Spring 2020 - GSWS 204 D100

Sex and the City (3)

Class Number: 4118

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 9:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    SWH 10051, Burnaby



Selected topics on the sexual politics of urban space. May be organized by region, critical approach, or genre. Students who have completed WS 204 may not complete this course for further credit.


Cities are dynamic entities; myriad social forces and processes inform their design and development. Sexual and gender politics are among the most significant -and least discussed- of these forces. Sexual and gender politics underlie urban form and function. Yet, cities are often imagined to serve a universal user.                

In this course, we unpack these ideas and their relevance to our everyday lives. We ask: What are the explicit and implicit ways that forms of sexuality (as well as sex acts and gender expression) are promoted or policed? Whose bodies - and which practices - are managed? How and where do these forms of management take place? How do cities take sexual and gender politics seriously already, and how can cities improve their policies and services?                

Taking an intersectional approach to the relationship between cities and the intimate lives of their residents, the course examines various aspects of the urban form, including but not limited to: the built environment, social relations, laws and policies, and cultural landscapes.  

At the end of this course, students will have:
· Developed an intersectional understanding for the urban geographies of sexualities.
· Used analytical writing to examine the role of sex, sexuality, and gender in cities.
· Designed a creative project to engage questions about gender, sex, and sexuality and the urban form. Creative projects will be linked to the Granville Street Places for People  Downtown initiative through CityStudio.


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


  • 1. Discussion paper (Individual work) 20%
  • 2. Project proposal (Individual or group work) 10%
  • 3. Project portfolio (Individual or group work) 25%
  • 4. Project presentation (Individual or group work) 10%
  • 5. Project paper (Individual work) 20%
  • 6. Research reflection (Individual work) 15%


*Note: Because of the CityStudio component, course evaluation components may shift prior to the beginning of the term.

Due to COVID-19, grading changes are...  

Field site visit paper (15%)
Discussion paper (20%)
Final reflection paper (30%)
Project (35%) - this is broken into smaller pieces. 
OR a combination of:
Sex & the city in everyday life artifact (20%)
Present the artifact (15%)
2 Structured questions (10%)
4 Structured questions (15%)  

Students must earn 70%, but they can elect to earn up to 100%.  Final grades will be determined on the work submitted; i.e., 70% will be evaluated on the 70% (not on 70% out of 100%)



Various content (academic journal articles, blog posts, memoirs, podcasts, etc.) available on Canvas, online, and/or via SFU library databases.

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