sexual orientation and sexual differences. In particular, we will look at the experiences of gay, lesbian, bisexual, intersexual and transgendered persons within religious communities. Prerequisites: any 100-level RELS or WMGS course. Three credits.

WMGS 424/SOCI 424 - Women and Work

This course will focus on feminist analyses of women's paid and unpaid work in 20th-century Canada, though historical and cross-cultural perspectives will be considered. Topics include race, class, and ability; pay equity, affirmative action, sexual harassment; women in family enterprises; domestic labour, the division of labour in the home, and mother work. Prerequisite: SOCI 310 recommended. Three credits.