Gender Studies

The discipline of Gender Studies critically examines how gender shapes our identities and our social and professional interactions with the world.

Courses taught by our Department of Gender Studies allow students to develop a framework for thinking about power relations connected to social constructions of gender, race, class, sexuality, ability, age, and nationality through multiple perspective and theories. Gender studies also provides students with the practical tools and knowledge for the promotion of equity across social, political, and economic spheres.

Gender Studies Electives

Below is a list of all Gender Studies electives that anyone can register for, because they have no or just 1 prerequisite. For a complete list of our Gender Studies courses, see the university calendar. 

Introduction to Gender Studies
(GNDR 1000)

Considers gender, gender studies and feminisms as areas of exploration from historical, contemporary, transnational and interdisciplinary perspectives. The aim of this course is to provide a critical framework for thinking about questions relating to gender and other forms of social difference.

Note: Same as the former WSTD 1000, the former WSTD 2000

Critical Reading and Writing: Identities and Difference 
(GNDR 1005)

Builds foundational critical reading and writing abilities through an exploration of feminist scholarship about the construction of identities and difference in cultural discourse, representation, and institutions. Students learn the principles of scholarly analysis and the mechanics of academic writing. Coursework focuses on critically analyzing texts, evaluating sources, framing questions, developing an argument, and refining written work for Gender Studies and related fields. All sections of this course follow Critical Reading and Writing Course Guidelines available at

Note: Same as the former WSTD 2005 and the former GNDR 2005

Genders and Sexualities 
(GNDR 2006)

Introduces genders and sexualities from an interdisciplinary perspective. Students will explore the continuum of sex/gender and sexual identities, and examine how these identities intersect with other aspects of identity, including (but not limited to) race, class, and (dis)ability. 

Girlhood and Girl Culture 
(GNDR 2007)

Critically engages with the expanding contemporary feminist scholarship on girlhood and girl cultures. It considers historical and contemporary constructions of girlhood in primarily Western contexts as they intersect with ‘race’, ethnicities, sexualities and class. Course materials will be used to explore static and changing dimensions of girlhood, including gender expectations and identities; girlhood as possible sites of power; and claims about the emergence of ‘grrrls’ and ‘new girls.’

Note: Same as the former GNDR 3002, the former WSTD 3002

Masculinities in Critical, Global Perspective 
(GNDR 2010)

Engages theories of masculinities from a feminist perspective, in a variety of geographical and cultural contexts. All sections of this course follow International Studies guidelines available at

Women Writers in the Middle Ages  
(GNDR 3001)

Will study selections from the considerable corpus of women’s writing in the Medieval period, as well as issues which affected women’s writing. All selections will be read in English translation.

Note: Same as English 3006, Medieval Studies 3006, the former Medieval Studies 3351, the former WSTD 3001

Women’s Life Stories: Text, Image, Act 
(GNDR 3003

Examines the ways women perceive and present their life stories. We examine a broad range of autobiographical texts and acts (e.g., writing, correspondence, blogs, visual art, theatre) and other forms of life writing in order to identify topics of concern to women, the choices they make in telling their stories, and the kinds of cultural and social conventions they have had to navigate in order to present their stories to a larger public. We interrogate the conventions of autobiography itself by critically examining the factors that have contributed to the silencing of women’s autobiographical narratives. We assess the comments of Virginia Woolf: What defines women’s lives? Do these realities affect the ways they choose to tell their stories? What reflects the lives of gendered life stories.

Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in Gender Studies 

Special Topics in Gender Studies 
(GNDR 3004-3020, excluding 3005, 3007, 3008)

Will have topics announced by the Department.

Note: Same as the former WSTD 3003-3020 excluding 3004, 3005, 3008, and 3009

Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in Gender Studies 

Feminist Texts, Theories and Histories 
(GNDR 3005)

Examines the development and dissemination of feminist thought through analyses of key texts and diverse media, and their connections to historical and contemporary debates within feminism.

Note: Same as the former WSTD 3005

Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in Gender Studies

Theories of Care
(GNDR 3007)

Considers how an “ethics of care” is both a challenge to traditional conceptions of justice, and an active model for engaging self and others. Pioneering feminist work challenge limiting views of care as something private and banal, suggesting instead that care is a form of labour that is at once demanding and rewarding. We consider how taking care seriously can productively inform our thinking about reproductive labour; education; politics; the workplace; and food. We will examine how care has operated as a moral resource within these spheres, while evaluating controversies arising from the ethics of care.  

Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in Gender Studies

Feminist Practices and Global Change 
(GNDR 3008)

Examines, in considerable depth and detail, connections between feminist theories and activism for social and political change on a global scale. It examines how social movement activisms, particularly in their transnational feminist forms, are mobilized in different historical, cultural and geographic contexts; and are increasingly defined by linkages between the local, regional and global/transnational. All sections of this course follow International Studies guidelines available at

Note: Same as the former GNDR 4005, the former WSTD 4005

Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in Gender Studies

Indigenous Feminisms in Theory and Practice 
(GNDR 3015)

Examines the growing body of Indigenous feminist scholarship that has emerged from North America in recent decades. It looks at a range of theoretical debates and activist practices taken up in this literature, which centers colonialism alongside gender (and other axes of social difference) as an analytic for understanding the lived realities of Indigenous women and their communities.

Prerequisite: successful completion of GNDR 1000 is advised but not required

Gender, Race and Post-Colonialism in Global Contexts 
(GNDR 3025)

Examines theories, themes and issues that have emerged from, and in response to, post-colonial studies in recent decades. This course focuses particularly on what this international body of scholarship contributes to understandings of the roles of gender, race and sexuality in historical and ongoing colonial processes as global phenomena with diverse manifestations at the continental. regional and local levels. Special focus will be given to the legacies of British colonialism worldwide. All sections of this course follow International Studies guidelines available at

Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in Gender Studies

Fat Studies 
(GNDR 3026)

Introduces fat studies scholarship and fat activism. with particular attention to how fat, fatness, fat bodies, and fat as an identity are historically, socially, medically, politically, and culturally constructed in Canada and beyond.

Gendered Politics of Health
(GNDR 3100)

Examines intersections of gender and health, recognising these to be politically shaped categories that have direct implications for individuals' lives. This course considers the ways that particular conceptualizations of gender, health and well-being are shaped and challenged and considers the role of individuals, institutions and states in structuring opportunities and challenges related to health.

Note: Same as the former WSTD 3100

Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in Gender Studies

Justice, Politics, Reproduction 
(GNDR 3500)

Analyzes key issues related to justice, politics and reproduction with particular attention to the ways that domestic law and politics, in Canada and other transnational locations, shape regulations and social expectations and practices.

Prerequisite: successful completion of Law and Society 1000 and/or GNDR 1000 are advised but not required

Contemporary Feminist Issues 
(GNDR 4000)

An interdisciplinary seminar in Gender Studies that identifies emerging debates in contemporary feminism and analyses complex and contentious issues and how they intersect and disrupt social constructions of gender.

Note: Same as the former WSTD 4000

Other Requirements: 3 hour seminar per week

Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in Gender Studies at the 3000 level or permission of instructor

Methods that Matter in Gender Studies 
(GNDR 4001)

Familiarizes students with basic tools and research skills for feminist enquiry in Gender Studies research. As a requirement of this course, students will be asked to design and carry out a research project.

Note: Same as the former WSTD 3000 and former GNDR 3000

Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in Gender Studies at the 3000 level or permission of instructor