Course Offerings

Please note:  Not all these courses are offered every year.  We're also actively crosslisting new classes from other departments to bring a wider perspective to our students.  

1000-level courses

  • GWST 1010.03: Introduction to Gender and Women's Studies 
    Gender and Women's Studies is an interdisciplinary field aimed at developing a critical understanding of gender as a category of analysis in scholarly enquiry and social dynamics. Paying close attention to the experiences and perspectives of women, students have the opportunity to examine history, social structures, the sciences, language, literature, culture from the illuminating perspective of gender. In all these areas, Gender and Women's Studies investigates how gender intersects with other variables such as race, class, and cultural difference. This introductory course provides an overview of some of the central topics of Gender and Women's Studies, such as the sex/gender distinction, understanding sexualities, the social construction of motherhood, changing definitions of masculinity and femininity, and the place of sex and gender cross-culturally.

  • GWST 1015.03: Gender and Diversity.
    This course continues from "Introduction to Gender & Women's Studies" to focus particularly on the many ways that gender as a social ssytem interacts with other systems of power and inequality. We all make sense of our lives through multiple identities that combine in shifting ways to define our opportunities for action and the limits we face. Identities based on gender, race, ethnicity, age, class, sexuality, disability, nation, or religion are blended in varied ways for individuals, but they are not just individual self-perceptions. They are also elements of larger social systems. Topics may include the multiple identities of the body; race, gender, and violence; diversity and work; contemporary transforamtions of the famiy; and gender and globalization.
    Format: Lecture/discussion
  • GWST 1070.03. Modern Russian Culture and Civilization 
    Conducted in English. The cultural history of 20th century Russia.
    Format: Meets Writing Requirement when taken in combination with RUSN 1020.03.

2000-level courses

  • GWST 2011:  Queering Foundations
    This class will introduce you to concepts in queer theory, which are analyses that challenge identity categories by examining how those identities are constructed socially. Weekly lectures will bring a critical lens to how gender and sexuality are constructed historically and contemporarily, and in relation to other markers, such as race, ethnicity, or socio-economic class. Readings will introduce queer theory terms and demonstrate how to analyze language in relation to power. You will discuss the theory we read, reflect on its connection to your own experience, and apply the theories to contemporary representations of gender and sexuality.
    FORMAT: Lecture/Tutorial

  • GWST 2217.03: Women and the Economy.
    This course will provide a broad and relatively non-technical analysis of women's economic experiences. For example, we will study questions such as: Are there feminists who are economists? Have economic conditions improved for women in Canada over the past 30 years? How do economic outcomes for women in Canada compare with those in other affluent countries? Is there a glass ceiling for women in the workplace? Is there gender discrimination in the Canadian labour market? Who does the unpaid work? What ar ethe economic consequences of divorce? Are women more likely than men to be poor? Are tehre inequalities within families?
    Format: Lecture
    Prerequisite: ECON 1101.03/1102.03 with a grade of C- or better
    Cross-listing: ECON 2217.03

  • GWST 2300.03: Making Gender: Women and Men, Sex and Gender in Pre-Modern Europe.
    This course examines the diverse and fascinating ways western cultures have shaped what it meant to be a women or a man. Beginning in the time of the Roman Empire and continuing to the age of the French Revolution, the course examines such topics as eunuchs, fasting saints, female 'popes,' changing notions of the physical differences between the sexes, and early struggles for women's rights.
    Format: Lecture/tutorial
    Cross-listing: HIST 2614.03

  • GWST 2310.03: Women and Gender in Early Modern Science.
    This course will explore the roles of women, and questions about women's nature, in the development of early modern science. The course will consider several interrelated aspects of scientific culture in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries: first, we will look at the place of women in the scientific institutions of the time. Although women were, for the most part, excluded from universities and scientific academies, some women were able to do scientidic work through their participation in salons and draft guilds. The second part of the course will look at the contributions of some particular women to the fields of physics, astronomu, botany, and medicine. We will then examine how science interpreted sex and gender. We will pay special attention to the biological sciences and their treatments of sex differences, conception, and generation. We will consider how these biological theories were influenced by, and at the same time used to uphold, various political and social structures. Finally, the course will explore the ways in which gender and nature were protrayed in the broader cultural context. We will, for example, discuss the ways in which women were depicted as scientists and as symbols of science in art and literature.
    Cross-listing: EMSP 2310.03, HSTC 2310.03

  • GWST 2320.03: Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe.
    The period of European history from 1500 to 1800 saw the rise of modern science and philosphy. It was also a period in which thousands of witch trials and executions were carried out. This course will seek to understand how these seemingly contradictory developments could have occurred simultaneously. The course will examine changing conceptions of the witch and witchcraft in their historical, intellectual, cultural, religious and political contexts. The course will pay special attention to early modern notions of gender and sexuality and their influence on the witch hunts and witch trials.
    Format: Lecture/seminar
    Cross-listing: EMSP 2320.03, RELS 2420.03

  • GWST 2412.03: Human Sexuality.
    This course is concerned with biological, cultural, ethical, historical, psychological, religious and semantic aspects of human sexuality. Four themes are threaded throughout the course - diversity in gender roles and in sexual attitudes, behaviours and customs; critical thinking; making responsible decisions; sexual health. The course is designed to support positive integration of sexuality into the lives of individuals and to foster the prevention of sexuality-related problems, at all stages of life.
    Format: Lecture/discussion 3 hours
    Cross-listing: HPRO 4412.03

3000-level courses

  • GWST 3006.03: Comparative Perspectives on Gender and Work. This course will use comparative perspectives to explore a range of topics relating to the gendering of work: wage-work, household-based labour, the informal sector, masculinity and femininity in the work place, occupational segregation, employment policies directed at changing the status quo (such as affirmative action, pay equity), andunionization. The context will be the changing global political economy and its consequences for the strategies of different groups (such as nation states, but also trade unions, feminist groups and employer groups).
    Format: Lecture
    Prerequisite: One of SOSA 1000X/Y.06, 1050X/Y.06, 1100X/Y.06, 1200X/Y.06
    Cross-listing: SOSA 3006.03
    Exclusion: SOSA 2140.03, SOSA 2141.03

  • GWST 3186.03: Special Topics in GWST This course consists of an intensive examination of a selected substantive issue within Gender & Women's Studies. Since the specific topic or research problem will vary from year to year, students are advised to consult the department prior to registration.
    Format: Lecture/discussion
    Prerequisite:  One GWST 1000 level course or FYP
    Cross-listing: SOSA 3186.03

4000-level courses

  • GWST 4151.03: Special Topics in Gender & Women's Studies II. In this seminar course, students will explore some of the current research on a focused topic in women's studies or gender theory. Topics may be drawn from such areas as queer theory, gender and embodiment, contemporary theory of sexuality, representations of gender, women and eating disorders, postcolonial feminist theory, and so one. The course will be directed to majors and honours students in Gender & Women's Studies, but will be open to qualified students from other disciplines.
  • Format: Seminar
    Prerequisite: One full credit in Gender & Women's Studies or permission from instructor

  • GWST 4400.03:  Indigenous Women and the State
    In this course, we will study systemic factors shaping the lives of Indigenous women in Canada, with a focus on Indigenous identity, cultural, political, and ceremonial involvement, Indian status, access to treaty rights, and experiences of poverty and violence.
    FORMAT: Lecture
    EXCLUSIONS: INDG 4000 taken in 2019/2020 or 2020/2021.
  • GWST 4402.03: Recent French Feminist Theory. This course will concentrate on some of feminism's most challenging voices, those that have emerged from France in the past 50 years: Beauvoir, Kristeva, Cixous and Iragaray. The course will attempt to illuminate the intellectual background against which these women write, particularly in the areas of linguistic and anthropological structuralism, and in psychoanalytic theory. The course will be organized in part by the historical evolution of feminist thought, in part by the consideration of central feminist concerns.
  • Format: Lecture/tutorial
    Cross-listing: CTMP 4302.03
    Exclusion: CTMP 2030.03, 4300.06

  • GWST 4500.03: Topics in Feminist Philosophy. In this course, we shall explore some of the current research in a focused area of feminist philosophy. Previous topics have included feminist ethics, feminist epistemology, postmodern feminism, the feminist sexuality debates, and ecofeminism.
  • Format: Seminar
    Prerequisite: Strong background in philosophy or feminist theory (normally including at least one class in feminist philosophy or permission from instructor)
    Cross-listing: PHIL 4500.03, GWST 5500.03, PHIL 5500.03

  • GWST 4901.015 & GWST 4902.015: Honours Thesis.
    Students writing an honour thesis in Gender & Women's Studies as the primary subject of a Combined Honours program must enroll in this course. The course meets five times over the course of the academic year in which the student writes his/her thesis. The grade for the Honours Thesis is assigned under this course number.
    Note: Credit can only be given for this class if both are completed in the same academic year (GWST 4901 in Fall term and GWST 4902 in Winter term); partial credit cannot be given for a single term.
    Format: Seminar and supervised thesis writing
    Prerequisite: Admission to the Honours program

5000-level courses

  • GWST 5500.03: Topics in Feminist Philosophy. In this course, we shall explore some of the current research in a focused area of feminist philosophy. Previous topics have included feminist ethics, feminist epistemology, postmodern feminism, the feminist sexuality debates, and ecofeminism.
  • Format: Seminar
    Prerequisite: Strong background in philosophy or feminist theory (normally including at least one class in feminist philosophy or permission from instructor)
    Cross-listing: GWST 4500.03, PHIL 4500.03, PHIL 5500.03


***Please note that not all courses will be offered each year. Please check the Academic Timetable or here for current course offerings and schedules.