Zachary Seguin

WS Courses

WS 101 – An Introduction to Women's Studies

This is a survey course that provides an overview of the history of women's rights and struggles in western countries, with a special focus on Canada. The course provides an interdisciplinary focus that includes the impacts of culture, religion, politics and societal values on women's lives. The historical overview concludes with contemporary issues that include race/ethnicity, class, sexuality, body image, and violence.

WS 102 – Contemporary Women's Issues in Canada

This course introduces students to contemporary scholarship in the field of Women's Studies. Topics covered include female bodies and representation, aging women, violence against women, women and family, women and work, women in education, women and health, and women and religion.

WS 108E – Gender and Representation

A study of the ways gender in all its diversity is constructed and gendered experience is expressed in literature, rhetoric, and a variety of media.

WS 201 – Images of Women in Popular Culture

This course examines contemporary images of women and their historical foundations in a range of media, including books, magazines, film, television and the internet. The effects of these images on women's self-esteem and body image, as well as the strategies used to challenge these effects, will also be discussed.

WS 202 – Women Across Cultures: Canadian and Global Perspectives

The dynamics of gender and their intersection with race, ethnicity, class and sexuality in an increasingly globalized world are the focus of this course. Special emphasis will be given to women in developing world contexts and the lives of women in a multicultural Canada.

WS 205 – Gender, Culture and Technology

This course highlights the social relations that surround and define a range of technologies from household appliances to the internet. Special emphasis will be given to the different ways and contexts in which men and women understand and experience technology as designers, engineers, producers, and consumers.

WS 206 – Women and the Law

This course provides an introduction to feminist legal thought with a particular focus on Canadian cases, legislation, law reform, and legal literature. Included is an analysis of the ways in which law contributes to women's legal, social, political, and economic status as well as the manner in which the law is used as a mechanism of social change for women. The intersection of gender with age, race, ethnicity, religion, and class will be addressed.

WS 207 – Women and Entrepreneurship

This course examines women's work in North America since the mid-19th century, through to the enormous growth and success of women entrepreneurs in today's society. The final weeks of this course will feature guest speakers, adding a practical component to the course.

WS 208E – Women's Writing

This course explores a range of women's writing and the social and cultural contexts in which they made their voices heard.

WS 209 – Gender Relations

An examination of gender relations in Canadian society, including historical changes and the contemporary situation. Emphasis is placed on a consideration of the social construction of gender, the gender structure of institutions, and gender inequality. This course also examines selected issues in contemporary gender relations.

WS 222 – Gender Issues

Philosophical analysis of issues relating to sex/gender. Questions considered might include the following: What, if anything, is the difference between sex and gender? How much of a role do facts about biology play in our ideas about sex and gender? How many sexes are there? What ethical issues arise for us in virtue of our gender?

WS 261 – Women and the Great Religions

Through a review of the teachings of the great religious traditions about women, this course aims to arrive at a global view of the situation of women "in the world of religion". On the basis of the evidence gathered, it will attempt an estimation of the role of religion as an intimate and important influence on human development.

WS 262 – Global Queer Cinema

This course introduces the varied production of world-wide gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender cinema. Inquiry will focus on how queer cinematic production serves as a vehicle for documentation and education, aesthetic and sexual experimentation, as well as cultural export and self-inquiry.

WS 281 – Women in Russia: The Conscience of a Nation

This course is a survey of the cultural, artistic, and literary impact of women on Russian society and intellectual development. It examines the changing images of Russian women from early tribal matriarchy to the present post-Communist period. Special attention is paid to the "women's question" in Russia, including nineteenth-century emancipation, the Revolutionary movement, and specific problems and achievements of women in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia.

WS 302 – Thinking Through Gender: Feminist Perspectives

This course presents students with an opportunity to engage with a range of feminist theories and approaches to better understand gender in relation to the body, identity, law, sexuality, space, the State, and/or subjectivity. Queer and transgender theories and issues will also be addressed.

WS 306 – Contemporary Health Issues for Women

This course draws on a range of feminist theories and frameworks to examine the interconnections between women and health in local, national, and international contexts. Topics may include the medicalization of women's health; reproductive experiences, choices, technologies and rights; health care systems and institutions; health policy; and the links with leisure, recreation, and health. Intersections of gender with race, ethnicity, religion, class, sexuality, and aging will also be addressed.

WS 308 – Gender and Leisure

This seminar course focuses on recent theoretical and empirical research on the relationships between gender and leisure. Topics will include analysis of men's and women's leisure experiences, attitudes, constraints, challenges, and behaviours. Gendered aspects of leisure will be explored in a variety of social and cultural contexts, including families, informal and social settings, organized leisure, and the media.

WS 320 – Sex and the World Religions

This course examines deeply rooted attitudes in the major world religions toward sexual identity, practices, and gender. Examining sacred scriptures and codes of conduct from the world religions, as well as fictional writings and films, this course enables students to explore various social and religious traditions.

WS 321 – Women in Buddhism: A Global Perspective

An examination of the interplay between cultural and historical contexts and beliefs about the religious potential of Buddhist women, and their consequences for women's religious practice historically and currently in India, China, Japan and the West.

WS 322 – Images of the Feminine: India

This course offers an in-depth study and analysis of women as well as the Divine Feminine in the religions of India, which include Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, tribal religion, and the Baha'i tradition.

WS 323 – Gender and Asian Religions

This course focuses on how the major Asian religious traditions construct gender and legitimize certain gender roles. Traditions covered include Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Islam, and Shinto.

WS 325 – Austen

A study of selected novels by Jane Austen, including Pride and Prejudice and Emma. Her letters and juvenilia may also be considered, as well as some of the films based on or inspired by her novels.

WS 331 – Gender in War and Peace

An examination of various themes in the history of peace and war using gender as a central category of analysis. Theoretical literature and international case studies will be used to explore how the discourse and enactment of war and peace are influenced by societal constructions of gender, both historically and in the present.

WS 334 – Women and Music

An examination of women's roles in music from a cross-cultural perspective. Topics include women's music as a genre, historical accounts of women's music-making, the effects of gender ideology on women's musical activities, and music behaviour and performance in inter-gender relations.

WS 347 – Witches, Wives, and Whores

This course explores the ways in which Early Modern European women experienced, participated in, shaped, and responded to the world they inhabited. It investigates the ways in which women negotiated the Early Modern world as it unfolded in the Renaissance, the Reformation, European encounters around the world, and the challenges of everyday life.

WS 350 – Culture and Sexuality

An examination of the ways in which gender categories, sex roles, and sexual behaviour are considered in the literature of cultural and biological anthropology.

WS 365 – Special Topics in Women's Studies

A reading course permitting a student to work with any member of the faculty participating in Women's Studies at Waterloo. To be arranged with the Women's Studies Director and the respective Women's Studies faculty member.

WS 370 – Women Writers of the Italian Renaissance

This course explores selected works by women writers of the Italian 16th century by focusing on their modes of adherence or challenges to the patriarchal literary and cultural canon of the day. It will examine early modern gender issues and innovative forms of self-expression as reflected in the writings of such women as Veronica Franco, Gaspara Stampa, Vittoria Colonna, Tullia D'Aragona, and Isabella di Morra. The course attempts to explore these writers' stances as both consumers and producers of culture, as well as their contribution to the debate on women fashionable at the time.

WS 409 – Theoretical Perspectives on Gender

An examination of sociological theories of gender and gender relations. Emphasis is placed on tracing historical changes in interpretations of gender, with a particular consideration of contemporary theoretical debates. Approaches to be considered include feminist theories as well as political economy and cultural studies.

WS 410F – Eighteenth-Century Women Writers

A selection of writing by women such as Behn, Finch, Montagu, Fielding, Edgeworth, and Austen. Topics may include the culture of sensibility, romance and the gothic, and the interaction of women's writing with discourses of race and colonialism.

WS 422 – Studies in Feminist Philosophy/Philosophy of Sex

Special topics in feminist philosophy, women philosophers and/or the philosophy of sex, as announced by the Department of Philosophy.

WS 430 – Literary Women in Early Modern Hispanic Culture

This course will examine works by and about women in early modern Hispanic culture (16th and 17th centuries), with particular attention to engagements with and subversions of patriarchal culture in theatre, prose, and poetry. Authors to be discussed may include Santa Teresa de Avila, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, Maria de Zayas, and Ana Caro.

WS 475 – Advanced Research Project in Women's Studies

This course offers the opportunity for independent study of specialized areas, theory and methodology, texts, discourses and writers of interest in the context of women's history, status and condition. Students are under the tutorial guidance of a faculty member involved in Women's Studies.

WS 499A – Senior Honours Thesis

Directed reading and research in a selected area of Women's Studies inquiry.

WS 499B – Senior Honours Thesis

Directed reading and research in a selected area of Women's Studies inquiry.

WS 601 – Advanced Feminist Theory: Special Topics in Women's Issues

This course focuses on the evolution of general theory and methodology in feminism from its base in Greek philosophy to the twentieth century critique of abstractionism and recent discourse in French feminism. What is reflected in feminist theory and methodology are changes in ideology and differential relations between the sexes over time.

WS 602 – Theories of Gender Relations

A critical examination of theories concerning the origin of sex inequality and an attempt to identify indicators of changing status of the sexes as well as factors which account for such changes.

WS 680 – Directed Readings in Selected Topics

This course offers the opportunity for independent study of specialized areas, theory and methodology, texts, discourses and writers of interest in the context of women's status and condition. Students are under the guidance of a faculty member involved in the Women's Studies Option.