Important Notice

This course is not active. Please contact Department Chair for more information.

Important Notice

This course has been discontinued. Please contact Department Chair for more information.

Women and Feminism: Contemporary Issues

Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Women's Studies
Course Code
WSGR 1101
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Method Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
This course provides an interdisciplinary introduction to the social processes and structures which shape women’s lives. Beginning with an introductory review of feminist movements and theoretical perspectives, the course will survey a range of contemporary social issues in Canada. It will also explore changes in women’s experiences and perspectives within a dynamic and increasingly global context.
Course Content

Theoretical Foundations of Women’s Studies

This section addresses primary theoretical perspectives of Women’s Studies as they have emerged, historically and recently. It includes all or some of:

  1. A history of Women’s Studies and women’s movements, within Canada and/or globally
  2. Social constructionism as a theoretical framework
  3. Essentialism within feminist theorizing and activism
  4. Creation/enforcement of norms and margins; moving margins to center; privilege and oppression; defining hegemony
  5. Theoretical perspectives: anti-racist, Marxist, socialist, liberal, radical, cultural, standpoint, and anarchist feminisms and womanism
  6. Feminism as a critique of binary thinking
  7. Integrating race, class, sexuality, colonialism, (dis)ability, and gender.

From Theory to Praxis

This section applies a feminist theoretical lens to contemporary social and political issues. Topics covered may include all or some of:

  1. Women and education, science, and technology
  2. Women, health care, and medicine
  3. Language as a site of oppression, power, and resistance
  4. Violence against women
  5. Women and the media: body representations
  6. Globalization and poverty
  7. Women and the arts
  8. Women in prison.

Expanding Horizons and Breaking Boundaries

This section explores social change, social movements, and acts of resistance. Liberation struggles may be discussed, at both individual and societal levels in sites ranging from the body to the arts to political domains to civil disobedience. Topics covered may include all or some of:

  1. Women and the body: sexual scripts and their transgression
  2. The racialization of women’s sexuality
  3. Lesbian and queer theories of gender
  4. Violating gender roles: subversive strategies and identity politics
  5. Social change strategies and counter-resistance to social change
  6. Creating community and creating culture: art, language, performance, literature, and music.
Methods Of Instruction

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

  1. Lecture
  2. Audio-visual presentations
  3. Small group discussions
  4. Seminar presentations
  5. Classroom discussion
  6. Guest lectures.
Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy and will include both formative and summative components. Evaluation will be based on some or all of the following assignments and projects.

Class Participation and/or Presentations 10%
Exams and Quiz 60%
Group Workshops including discussion and presentations 5%
A Research Portfolio integrating creative art, research skills, and academic analysis 10%
Term Paper, Essay or Written Assignments 15%
TOTAL   100%
Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the course, the successful student should be able to:

  1. Evaluate the relevance of feminist approaches for understanding and improving the quality of women’s lives;
  2. Explain and evaluate the issues, context and consequences of the women’s movement, and the changing situation of women, especially within a Canadian context;
  3. Discuss the varied perspectives of feminist theories and apply these to contemporary issues;
  4. Explain and evaluate the ways in which gender is constructed and perpetuated through social processes, organizations, and institutions;
  5. Explain the ways in which women’s interests are represented by social policy and assess the potential for the feminization of policy;
  6. Recognize and identify the diversity in women’s situations and perspectives;
  7. Explore and integrate academic approaches with artistic representation within the context of contemporary feminist issues;
  8. Explain the global dimensions of gender issues;
  9. Demonstrate the relevance of course materials to their own lives and experience.
Textbook Materials

A list of recommended textbooks and materials is provided on the Instructor’s Course Outline, which is available to students at the beginning of each semester.

A standard Women’s Studies textbook, such as:

  • Crow, B., & Gotell, L. (2000). Open Boundaries: A Canadian Women’s Studies Reader. Toronto: Prentice-Hall Canada.


A course reader with materials to be drawn from such primary sources as:

  • Lorber, J. (1998) Beyond the binaries: Depolarizing the categories of sex, sexuality and gender. In M. F. Rogers (ed.), Contemporary feminist theory (pp. 15-25). Boston: McGraw-Hill
  • Agnew, V. (1995). Race, class, and feminist theory (Chapter 3). Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
  • Bear, S. with the Tobique Women’s Group. (1991). “You can’t change the Indian Act?” In J.D. Wine & J. L. Ristock (eds). Women and Social Change: Feminist Activism in Canada (pp. 198-220). Toronto: James Lorimer and Company.
  • Kinsley, C.H. (1993). Questions people have asked me. Questions I have asked myself. In C. Camper (ed.), Miscengenation Blues (pp. 113-132). (Toronto: Sister Vision Press).
  • Monture, P. (1995). Ka-Nin-Geh-Heh-Gah-E-Sa-Nonh-Yah-Gah. In The Chilly Collective (eds.), Breaking Anonymity: The Chilly Climate for Women Faculty (pp.265-278). Waterloo: Wilfred Laurier Press.
  • Siegel, R.J., & Cole, E. (1997). Celebrating the lives of Jewish Women. New York: The Haworth Press.
  • De Castell, S., & Bryson, M. (1997). Radical inventions: Identity, politics, and difference/s in educational praxis. Albany: State University of new York Press.
  • Kelm, M. (1998). Colonizing bodies. Vancouver: UBC Press.
  • Hoodfar, H. (1992). The veil in their minds and on our heads: The persistence of colonial images of Muslim women. Resources for Feminist Research, 21, 5-18.
  • Bannerji, H. (1993) Returning the gaze: Essays on racism, feminism, and politics. Toronto: Sister Vision Press.
  • Faith, K. (1993). Unruly women: The Politics of confinement and resistance. Vancouver: Press Gang Publishers.
  • Atkins, D. (1998). Looking queer: Body image and identity in lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender communities. The Hawthorn Press.

Reading materials will be updated periodically.




No prerequisite courses.


No corequisite courses.


No equivalent courses.

Requisite for

This course is not required for any other course.

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

Institution Transfer Details Effective Dates
Capilano University (CAPU) CAPU WMST 100 (3) 2004/09/01 to 2016/12/31
College of the Rockies (COTR) COTR WMST 1XX (3) 2015/09/01 to 2016/12/31
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU SOCI 1240 (3) 2004/09/01 to 2016/12/31
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU WS 101 (3), B-Soc 2004/09/01 to 2011/08/31
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU GSWS 101 (3), B-Soc 2011/09/01 to 2016/12/31
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU SSEL 1XXX (3) 2010/09/01 to 2016/12/31
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU SSEL 1XX (3) 2004/09/01 to 2010/08/31
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU WOST 1019 (3), OL 2011/01/01 to 2016/12/31
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU WOST 103 (3), OL 2004/09/01 to 2010/12/31
Trinity Western University (TWU) No credit 2004/09/01 to 2016/12/31
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO GWST 1st (3) 2004/09/01 to 2016/04/30
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV WMST 1st (3); DOUG WSGR 1100 (3) & DOUG WSGR 1101 (3) = UBCV WMST 100 (6); DOUG WSGR 1100 (3) & DOUG WSGR 1101 (3) = UBCV WMST 101 (3) & UBCV WMST 102 (3) 2004/09/01 to 2013/08/31
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV GRSJ 1st (3); DOUG WSGR 1100 (3) & DOUG WSGR 1101 (3) = UBCV GRSJ 100 (6); DOUG WSGR 1100 (3) & DOUG WSGR 1101 (3) = UBCV GRSJ 101 (3) & UBCV GRSJ 102 (3) 2013/09/01 to 2016/12/31
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC WMST 100 (3) 2004/09/01 to 2016/12/31
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV SOC 220 (3) 2004/09/01 to 2016/12/31
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC WS 104 (1.5) 2005/09/01 to 2016/12/31
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC GNDR 100 (1.5) 2016/05/01 to 2016/12/31
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC WS 110 (1.5) 2004/09/01 to 2005/08/31

Course Offerings

Fall 2020

There aren't any scheduled upcoming offerings for this course.