Fall 2019 - GSWS 321 E100

Special Topics in Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies (4)

Sex Work

Class Number: 5748

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 5:30 PM – 9:20 PM
    HCC 2270, Vancouver

  • Prerequisites:

    15 units.



A specific theme within the field of gender, sexuality, and women's studies, not otherwise covered in depth in regularly scheduled courses, will be dealt with as occasion and demand warrant.


This course interrogates ongoing feminist debates surrounding the sex industry, specifically focusing on the local community and contextualizing what happens here in relation to larger discussions of sex work on an international level.  From our contemporary standpoint, we will explore how the experience and perceptions of sex workers has changed over time.  We will look at feminist texts that span across disciplines that consider both sides of the agent/victim dichotomy that permeates these discussions.  By the end of this course, students will be able to articulate the key intersections of sex work and feminism, and consider alternatives to this issue so entrenched with binary thinking.

Course Goals:
- to develop critical engagement with global approaches to the regulation of sexual labour
- to become familiar with the diverse community responses to sex work
- to increase ability to consider varying disciplinary approaches to sex work
- to explore the governmental and non-governmental supports available to those involved with the sex industry
- to improve understanding of the complex lived reality of sex workers


For more detailed information please see the GSWS website: http://www.sfu.ca/gsws/courses/Educational_Goals.html


  • Attendance and Participation 20%
  • Comparative Essay (approx. 5-8 pages) 15%
  • In-Class Mid-Late term Exam 15%
  • Final Essay (approx. 10-15 pages) 25%
  • Group Project and Presentation (last class) 25%



Available On-Line via the SFU Library

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html