Course Descriptions

GRSJ 101

GRSJ 101 (001): Introduction to Social Justice - #revolution: feminism and social justice

This course provides an introduction to intersectional feminist scholarship and an examination of social constructions of gender, race, and sexuality and how they are shaped by particular contexts, times, and places. We will explore the ways that intersecting and hierarchical relations of power, privilege, and marginalization are reproduced and how they shape social arrangements and everyday lives. In this course, students will engage critically with major issues, debates, and politics in feminist scholarship and activism through a social justice lens. Course readings and scholarship include gender studies, indigenous feminisms, trans studies, critical race studies, sexuality studies and queer theory, media and literary studies, and theories of the body. As well, we will read a variety of genres including academic scholarship, fiction, blogs, graphic novels, and essays.

This course will focus on the ways that contemporary feminist debates are reproduced and understood in media, popular culture, and social media. For example, what do feminist hashtag campaigns on Twitter contribute to discussions of social justice? How is feminism represented on sites like Tumblr or Instagram? How might we use social media effectively as a tool for social change? In exploring these various means of expression and activism, we will attempt to answer the question: how can we understand social justice in a social media world?

Instructor: Dr. Kim Snowden
GRSJ 102

GRSJ 102: Global Issues in Social Justice

This course introduces students to a variety of global issues through the use of Critical Race Studies, Indigenous feminism, and intersectional feminist theory. Each class will be centered around a specific topic with an emphasis on the following global issues: contemporary forms of settler colonialism within and outside Canada/US as it impacts Indigenous women and their communities; the rise of far right and white supremacist movements in conjunction with patriarchal ideology and crises in masculinity in Europe and North America; imperialism masked as humanitarianism; global poverty and inequality as gendered phenomena; neoliberalism and its devastating effects on both the human and natural ecology of the Global South. The course also aims to acquaint students with some social justice movements of resistance and survival.

Instructor: Litsa Chatzivasileiou
GRSJ 200

GRSJ 200: Gender and Environmental Justice: Ecologies of Social Difference

An interdisciplinary and cross-cultural overview of contemporary environmental issues, as they relate to gender equality and social justice challenges and initiatives that respond to ecological crises

Instructor: TBA
GRSJ 224A (001)

GRSJ 224A (001) : Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice in Literature

Techniques of literary study, with emphasis on intersectionality and the ways in which gender is represented in literature and contributions of feminism and gender studies to literary studies.

Instructor: TBA
GRSJ 224A (002)

GRSJ 224A (002): Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice in Literature

Techniques of literary study, with emphasis on intersectionality and the ways in which gender is represented in literature and contributions of feminism and gender studies to literary studies.

Instructor: TBA
GRSJ 224B (002)

GRSJ 224B (002): Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice in Literature

Techniques of literary study, with emphasis on intersectionality and the ways in which gender is represented in literature and contributions of feminism and gender studies to literary studies.

Instructor: TBA
GRSJ 224C (001)

GRSJ 224C (001) Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice in Literature - Feminist Re/visions: Folk & Fairy Tales

In this year-long course we will examine the history of the fairy tale across cultures, read traditional tales, and consider the representation of gender, sexuality, and race in contemporary fairy tales from an intersectional feminist perspective and with a focus on decolonizing knowledge about storytelling and fairy-tale scholarship. Together we will address the variety and complexities of themes, narratives and cultural issues that are constructed and represented in the genre of fairy tales and explore how fairy tales can effectively be used in a feminist, social justice classroom.

Readings will include a selection of essays and articles from feminist and fairy-tale scholarship, a variety of traditional fairy tales, and fairy-tale retellings from contemporary authors such as Angela Carter, Nalo Hopkinson, Emma Donoghue, Neil Gaiman, Francesca Lia Block, Kim Addonizio, Julia Alvarez, and Midori Snyder. We will also examine some fairy-tale films (including Disney) and fairy-tale television in relation to their literary counterparts.

As well, we will explore the use of fairy motifs in popular culture, film, and television taking vampires as a case study and using examples from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, and various reworkings of Dracula.

Instructor: Dr. Kim Snowden
GRSJ 224C (002)

GRSJ 224C (003) Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice in Literature

Techniques of literary study, with emphasis on intersectionality and the ways in which gender is represented in literature and contributions of feminism and gender studies to literary studies.

Instructor: TBA
GRSJ 230

GRSJ 230: Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Representation in Modern Asia

The complex relationships between mechanisms of power, gender, and representation in Asia in different spaces examined through an interdisciplinary lens.

Instructor: Dr. Chris Patterson
GRSJ 235

GRSJ 235 - Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Structures in Modern Asia

Now more than ever in human history we are seeing stronger and growing social and economic inequality, various forms of oppressions, and structural injustice particularly in poor and deeply divided countries and regions in Asia and beyond. Connected to GRSJ 230, which deals with “Representation,” this course focuses on “Structures” to explore and explain from interdisciplinary, intersectional, and spatial perspectives how the representational-ideological connect and intersect with, and are inseparable from material-structural realities. Learners will explore in interconnected modular topics examining the historical and contemporary continuities and changes in Asian capitalism, political economy of development, markets, states, nations, governments, family, institutions, politics, community dynamics, and the natural and built environments. Using interdisciplinary perspectives from humanities, public policy, critical development studies, social sciences and applied fields, we will examine the nexus of social, political and economic structures and intersecting axes of differences and oppressions within contemporary Asia, the complex and diverse regions where diasporic Asian migrants have resettled, and the transnational social spaces beyond Asia’s geographic borders.

Instructor: Dr. Dr. Nora Angeles
GRSJ 300

GRSJ 300: Intersectional Approaches to Thinking Gender

Interdisciplinary exploration of the multiple intersections between gender and (neo)colonialism, racism, poverty, ableism, and heterosexism in a globalized world; historical and cross-cultural aspects, and the social construction of sex and gender, masculinity and femininity.

Instructor: TBA
GRSJ 301

GRSJ 301: Gender, Race & Indigeneity in Canada

Gender and indigeneity in the documented histories and narrated lives of Indigenous people in Canada.

Instructor: TBA

GRSJ 303

GRSJ 303: Gender, Law, and Social Justice

A survey of feminist legal thought and recent developments in feminism and law, with a focus on Canada.

Instructor: Dr. Mark Harris
GRSJ 305

GRSJ 305: Social Justice Issues in Community and International Organizing

Critical examination and practical applications of concepts, theories, methods, and strategies of gender-aware organizing at the community and international levels.

Instructor: TBA
GRSJ 306

GRSJ 306: Globalization and Social Justice: Gender, Race, and Sexuality in International Politics

What were the factors that sparked the Occupy Wall Street and Idle No More movements? How have communities and organisations mobilized to protest against discrimination based upon gender, sexuality, race or cultural identity?

This course will examine how the concepts of law and social justice are deployed within the framework of globalization and whether they are effective vehicles to achieve change or, as Douzinas suggests, they have been co-opted as ‘tools of public power and individual desire’ that actually work against marginalized and oppressed communities. Focusing upon the role of social movements we will consider what mechanisms and strategies are deployed to challenge structural and hegemonic oppression from a range of perspectives.

Instructor: Dr. Mark Harris
GRSJ 307

GRSJ 307: Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Popular Culture

Critical examination of mainstream and alternative media images of gender, race, and sexuality in the context of networked social media, film, music, and television.

Instructor: TBA
GRSJ 310

GRSJ 310: Gender, Race, Social Justice and Health

Interdisciplinary introduction to gender and health issues using selected theoretical frameworks.

Instructor: TBA
GRSJ 311

GRSJ 311: African/Black Women in the Americas

An interdisciplinary survey of gender studies and histories of African/Black women in the Americas from the beginning of the slave trade to the present.

GRSJ 315

GRSJ 315: Critical Racial Theories - Transpacific Theories of Race

This course will explore theories of race from the purview of transpacific encounter, focusing on how race has been produced through colonial gazes in Asia, and how race has been manufactured through capitalist commodification of migrant Asian bodies.

Instructor: Dr. Chris Patterson
GRSJ 316 (101)

GRSJ 316 (101): Queer and Trans of Colour Theorizing

The intellectual and political interventions of queer of colour theorizing in the gender and sexual politics of racial and imperial projects, including its engagements with women of colour feminisms, settler colonial and indigenous studies, and immigration and diaspora studies.

Instructor: TBA
GRSJ 320

GRSJ 320: Anti-racist Feminist Pedagogies

This course begins with the assumption that all Western forms of knowledge production and pedagogy are Eurocentric and rooted in earlier colonial processes of knowledge extraction from Indigenous cultures. Imperial learning has imposed complete disorder on colonized peoples disconnecting them from their histories, their landscapes, their languages, their social relations and their own ways of thinking, feeling and interacting with the world. This systematic fragmentation can still be seen in the disciplinary carve up of the Indigenous world: bones, mummies and skulls to the museums, art work to private collectors, languages to linguistics, customs to anthropologists, beliefs and behaviors to psychologists. Thus we examine the role of museums, art collections, human zoos, science and disciplines such as anthropology and ethnography in the production of colonial knowledge in early modern European history of education till the present moment. We also explore anti-racist, decolonial ways of researching, teaching and learning that are guided by radical Indigenous methodologies and activist, intersectional grass root anti-oppression work.

Instructor: Litsa Chatzivasileiou
GRSJ 325

GRSJ 325: Anti-Colonial and Feminist Qualitative Methods

Data collection techniques, the politics of interpretation, and the formulation of a research proposal using a feminist, anti-racist framework.

Instructor: TBA
GRSJ 326

GRSJ 326: The Politics of Gender, Families, and Nation-Making

Investigation of historical and contemporary scholarship on the diversity of families, focusing on differences of gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity, and social class within and across national borders.

Instructor: TBA
GRSJ 327

GRSJ 327: Feminist Theories of Representation and Difference

Feminist scholarship emphasizing languages and processes of representation and the construction of difference in cultural discourses and institutions.

Instructor: Dr. JP Catungal
GRSJ 328

GRSJ 328: Theories of Subjectivity

How feminist scholarship has shaped and reinterpreted accounts of the subject, drawing on such traditions as structuralism, poststructuralism, psychoanalysis, postcolonialism, postmodernism, and Queer Theory.

Instructor: TBA
GRSJ 401 (202)

GRSJ 401 (202): Gender, Body, and Society - Monstrous bodies/Monstrous texts

This course will address the ways that the body is rendered monstrous through discourses of misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, and racism with a focus on representations of monstrous bodies in literature, film, and popular culture. The class will explore how reproduction and reproductive politics are represented in fiction and film, how popular culture represents and reproduces monstrous bodies, and will critically engage with the posthuman monster and its reproduction through technology, media, and popular culture. We will read and analyze a number of novels, short stories, speculative fiction, science fiction, horror, and young adult fiction and watch a number of films and excerpts from television. Scholarly readings and theory includes: feminist theories of monstrosity and abjection, cyborg feminism, afrofuturist feminism, feminist diaspora studies, bare life and states of exception, and queer and feminist disability studies.

Texts and film include: Octavia Butler’s Fledgling, Rebecca Roanhorse’s rail of Lightning, Marjorie Liu Monstress, Alien, Mad Max: Fury Road, Ex-Machina, Ginger Snaps.

Instructor: Dr. Kim Snowden
GRSJ 410 (201)

GRSJ 410 (201): Religious Feminisms

Examines religious feminisms from three Abrahamic traditions. An in-depth study of challenges various doctrinal discourses and practices pose for feminist projects

Instructor: Dr. Ayesha Chaudhry
GRSJ 415 (201)

GRSJ 415 (201): Critical Racial and Anti-Colonial Feminist Approaches

Critical anti-colonial and feminist analyses of colonial and racial subjugation, as well as the many modalities of indigenous and minority resistance.

Instructor: TBA
GRSJ 422 (001)

GRSJ 422 (001): Advanced Research Seminar

Critical theories, methodologies, ethics and practices appropriate for advanced feminist research.

Instructor: Dr. Nora Angeles
GRSJ 480

GRSJ 480: Thinking / Doing Social Justice: A Practicum

This course is a unique experiential learning opportunity that actively promotes exploration of the connections between anti-colonial and social justice theorizing and activism. Students will draw on the theoretical and experiential knowledge they have acquired in Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice Studies to participate in a range of diverse community organizations and projects working towards socio-political, economic and cultural transformation. Students will also engage with academic scholarship to enhance their understanding of the intersectionality of social relations and the complexities of working towards political and social change. Community-based learning is an opportunity for students to contribute to supporting anti-colonial, anti-racist, feminist, queer and social justice organizations and to develop respectful relationships with activist communities.
Students will be expected to spend a minimum of 30 hours over the term at their community placement or project. The class will include regularly scheduled seminars and workshops to enable collaborative reflection, theoretical discussion and analysis of placement experiences.

Text: Emergent Strategy by adrienne maree brown

Instructor: Dr. Kim Snowden