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2019-2020 Gender Studies Core Courses & Electives

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*Three Compulsory Core Courses*

GENDRST 700 – Current Debates in Feminist and Gender Theory (3 units)

GENDRST 700 – Fall 2019 – Final Syllabus

Term: 1 (September to December 2019)
Class Schedule: Mondays, 11:30am – 2:20pm
Location: TSH 321
Instructor: Dr. Wafa Hasan

An investigation of current feminist and gender theorizing at the intersection of gender with race, sexuality, ability, and other categories of social difference. This course offers sustained attention to the intellectual skills of reading feminist and gender theory. It also considers implications of applying theory to feminist and related forms of activism. Specific topics will vary depending on the instructor’s area of expertise.

GENDRST 701 – Doing Research in Feminist and Gender Studies (3 units, Term 1 & 2 every other week)

GENDRST 701 2018-19 Syllabus

The 2019-20 syllabus will be posted when available.

Term: 3 (September 2019 to April 2020, every other week)
Class Schedule: Fall: Tuesdays, 2:30pm – 5:20pm  |  Winter: Tuesdays, 1:30pm – 4:20pm
Location: Fall: KTH 308 | Winter: TSH 530
Instructor: Dr. Christine Quail

This seminar introduces students to faculty researchers from across the McMaster campus to consider exciting new scholarship that engages feminist and gender studies from a range of disciplinary perspectives. As part of the course requirements, students will attend Gender Studies and Feminist Research Symposium events. Readings, assignments, and discussion will consider topics relating to research ethics, epistemologies and methodologies, including questions of theoretical framing and socio-political praxis. Coursework will include assignments designed to help students prepare effective proposals for independent research.

GENDRST 707 – Knowledge in Action (6 units)

(previously 702 – 3 units & 710 – 3 units, now combined)

GENDRST 707 – 2019-2020 Syllabus

The 2019-20 syllabus will be posted when available.

Term: 3 (September 2019 to April 2020)
Class Schedule: Fall: Thursdays, 10:30am – 1:20pm  |  Winter: Wednesdays, 11:30am – 2:20pm
Location: Fall – CNH 332 | Winter – CNH 332
Instructor: Dr. Amber Dean

This seminar takes up local community outreach and participatory action research within the framework of Gender and Feminist Studies. Readings will theorize experiential education as well as the ethics of advocacy and activism. Students will complete an experiential learning project involving a community organization with a mandate linked to one or more of the program’s four thematic research clusters and with which the Gender Studies and Feminist Research program has ongoing experiential education arrangements.

 GSFR Electives

The following electives are offered through GSFR. Please email for a seat in these courses.

If you are interested in taking an elective not offered through GSFR, please refer to the “List of Approved Electives from Outside Departments” list.


GENDRST 703 – Topics in Gender Studies & Feminist Research (3 units) Term: 2

GSFR 703 Winter 2019 Syllabus

The Winter 2020 syllabus will be posted when available.

Term: 2 (January – April 2020)
Class Schedule: Mondays, 3:30pm – 6:20pm
Location: CNH 307
Instructor: Dr. Shelina Kassam
Email: McMaster email TBD

This course examines the contemporary narratives regarding Muslims, race, gender, and multiculturalism in post 9/11 Canada. Students will examine key discourses underlying these narratives and will interrogate the political, sociological, cultural and ideological implications of these discourses. Students will examine the nature of the Canadian national imaginary, differential subjectivities, notions of citizenship, multiculturalism and secularism, and the role that Muslim bodies play in these discourses.

Through explorations of academic theory and of real-life case studies, students will be encouraged to probe how these discourses shape Canadian narratives on the nation-state, belonging, and the ‘Other.’ Central to these narratives is the raced and gendered figure of ‘the Muslim,’ who, in contemporary times, illuminates the contested terrain over ‘acceptable’ citizenship and the so-called ‘limits’ of multicultural ‘tolerance’. This contestation is evident in many contemporary debates: for example, debates about face veils and headcoverings, cases of domestic violence that are depicted as so-called ‘honour killings’, Shari’ah law, reasonable accommodation, ‘home-grown radicalism,’ violence and security. These debates are often ‘trigger points’ for larger conversations in Canada about multiculturalism, gender equality, secularism, citizenship and belonging, discourses in which the Muslim body (raced and gendered) is increasingly being used to demarcate boundaries of acceptability. We will interrogate these debates in this course, with students using academic post-colonial and feminist theories to deepen their understanding.

GENDRST 704 – Independent Study in Gender Studies & Feminist Research (3 units) Term: 1 & 2

*Students must have a supervisor arranged prior to receiving permission to enroll in Mosaic. Please contact for details*

*Students may only take GENDRST 704 once during their M.A. program*

A Directed Reading course involves in-depth study on a particular topic of interest, under the direct supervision of a faculty advisor with expertise in the subject field. The format usually includes regular tutorial meetings with the supervisor, and written assignments are often a significant part of the course. Normally, the work should be completed in one term. The workload and intellectual effort must be equivalent to a graduate level half-course. Students have the option of taking a Directed Reading Course provided a suitable graduate course is not available in the current curriculum, and provided the course does not overlap significantly with a course taken previously.A written proposal, which includes the purpose of the course, a preliminary bibliography, an evaluation scheme, and a tentative schedule for the completion of the work signed by the student and faculty advisor should be submitted to the Program Director for approval no later than the first week of the term in which the student plans to undertake this work.

GENDRST 705 – Disability, Subjectivity, and Visual Representation (3 units)

*NOT OFFERED 2019-20*

This interdisciplinary course brings together critical disability studies with feminist studies, queer studies, Indigenous studies, and critical race studies to think about how embodiment is inseparably corporeal, cultural, social, and political. We engage with theories about how society is organized through embodied norms, how all bodies are affected by these norms, and how critical disability thought and practice produce understandings of embodied differences. The course includes a focus on the politics of representation concerning embodiments: visual media provide a theoretical and philosophical ground for examining the politics of bodies, interrogating viewing and reception practices, and generating social justice possibilities. Topics/issues that shape our discussions include: madness and sanism; fat politics; illness; monstrosity; the politics of breast cancer; queerness and disability; systemic able-bodiedness in universities; racialization, class and the consequences of war; Indigenous interventions; and the effects of bio-power in classifying and controlling “anomalous” bodies.

GENDRST 706 / From There to Here: Refugee Women in the World and in Our Community (3 units)

*NOT OFFERED 2019-20*

In this seminar, we shall look at the evolution of the refugee status of women in the world and in Canada and at the politics of definition, at various refugee- causing situations and their specific impact on women, at the process of asylum- seeking and granting. But equally importantly, we shall discuss forms of resilience and coping strategies refugee women generate (ie: art, humour, activism). We shall also examine how to ethically conduct research and activism with/for refugee women. Finally, in the light of our knowledge, we shall examine the situation of refugee women in our community, services available, and how we could responsibly contribute as women and as academics to alleviate the situation of refugee women and prevent its occurring.

Other Required Courses:

The below listed courses are also required, and they are no-fee courses.

These courses need to be added to your student record at the time of registration (whether you are full-time or part-time), the same way you would add any other course. When you search for classes, look under the “S” tab and choose School of Graduate Studies. Then you will select 101 and 201.

SGS 101 will be available in Avenue to Learn under your Course List. SGS 201 can be completed online here. Registration in subsequent terms and graduation will be delayed if these courses are not completed.These no-fee courses need to be completed as soon as possible.

SGS 101 – Academic Research Integrity and Ethics (1.5 units)

This course will introduce incoming graduate students to the standards of academic integrity expected at McMaster. It will provide examples of acceptable and unacceptable practices and will clarify the responsibility and expectations of graduate students with respect to academic integrity. Students will be exposed to the Academic Integrity Policy of McMaster and best practices will be described that will minimize the likelihood of incorrectly attributed work from appearing in their assignments and research records. Students may not graduate or register for subsequent years in a graduate program at McMaster unless they have received a passing grade in SGS #101.

SGS 201 – Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and Ontario Human Rights Code (1.5 units)

All graduate students are required to complete appropriate training required to complete their research and studies (health and safety training, ethics training, biosafety training, etc.), as determined by their home Department or Program. All graduate students also are required to complete training on the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), which can be completed on-line []. Having an understanding of how we can identify and reduce attitudinal, structural, information, technological, and systemic barriers to persons with disabilities is core to McMaster University’s commitment to supporting an inclusive community in which all persons are treated with dignity and equality, and completion of AODA training is critical as McMaster’s graduates move forward in their varied, chosen professions.

Redesigned over summer 2017, AODA and Human Rights Code training comprises 5 short videos and a completion quiz that introduce important definitions, examples, and expectations with regard to supporting people with disabilities at McMaster. The training will take approximately 30 minutes to complete, including a quiz that must be taken once the videos are completed. You will be notified through Mosaic of official completion of the training. Students may not graduate or register for subsequent years in their program until they have completed their required training.