Fall 2020 - GSWS 102 D100

Feminist Action (3)

Class Number: 7459

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:


  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 16, 2020
    12:00 PM – 12:00 PM
    TAKE HOME-EXAM, Burnaby



An historical and comparative survey of feminisms and feminist activism in Western European, North American, and Global communities. Students who have completed WS 102 may not take GSWS 102 for further credit. Breadth-Humanities.


In this course we will explore the history of feminist actions and social movements from the mid-eighteenth century to today. We will explore histories and activisms from around the globe.  We will use texts created by activists from a range of historical periods and geographies to come to an understanding of the diversity of feminist actions.

At the end of this course you will:

  • Be able to discuss definitions of ‘feminism’
  • Be aware of the major schools of feminist thought
  • Understand the concepts of, and problems with, ‘waves of feminism’
  • Understand that different movements prioritised different agendas at different times
  • Explain feminist action on major topics such as suffrage; reproductive rights; sexuality; and violence.
  • Be able to provide examples and case studies from across the globe.


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


  • Using the Discussion Board inside Canvas introduce yourself. Include the following: your name (first name is fine); your level of study; your major/intended major; a picture of your pet/animal you’d like as a future pet/ picture of your favourite plant if you don’t like animals; one thing you like about SFU. 5%
  • Pick 2 of: Mary Wollstonecraft; Sojourner Truth; Savitribae Phule; Emmeline Pankhurst or Huda Shaarawi. Do a little research and create an electronic postcard (a Word document) that includes: an image of your selected women; a short biography (4-5 lines); explain their importance in relation to their achievements (4-5 lines); and ONE thing that you know about them that you think is the most important or the most interesting. You can create both postcards on one Word file. 5%
  • Reading Exercise – Mitchell 5%
  • Design a button for a feminist campaign 5%
  • Reading Exercise – Kumar 5%
  • Reading Exercise - Szalay 5%
  • Bi -weekly contributions to the Discussion Board, these will be graded based on the strength of the contribution and reference to the course materials and reading for that section. Specific questions will be set. These comments are in relation to discussion in the virtual tutorial A. 10%
  • Final assignment – take home, open book quiz 30%
  • Responses to Alternate Tutorial – these may be creative: a journal entry; a poem; a collage; a painting; interpretive dance; a movie of found images; a recording of curated music. Due one week after you have had your Alternative Tutorial. 30%



As we are teaching and learning remotely the course is structured rather differently from the in-person delivery. Rather than having weekly lectures on one topic I have created a series of modules. Each module includes: slides and aural lecture; required readings; online tutorials (6); alternative off line tutorial (video/radio) (6); and several podcasts.


  1. Concepts and Terminology
  2. Theories and Actions
  3. Suffrage – Canada, UK, New Zealand, Indonesia and many more places
  4. Reproductive Rights & Women’s Health Movement
  5. Sex & Sexuality – from sexual health to Slutwalks
  6. Violence Against Women – including case study Contagious Diseases Acts


All assignments will be submitted electronically to your TA by the set date.

To complete this course you must complete ALL assignments. If you require accommodations for assignments please contact me.



All required readings are available free on Canvas. Some readings are academic but most are writings from contemporary activists and were published in activist and feminist leaflets, pamphlets and magazines. Readings are organised by topic and some are assessed as assignments but all are graded as part of your contributions to the online discussions.

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


Teaching at SFU in fall 2020 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).