Women's Studies

Courses

The Women's Studies department offers courses required to complete VIU's Bachelor of Arts Minor in Women's Studies.

Course offerings vary from year to year. Check Generate a Timetable for available course offerings.

SWAG 100  (3)  Women and Leadership (Effective Sep 2018)

Students will explore the idea of leadership, learn tools for guiding others toward social justice, and explore some of the challenges women continue to face across private/public divides. SWAG 100 was formerly called WOST 100; credit will not be granted for both courses. (3:0:0)

Prerequisite: None.

SWAG 101  (3)  Civil Discourse and Campus Life (Effective Sep 2018)

Using social justice education tools, theory, civil discourse, and current laws, regulations and policies, students will examine their individual and collective responsibility in sustaining safer and more inclusive campus spaces for women and minorities. (3:0:0)

Prerequisite: None.

SWAG 102  (3)  Social Justice Issues and Children (Effective Sep 2018)

Students will be helped to understand the critical relationship forged between feminism and parenting, and discuss social justice issues around gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, and ability/disability in the contexts of living and/or working with children. (3:0:0)

Prerequisite: None.

SWAG 103  (3)  Care of Self: Feminism and Wellbeing (Effective Sep 2018)

While studying the critical relationship forged between feminist activism and self-care, students will explore various strategies for self-care, self-compassion, and harm reduction. (3:0:0)

Prerequisite: None.

SWAG 200  (3)  Introduction to Feminisms (Effective Sep 2018)

Students will read and respond to contemporary feminist theorists and activists. SWAG 200 was formerly called WOST 200; credit will not be granted for both courses. (3:0:0)

Prerequisite: None.

SWAG 201  (3)  Introduction to Gender (Effective Sep 2018)

Students will examine their assumptions about gender as it is constructed and performed in a socio-political context. SWAG 201 was formerly called WOST 201; credit will not be granted for both courses. (3:0:0)

Prerequisite: None.

SWAG 210  (3)  Introduction to Indigenous Feminisms (Effective Sep 2018)

Students will use the tools of Indigenous feminist inquiry to study the effects of colonialism, education, social policy, law, and tradition in the lives of Indigenous women. SWAG 210 was formerly called WOST 210; credit will not be granted for both courses. (3:0:0)

Prerequisite: None.

SWAG 211  (3)  Introduction to Indigenous Gender (Effective Sep 2018)

Students will use the tools of Indigenous feminist inquiry to study the roles of Indigenous women, Indigenous men, and Two-Spirit people in Canada. Particular attention will be paid to gendered identities, histories, and spiritualities. SWAG 211 was formerly called WOST 211; credit will not be granted for both courses. (3:0:0)

Prerequisite: None.

SWAG 300  (3)  Studies in Masculinity (Effective Sep 2018)

Students will study multiple ways that masculinity is constructed in relation to systems of power. (3:0:0)

Prerequisite: Third year standing or permission of instructor

SWAG 301  (3)  Discourses of Gender (Effective Sep 2018)

Students will learn how gender continues to be shaped by language, medicine, and law. Particular emphasis will be paid to sites of conflicted gender like transgender, genderqueer, non-binary, agender, and Two-Spirit. (3:0:0)

Prerequisite: Third year standing or permission of instructor.

SWAG 302  (3)  Queer Theory (Effective Sep 2018)

With the help of foundational readings in Queer Theory, students will develop capacities for challenging the construction of identity and social categories around gender, sexuality, and desire. (3:0:0)

Prerequisite: Third year standing or permission of instructor.

SWAG 303  (3)  Unruly Women: Mainstreaming Rebellion (Effective Sep 2018)

Students will interrogate the construction and subversion of popular tropes of deviant girlhood, womanhood, and femininity. (3:0:0)

Prerequisite: Third year standing or permission of instructor.

SWAG 305  (3)  Foundations of Feminist Thought, the Body and Representation (Effective Sep 2018)

Students will survey a broad arc of texts focusing on gender as a category of difference, and primarily women's responses to it: from past to present. SWAG 305 was formerly called WOST 305; credit will not be granted for both courses. (3:0:0)

Prerequisite: Third year standing or permission of instructor.

SWAG 306  (3)  Foundations of Feminist Thought, Work and Society (Effective Sep 2018)

Students will investigate gender as a site for activism. SWAG 306 was formerly called WOST 306; credit will not be granted for both courses. (3:0:0)

Prerequisite: Third year standing or permission of instructor.

SWAG 307  (3)  Women and Autobiography (Effective Sep 2018)

Students will read a variety of autobiographical texts in many forms, from the essay to the comic. How do the stories we tell about ourselves shape not just our narratives, but our bodies and identities? How do culturally available models of the gendered self shape the stories we tell? SWAG 307 was formerly called WOST 310; credit will not be granted for both courses. (3:0:0)

Prerequisite: Third-year standing or permission of instructor.

SWAG 310  (3)  Unsettling Canada: Indigenous Women's Activism (Effective Sep 2018)

Students will examine the activism of Indigenous women in Canada, with emphases placed equally on local, provincial, and national role models. (3:0:0)

Prerequisite: Third year standing or permission of instructor.

SWAG 311  (3)  Healing Words: Indigenous Women's Storytelling (Effective Sep 2018)

An exploration of Indigenous women's writing, storytelling, and spoken word performances in Canada. (3:0:0)

Prerequisite: Third year standing or permission of instructor.

SWAG 320  (3)  Advanced Women and Leadership (Effective Sep 2018)

A continuation of SWAG 100: Women and Leadership. SWAG 320 was formerly called WOST 320; credit will not be granted for both courses. (3:0:0)

Prerequisite: Third year standing or permission of instructor.

SWAG 330  (3)  Women and Gender in Digital Spaces (Effective Sep 2018)

Students will engage with an emergent landscape of feminist, queer, and trans scholarship on cyber-cultures, and think critically about their own participation in digital echo chambers. SWAG 330 was formerly called WOST 330; credit will not be granted for both courses. (3:0:0)

Prerequisite: Third-year standing or permission of instructor.

SWAG 340  (3)  Indigenous Feminisms and Indigenous Law (Effective Sep 2018)

An interdisciplinary investigation of legal issues concerning Indigenous Women in Canada. This course emphasizes an intersectional approach to Indigenous Law, environmental decision-making, Indigenous feminism, and narrative case studies. SWAG 340 was formerly called WOST 340; credit will not be granted for both courses. (3:0:0)

Prerequisite: Third-year standing or permission of instructor.

SWAG 341  (3)  Women and the Law (Effective Sep 2018)

Students will engage with an interdisciplinary investigation of legal issues concerning women in Canada. This course emphasizes intersectional analysis to help students understand women's overlapping sites of oppression and examines the relationship between women and the law by exploring ways that women have been defined as legal subjects. (3:0:0)

Prerequisite: Third-year standing or permission of instructor.

SWAG 380  (3)  Topics in Women and Gender (Effective Sep 2018)

Students will engage in an intensive study of selected aspects of gender, race, sexuality, class, ethnicity, and ability/disability. This course may be taken more than once, in different topics. SWAG 380 was formerly called WOST 380; credit will not be granted for both courses. (3:0:0)

Prerequisite: Third year standing or permission of instructor.

SWAG 400  (3)  Special Topics Feminist Theory (Effective Sep 2018)

Students will pursue an interdisciplinary review of significant issues in contemporary feminist theory. SWAG 400 was formerly called WOST 400; credit will not be granted for both courses. (3:0:0)

Prerequisite: Minimum of three SWAG upper-level credits or permission of instructor.

SWAG 401  (3)  Feminist Research Methodologies (Effective Sep 2018)

An exploration of feminist research methodologies. Each student completes a significant piece of research in the form of a senior project, the topic of which will be determined in consultation with the instructor, and provides regular updates of the progress of their work in the seminar component of the course. SWAG 401 was formerly called WOST 401; credit will not be granted for both courses. (0:3:0)

Prerequisite: Minimum of three SWAG upper-level credits or permission of instructor.

SWAG 490  (3)  Directed Studies (Effective Sep 2018)

Students will undertake a focused course of study with a faculty supervisor. Available only to students who are majoring or minoring in Studies in Women and Gender. SWAG 490 was formerly called WOST 490; credit will not be granted for both courses. (0:3:0)

Prerequisite: Minimum of three SWAG upper-level credits or permission of instructor. This course is for students registered in the SWAG major or minor only.

WOST 100  (3)  Young Women and Leadership: Issues and Action

Introduction to the history, challenges, and achievements of women as leaders and to the basic concepts of leadership theory, skills, and attributes. It explores critical issues facing young women preparing to assume leadership roles in their workplace or communities and draws on the experience of those who have done so. (3:0:0)

Prerequisite: None

WOST 200  (3)  Intro to Women's Studies I

This interdisciplinary course offers an introduction to the intellectual and social origins of feminism, and an exploration of the position of women in contemporary society. (3:0:0)

Prerequisite: None.

WOST 201  (3)  Intro to Women's Studies II

A continuation of WOST 200. (3:0:0)

Prerequisite: None.

WOST 210  (3)  Intro to Women's Studies: First Nations I

Using the tools of feminist inquiry, studies the roles and position of First Nations women in contemporary society with particular attention paid to women's identities, history and spirituality and to the effects of education, social policy, law and tradition on their lives. (3:0:0)

Prerequisite: None.

WOST 211  (3)  Intro to Women's Studies: First Nations II

A continuation of WOST 210. (3:0:0)

Prerequisite: None.

WOST 305  (3)  Foundations of Feminist Thought I

An examination of the origins of gender as a category of difference, and women's responses to it, from early times to the present. Texts focus on women's work, women and the economy (with both national and global perspectives), women and religion, women and violence and the institutionalization of gender, race and class differences. (3:0:0)

Prerequisite: WOST 200 and WOST 201 or WOST 210 and WOST 211.

WOST 306  (3)  Foundations of Feminist Thought II

An investigation of gender by looking at the roles played by language and by cultural representations of women. A review of the issues and accomplishments of first and second wave feminism. (3:0:0)

Prerequisite: WOST 200 and WOST 201 or WOST 210 and WOST 211.

WOST 310  (3)  Women's Autobiographies

An examination of a selection of autobiographical texts by women, with a frequent focus on the lives of First Nations women. Autobiography is a genre of expression frequently chosen by women perhaps because of the many forms it may take: journals, memoirs, diaries, sketches, poetry and film, and because of its tendency to subvert conventional genre boundaries. (0:3:0)

Prerequisite: WOST 200 and WOST 201 or WOST 210 and WOST 211.

WOST 320  (3)  Women and Leadership

An examination of the critical issues facing women who are preparing themselves to assume leadership roles in their workplace or communities, drawing on the experiences of those who have already done so. Encourages the development of a variety of leadership skills and includes both theoretical and practical components. (0:3:0)

Prerequisite: WOST 200 and WOST 201 or WOST 210 and WOST 211.

WOST 330  (3)  Women and Gender in Digital Spaces

Students will engage with an emergent landscape of feminist, queer, and trans scholarship on cyber-cultures. The online world deserves ongoing critical inquiry, and this course invites students to think extensively about their own forms of participation in "technocultures" (interactions between politics, technology, and culture). (3:0:0)

Prerequisite: Third-year standing.

WOST 340  (3)  Indigenous Feminism and Indigenous Law

An interdisciplinary investigation of legal issues concerning Indigenous Women in Canada. This course emphasizes an intersectional approach to Indigenous Law, environmental decision-making, Indigenous feminism, and narrative case studies. (3:0:0)

Prerequisite: Third-year standing or permission of instructor.

WOST 380  (3)  Topics in Women's Studies

An intensive study of selected aspects of Women's Studies. Topics vary from year to year to ensure a broad range of coverage. (May be taken for credit more than once in different topics.) (3:0:0)

Prerequisite: WOST 200 and WOST 201 or WOST 210 and WOST 211.

WOST 400  (3)  Feminist Theories

An interdisciplinary review of the significant feminist theories developed in the latter half of the twentieth century. (0:3:0)

Prerequisite: WOST 305 and WOST 306.

WOST 401  (3)  Feminist Research Methodologies

An exploration of a variety of feminist research methodologies. Each student completes a significant piece of research in the form of a senior project, the topic of which will be determined in consultation with the instructor, and provides regular updates of the progress of their work in the seminar component of the course. (0:3:0)

Prerequisite: WOST 305 and WOST 306.

WOST 490  (3)  Directed Studies

Students undertake an agreed-upon course of reading, regular meetings with faculty supervisor and submission of regular written assignments, one of which will be a research paper. Usually available only to students who are minoring in Women's Studies and on topics not covered in other courses. (0:3:0)

Prerequisite: WOST 305 and WOST 306.

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