Gender Today: Exploring Gender in Contemporary Contexts

Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Gender, Sexualities and Women’s Studies
Course Code
GSWS 2101
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
Building upon the foundational concepts introduced in GSWS 1100 and/or 1101, this course will involve an in-depth and interdisciplinary exploration of contemporary gender experiences, theories and issues. This exploration will focus on one or more themes, such as gender representations in popular culture, bodies and reproduction and/or gendered violence.
Course Content

Course content will include:

  • focus on contemporary gender themes and concepts;
  • foundation in relevant feminist and queer theory;
  • application of intersectional analysis; and
  • interdisciplinary approaches to thematic content.

Course content may include:

  • analysis of literary works, film or other popular media; and/or
  • required attendance at a relevant off-campus event.
Learning Activities

The course will employ a number of instructional methods to accomplish its objectives, including some or all of the following:

  • small and large group discussions;
  • audio-visual materials;
  • internet exploration;
  • interviews;
  • seminar presentations;
  • instructor comments on student work; and/or
  • lectures (including guest lectures).
Means of Assessment
Instructors will follow the parameters laid out in the College Evaluation Policy. Specific evaluation criteria will be provided by the instructor at the beginning of the semester and will vary according to the instructor’s assessment of appropriate evaluation methods and the selected theme of the course. Instructors will use a balance of assignments to assess learning, such as:
  • journal writing;
  • participating in class discussion;
  • essays;
  • research papers;
  • oral presentations (individual and/or group);
  • community life research;
  • tests or quizzes; and/or
  • essay-type exams.
A sample grade breakdown for this course might be as follows:
Course journal 20%
Research paper 30%
Midterm exam 15%
Group project 15%
Final exam 20%
Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, successful students should be able to:

  1. debate and explore the relationship between gender and biological sex;
  2. interrogate contemporary gender concepts such as the gender binary, gender fluidity and the gender spectrum;
  3. understand and discuss the ways in which social/cultural definitions of gender are affected by intersectional identities and experiences;
  4. engage with feminist and queer theories to analyze contemporary gender issues and social justice struggles; and
  5. apply the course concepts and theories to analyze and interpret particular topics as identified within the course framework.
Textbook Materials

A list of required texts and reading materials is provided on the instructor's course outline, which is available to students at the beginning of each semester. An instructor's course reader may be required.

Sample Reading Lists:

Sample Theme A: Bodies and Reproduction

Judith Lorber and Lisa Jean Moore, Gendered Bodies: Feminist Perspectives (OUP 2011).
Stephanie Patterson et al (eds), Fertile Ground: Exploring Reproduction in Canada (MQUP 2014).
Londa Schiebinger, ed, Feminism and the Body (OUP 2000).
Rickie Solinger, Reproductive Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know (OUP 2013).

Sample Theme B: Gendered Violence

Kim Anderson, A Recognition of Being: Reconstructing Native Womanhood (Women's Press 2016).
Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me (Spiegel & Grau 2015).
Dean Spade, Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics, and the Limits of the Law (Duke 2015).
Loretta Ross and Elena Gutierrez, Undivided Rights: Women of Colour Organizing for Reproductive Justice (Haymarket 2016).


Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for GSWS 2101
Alexander College (ALEX) ALEX SOSC 1XX (3)
Athabasca University (AU) AU WGST 3XX (3)
Capilano University (CAPU) CAPU WGST 250 (3)
College of New Caledonia (CNC) CNC PSYC 2XX (3)
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU SOCI 2240 (3)
Langara College (LANG) LANG WMST 2XXX (3)
North Island College (NIC) NIC SSC 2XX (3)
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU GSWS 210 (3)
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU SOCI 2130 (3)
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO GWST 216 (3)
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC WMST 103 (3)
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV SOC 2XX (3)
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC GNDR 219 (1.5)
Vancouver Island University (VIU) VIU SWAG 200 (3) or VIU SWAG 201 (3)

Course Offerings

Fall 2023

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Section Notes

GSWS 2101 001 - This section is offered in a hybrid format. Class meets on campus for 2 hours per week and students complete the remaining course material online. Regular computer and internet access are required.

Gender Today will focus on the intersection of gender, sex, and technologies.

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