Douglas College wordmark
Facebook logo Twitter logo Instagram logo Snapchat logo YouTube logo Wordpress logo
back to search

Contemporary Issues in Gender, Sexualities, and Women's Studies

Course Code: GSWS 1101
Faculty: Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course provides an interdisciplinary introduction to the field of Women’s Studies, emphasizing the gendered social processes and structures that shape our lives. Beginning with an intersectional introductory review of feminist and queer theories and movements, the course will survey a range of contemporary social issues in Canada. It will also explore changes in gendered experiences and perspectives within a dynamic and increasingly global context.

Course Content

Theoretical Foundations of Gender, Sexualities and Women’s Studies

 This includes all or some of:

  1. A history of feminisms, related theoretical frameworks and/or movements in Canada and beyond
  2. Intersectionality: integrating analysis of race, class, sexualities, colonialism, (dis)ability, and gender
  3. Queer theory
  4. Social constructionism
  5. Essentialism within feminist and queer theorizing and activism
  6. Creation/enforcement of norms and margins; moving margins to center; privilege and oppression; defining and examining hegemony
  7. Theoretical perspectives: anti-racist, Marxist, socialist, liberal, radical, cultural, queer, critical disability studies, standpoint, and anarchist feminisms

From Theory to Praxis: Contemporary Social and Political Issues

This includes all or some of:

  1. Gendered education, science, and technology
  2. Gender and sexualities in health and medical care
  3. Language as a site of oppression, power, and resistance
  4. Gendered violence
  5. Bodies and the media
  6. Globalization and transnational feminisms
  7. Colonization, resistance and reconciliation
  8. Objectification, racialization and sexualities
  9. Masculinities
  10. Incarceration and institutionalization
  11. Work and welfare.

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 40%
Group Workshops including discussion and presentations 10%
A Research Portfolio integrating creative art, research skills, and academic analysis 10%
Term Paper, Essay or Written Assignments 30%
TOTAL   100%

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Analyze the relevance of feminist and queer approaches for understanding and improving quality of life;
  2. Explain and evaluate the issues and consequences of feminist activism, within Canadian and global contexts;
  3. Discuss the varied perspectives of feminist and queer theories and apply these to contemporary issues;
  4. Explain and evaluate the ways in which gender and sexualities are constructed and perpetuated through social processes, organizations, and institutions;
  5. Explain the ways in which gendered interests are represented by social policy and assess the potential for policy equity;
  6. Recognize and identify diversity in feminist and queer perspectives;
  7. Demonstrate the relevance of course materials to students' own lives and experience.

course prerequisites




WSGR 1101

curriculum 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 schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.