Concordia University

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Simone de Beauvoir Institute and Women's Studies

Section 31.560

Please note that the current version of the Undergraduate Calendar is up to date as of February 2017.

Principal
KIMBERLY MANNING, PhD University of Washington; Associate Professor

Professors
CHANTAL MAILLÉ, PhD Université du Québec à Montréal
VIVIANE NAMASTE, PhD Université du Québec à Montréal; Provost’s Distinction
GENEVIÈVE RAIL, PhD University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Associate Professor
GADA MAHROUSE, PhD University of Toronto

Fellows
ADEELA ARSHAD-AYAZ, PhD McGill University; Assistant Professor, Education
RACHEL BERGER, PhD University of Cambridge; Associate Professor, History
ROSEMARY-CLAIRE COLLARD, LLD New York University; Assistant Professor, Geography, Planning and Environment
SANDRA CURTIS, PhD Concordia University; Professor, Creative Arts Therapies
LINDA KAY, MA Concordia University; Professor, Journalism
EMER O’TOOLE, PhD University of London; Assistant Professor, School of Canadian Irish Studies
LORNA ROTH, PhD Concordia University; Professor, Communication Studies
ROSEMARIE SCHADE, DPhil University of York (U.K.); Associate Professor, History

Permanent Fellows
ARPI HAMALIAN, MA American University of Beirut; Associate Professor, Education
ELIZABETH HENRIK, PhD Tulane University; Professor, Psychology
SUSAN HOECKER-DRYSDALE, PhD Louisiana State University; Professor, Sociology and Anthropology
MAÏR E. VERTHUY, MA University of Toronto; Professor, Études françaises
KATHERINE WATERS, MA University of Oxford; Professor, English

Research Associates
FARIDA ABLA, MFA University of Arkansas
TAMARA AMOROSO GONÇALVES, MA Universidade de Sao Paulo, LLM Pontifica Catolica de Sao Paulo
SIMA APRAHAMIAN, PhD McGill University
SYEDA BUKHARI, PhD Simon Fraser University
JEAN CHAPMAN, PhD University of Bradford
DOLORES CHEW, PhD University of Calcutta
KARIN DOËRR, PhD McGill University
DOROTHY GELLER, PhD George Washington University
ABBY LIPPMAN, PhD McGill University
PAULINE MCKENZIE AUCOIN, PhD University of Toronto
ELIZABETH J. MEYER, PhD McGill University
LUISA MOLINO, MSc McGill University
KATHLEEN O’GRADY, PhD University of Cambridge
ESMERALDA THORNHILL, LLD City University of New York
HAÏFA TLILI, PhD Université Paris V – Sorbonne
TRACY YING ZHANG, PhD Simon Fraser University

For the complete list of faculty members, please consult the Department website.


Location

Sir George Williams Campus
Annex MU, Room: 202
514-848-2424, ext. 2370


Objectives

The Institute strives to stimulate the investigation and understanding of the role of women in society and to encourage women to develop their creative potential. In research and teaching, special attention is given to gender, race, class, and sexual orientation.
The Institute has several objectives: to investigate the history, current situation, and changing needs of women; to generate support for research topics relevant to women; to encourage full recognition of women’s contribution to human achievement; to ensure that women and gender issues are studied in a non-discriminatory manner; to strengthen women’s rights and the conditions for exercising them; to ensure the equality of all individuals without distinction of race, sex, age, language, or religion.
Women’s Studies encompass and modify all areas of knowledge. Through the introduction of new perspectives and new research, this field of study helps to correct and complete the traditional scholarly record. It is in essence interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary since the specificity of the condition of women embraces all existing disciplines. It thus questions the concept and structures of knowledge contained within the disciplinary boundaries and contributes to bringing about a reunification of the knowledge and scholarship that has become increasingly fragmented.


SIMONE DE BEAUVOIR INSTITUTE
Founded in 1978 to promote the understanding of the historical and contemporary situation of women in society, the Simone de Beauvoir Institute of Concordia University helps women to discover and develop their potential, both by its academic base in Women’s Studies and by its co-curricular activities. We are honoured that Simone de Beauvoir authorized us to use her name, and expressed great interest in being informed of our activities.
All students registered in the Specialization, Major, Minor, or Certificate in Women’s Studies are members of the Institute. Other undergraduate students are welcome to become members if they undertake to complete nine credits of WSDB courses.
The co-curricular life of the Institute is extremely important, and all members are expected to contribute to our activities. Exciting opportunities are available to organize workshops, colloquia, and debates on subjects that interest the members, as well as to collaborate with women’s organizations outside the University on research projects and other joint ventures.

Admission Requirements for the Simone de Beauvoir Institute
Students may apply simultaneously to Concordia University and the Simone de Beauvoir Institute by filling out and submitting the Concordia University Application for Admission with the box for “Colleges” checked and “Simone de Beauvoir Institute” written in the space provided. Further information about the Institute can be obtained by calling or visiting its offices or website at concordia.ca/artsci/sdbi


Programs

Students are responsible for satisfying their particular degree requirements.
The superscript indicates credit value.

Students should consult with the Women’s Studies advisor prior to registering for Women’s Studies courses.

  60    BA Specialization in Women’s Studies
  24    WSDB 2903, 2913, 2923, 3803, 4803, 4903, 4966
  18    Chosen from WSDB 3833, 3843, 3903, 3913, 3923, 3933, 4913, 4923
  18    Chosen from the list of Optional Courses
NOTE: To be admitted to the specialization, students must have completed a minimum of 24 WSDB credits in the Women’s Studies Major and obtain approval of a full-time WSDB instructor following the submission of a detailed description of a proposed research project for the WSDB 4966 course. In addition, students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 to be accepted and must maintain an assessment GPA of 3.0 while in the specialization.

  42    BA Major in Women’s Studies
  18    WSDB 2903, 2913, 2923, 3803, 4803, 4903
  15    Chosen from WSDB 3833, 3843, 3903, 3913, 3923, 3933, 4913, 4923
    9    Chosen from the list of Optional Courses

  30    Minor in Women’s Studies
  15    WSDB 2903, 2913, 2923, 3803, 4803
    9    Chosen from WSDB 3833, 3843, 3903, 3913, 3923, 3933, 4903, 4913, 4923
    6    Chosen from the list of Optional Courses

  30    Certificate in Women’s Studies
    9    WSDB 2903, 2913, 2923
  15    Chosen from WSDB 3833, 3843, 3903, 3913, 3923, 3933, 4913, 4923
    6    Chosen from the list of Optional Courses

Students may transfer into the certificate program up to 12 credits earned in an incomplete degree or certificate program or as an Independent student, provided they are students in good standing. The credits that may be so transferred are determined by the University at the point of entry into the program.

Optional Courses
WSDB 2983, 3653, 3703, 3813, 3833, 3843, 3853, 3863, 3903, 3913, 3923, 3933, 3983, 4903, 4913, 4923, 4983; ANTH 2763; ARTH 3813; CLAS 3533; COMS 3683, 4723; EDUC 3213; ENGL 3036, 3513, 3523, 3823, 3933; FLIT 3603, 4713, 4723; FMST 3293, 3923, 3933; HIST 3053, 3473; INTE 2706, 2753; PHIL 3713, 4713; POLI 3093; RELI 3813, 3823, 3833, 3843, 3853, 3863, 3873, 3923; SOCI 2763, 3803, 4753, 4763; SCPA 3523; THEO 2953

NOTE: Students should consult the appropriate departments concerning possible prerequisites for the courses listed under Optional Courses.

Language/Langue
Les règlements actuels permettent à toute étudiante et tout étudiant d’écrire ses devoirs ou examens en anglais ou en français dans tous les cours offerts, à l’exception des cours de langue. La langue d’enseignement sera normalement l’anglais.
Non-francophone students may equally submit assignments in English in Français 451, 476, and 477, as long as they are taking the course for credit in Women’s Studies or as an elective, and not as part of a program of the Département d’études françaises.


Courses

N.B.:

  1. 300-level courses are generally open only to students who have successfully completed at least 15 credits, which include WSDB 290, 291 and 292. Students who do not have these prerequisites may also register with permission of the Institute.
  2. 400-level courses are generally open only to students who have successfully completed at least 30 credits, which include WSDB 290, 291, 292 and 380. Students who do not have these prerequisites may also register with permission of the Institute.


WSDB 290       Introduction to Historical Perspectives in Women’s Studies
(3 credits)
This course provides an introduction to theories and writing that affect the lives of women. Through the writing of feminist authors, students examine, from mainly the 20th century, the development of feminist theories and debate. Specific authors may include Simone de Beauvoir, Audre Lorde, Gloria Anzaldua, Angela Davis, Adrienne Rich, Monique Wittig, and Chandra Mohanty.

WSDB 291       Introduction to Contemporary Concerns in Women’s Studies (3 credits)
This course explores a range of current issues and debates within feminism. Using interdisciplinary feminist theories that consider how systems of power such as patriarchy, capitalism, racism, and heterosexism constitute one another, it examines particular local and global topics of interest/concern which may include health, education, work, violence against women, globalization, militarism, media and cultural representations, families, and feminist activism.
NOTE: Students who have received credit for WSDZ 291 may not take this course for credit.

WSDB 292       Feminisms and Research Methods (3 credits)
Prerequisite: Enrolment in a Women’s Studies program or permission of the Institute. This course exposes students to a variety of research practices from a feminist perspective. These practices can include oral history, interviews, archival research, and participant observation. Students learn how to gather, analyze, and effectively present ideas and information. Practical, hands-on exercises offer an opportunity for learning. Examination of research methods occurs in dialogue with questions of how knowledge is organized. Students are also exposed to recent developments in information literacy. This course prepares students to conduct their own research projects throughout their studies.

WSDB 298       Selected Topics in Women’s Studies (3 credits)
Specific topics for these courses, and prerequisites relevant in each case, are stated in the Undergraduate Class Schedule.

WSDB 365       Feminist Theory and Popular Culture (3 credits)
This course examines how feminism has not only commented on the world of pop culture but has entered and altered it. Through a study of television, film, advertising, pop music, cyber culture, and kiddie culture, students look at the ways in which popular culture has impacted how women view themselves and how they are viewed.
NOTE: Students who have received credit for this topic under a WSDB 398 number may not take this course for credit.

WSDB 370       Workshops in Special Areas of Women’s Studies (3 credits)
Prerequisite: See N.B. number (1). The purpose of these workshops is to examine a number of issues relevant to Women’s Studies. Specific topics for this course are stated in the Undergraduate Class Schedule.

WSDB 380       Feminist Thought I (3 credits)
Prerequisite: See N.B. number (1). This course introduces students to the main aspects of feminist thought across the disciplines. Through a selection of readings and case studies, feminist thought is examined in two interrelated senses: the exercise of woman-centred inquiry, and feminism as a critique of existing knowledge frameworks. Students are introduced to fundamental feminist notions such as the distinction between the private and the public, the notion of experience, androcentrism, and the division between the family and the economy. The history of feminist thought is explored as well as its articulation since the 1970s and its contribution to Women’s Studies and to social theory in general. Also examined is the potential and power of different feminist theories to effect social change and transform the social world they analyze.

WSDB 381       Indigenous Women and Feminisms (3 credits)
Prerequisite: See N.B. number (1). This course aims to acquaint students with the concerns and contemporary realities of Indigenous women in North America. It examines Indigenous politics, activism, and culture through current feminist, decolonizing and post-colonial lenses. The course examines issues such as identity, representation, citizenship, land, sovereignty, nationalism, sexual and social violence, and de/re/colonization. Students develop critical thinking skills necessary to explore how sexism and racism are encoded in Canadian institutions and laws, how Indigenous women have engaged with the resulting disenfranchisement, and how they have been leading actors in Indigenous struggles, making significant contributions to their communities and nations.
NOTE: Students who have received credit for this topic under a WSDB 398 number may not take this course for credit.

WSDB 383       Lesbian Issues and Realities (3 credits)
Prerequisite: See N.B. number (1). This course introduces the field of lesbian studies and examines lesbian existence from a political and empirical perspective. The course engages diverse feminist perspectives on gender, nation, race, class, culture, ability and sexual identity in the lives and political consciousness of lesbians. Attention is paid to Canadian and Quebec contexts.
NOTE: Students who have received credit for this topic under a WSDB 398 number may not take this course for credit.

WSDB 384       Queer Feminism (3 credits)
Prerequisite: See N.B. number (1). This course introduces the critical and discursive legacies of “queer feminism,” engaging with a host of identities, bodies, practices and pleasures. The course interrogates the ways in which gender and sexuality intersect with nation, race, class, culture and ability from the point of view of political action and cultural production. Attention is paid to Canadian and Quebec contexts.

WSDB 385       Introduction to Trans Studies (3 credits)
Prerequisite: See N.B. number (1). The first part of the course reviews the emergence of Trans Studies: what came before it and what distinguished it from other forms of knowledge about trans people. Also reviewed is Trans Studies’ theoretical and methodological heritage, including the ways in which Feminism and Queer Theory have shaped the field’s interests. The second part of the course evaluates Trans Studies in action by looking at selected aspects of some trans people’s lives: their history, community building, access to health care and social services, criminalization, and self-narration.
NOTE: Students who have received credit for this topic under a WSDB 398 number may not take this course for credit.

WSDB 386       Framing the Prostitute (3 credits)
Prerequisite: See N.B. number (1): The “problem” of prostitution — specifically the public/visible presence of women providing sexual services to men for money — has long preoccupied Western society. This course explores the frames superimposed on prostitution, regardless of the cultural, religious, scientific, geographic or political context in which it exists.
NOTE: Students who have received credit for this topic under a WSDB 398 number may not take this course for credit.

WSDB 390       Feminist Perspectives on Peace (3 credits)
Prerequisite: See N.B. number (1). Using feminist scholarship, this course covers themes such as militarism, the war industry, women in the military, war mythologies, organized and domestic violence, roles played by women during wars, wars against women, peace education and feminist peace activism.

WSDB 391       Health Issues: Feminist Perspectives (3 credits)
Prerequisite: See N.B. number (1). This course presents feminist, intersectional, postcolonialist, poststructuralist and queer examinations of a variety of women’s health issues. It explores the complex cultural politics that tend to legitimize existing power relations in health care, health research, and “health” industries. Topics include biopolitics and surveillance of women’s bodies, medicalization and disease mongering, patriarchal capitalism and the health industry, cosmetic surgery and oppression or agency, women’s health and sociocultural identifications, feminist medical ethics, and alternative and feminist health care.

WSDB 392       Féminismes dans la francophonie (3 crédits)
Préalable: Voir N.B. numéro (1). A partir de textes théoriques et d’ouvrages traitant de la vie quotidienne, ce cours examine les similitudes, les analogies et les traits distinctifs des luttes des femmes durant les deux dernières décennies, ici et ailleurs dans la francophonie, notamment les luttes des Arabes, des Antillaises ou des femmes d’Afrique noire.

WSDB 393       Critical Race Feminisms (3 credits)
Prerequisite: See N.B. number (1). This course explores the concepts of race, racism, and racialization, alongside feminist theories and practices. Drawing from feminist and critical race theories, the course focuses on questions of power, knowledge production, and interlocking systems of oppression within local and global contemporary contexts. It provides opportunities to reflect upon anti-racist feminist practice and to apply anti-racist analyses.
NOTE: Students who have received credit for this topic under a WSDB 398 number may not take this course for credit.

WSDB 394       Tutorial in Women’s Studies (3 credits)
Prerequisite: Enrolment in a Women’s Studies program; 24 university credits including WSDB 290, 291, 292 and 380; and permission of the Institute. In addition, students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 (B) and a demonstrated ability to carry out independent research. Tutorials are given only in exceptional circumstances and should focus on a topic not covered under the normal curriculum. A Tutorial Request form must be completed by the student and then approved by a full-time Simone de Beauvoir Institute faculty member acting as a supervisor.
NOTE: Students who have received credit for this topic under a WSDB 398 or 498 number may not take this course for credit.

WSDB 398       Selected Topics in Women’s Studies (3 credits)

WSDB 399       Selected Topics in Women’s Studies (6 credits)

Specific topics for these courses, and prerequisites relevant in each case, are stated in the Undergraduate Class Schedule.

WSDB 480       Feminist Thought II (3 credits)
Prerequisite: See N.B. number (2). While Feminist Thought I examines feminism as critique of theory in various historical and disciplinary topics, this course looks closely at the different feminist theories of the social world. The course considers fundamental concepts of Marxist feminism, post-structuralist feminist theory, feminist critical theory, and post-colonialist feminisms. Students learn how to summarize these different theoretical approaches, as well as how to think about them in a comparative manner.

WSDB 490       Feminist Ethics (3 credits)
Prerequisite: See N.B. number (2). This interdisciplinary seminar considers the effect of systems of gender, race, and class on women’s place in society. It takes into account recent developments in feminist scholarship in the humanities and social sciences.

WSDB 491       Feminist Perspectives on Culture (3 credits)
Prerequisite: See N.B. number (2). This seminar explores the central concepts and theories in feminist cultural studies, as they inform feminist, post-colonial, queer, and post-structuralist understandings of culture. The focus is on women as cultural producers and subjects in/of various cultural texts (e.g. cinema, visual arts, music, advertising, popular media, feminist writings). The discursive construction of gender, as it is inflected by class, race, sexuality, and location, is examined as well as the ways in which it is used, displayed, imagined and performed in contemporary culture. Students develop practical and analytical skills, posing questions of how particular cultural narratives function within social, political and economic contexts. Students are required to participate in and lead discussions of the readings and to create and/or critique cultural productions.

WSDB 492       Post-colonial and Anti-colonial Feminist Theories and Practice (3 credits)
Prerequisite: See N.B. number (2). The course is devoted to understanding the gendered dimensions of colonial/imperial relations of power and resistance both in historical and contemporary contexts. The main themes covered in the course include settler colonialism in Canada; knowledge, representations and power; contemporary challenges and resistance to anti-imperialist struggles; and post-colonial analyses of current economic and political relations.
NOTE: Students who have received credit for this topic under WSDB 498 may not take this course for credit.

WSDB 494       Advanced Tutorial in Women’s Studies (3 credits)
Prerequisite: Enrolment in a Women’s Studies program; 24 university credits including WSDB 290, 291, 292, 380; and permission of the Institute. In addition, students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 (B) and a demonstrated ability to carry out independent research. Tutorials are given only in exceptional circumstances and should consist of a topic not covered under the normal curriculum. A Tutorial Request form must be completed by the student and then approved by a full-time Simone de Beauvoir Institute faculty member acting as a supervisor.
NOTE: Students who have received credit for this topic under a WSDB 398 or 498 number may not take this course for credit.

WSDB 496       Directed Research (6 credits)
Prerequisite: Enrolment in the Specialization in Women’s Studies; 30 credits, including WSDB 290, 291, 292, 380, 480, and permission of instructor. This course is designed for advanced students and is generally only available to students in their final 24 to 30 credits. Students are expected to produce a substantial research project and are supervised by full-time faculty.

WSDB 498       Seminar in Women’s Studies (3 credits)

WSDB 499       Seminar in Women’s Studies (6 credits)

Specific topics for these courses, and prerequisites relevant in each case, are stated in the Undergraduate Class Schedule.

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