Fall 2021 - GSWS 433 E100

Gender, Violence, Resistance (4)

Class Number: 6527

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 4:30 PM – 8:20 PM
    SRYC 5060, Surrey

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units, including six units in GSWS or WS or GDST.



A seminar-based, interdisciplinary course providing a gendered analysis of violence and resistance, to violence, focusing on political states, conflict and war, individual experiences, and institutional situations through feminist and critical masculinities lenses. Students with credit for special temporary topics (STT) course GDST 303 Gender, Violence and Resistance may not complete this course for further credit


This seminar-based course provides a gendered analysis of violence and resistance to violence.  It ranges from a gendered understanding of political states through to individual experiences, institutional situations and militarized aspects.  We will address violence and resistance through feminist perspectives and use theories from critical studies of masculinity to come to an interdisciplinary understanding of the course themes.  We will examine violence and resistance in the home, in the streets, in communities, in discourses and during conflict and war. Some cases will be historical other contemporary. Throughout we will explore the constructions of gender, women, men, transgender and the interplay of ethnicity and sexuality.  In doing so we will question assumptions, such as women are more peaceful, and problematize essentialist paradigms. The material in this course is difficult and sometimes upsetting.

This course comprises of several themes, including:

  • Gender and states of conflict
  • Engendering states and nation
  • Gender and nationalism
  • Inter and intra state conflict
  • Post conflict
  • Interpersonal violence
  • Sexual violence
  • Peace and resistance


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


  • Artifact Responses: I will offer a number of materials to stimulate discussion. For four of these you will provide a written or creative (poem; sculpture; poster etc.) response for the next class. Maximum length is 500 words. 20%
  • Midterm: There will be a midterm, in-class assignment. The questions will be based mostly on the contents of the required readings. 30%
  • Research Essay: An essay on a topic selected by you (and agreed with me in advance) incorporating both course material and your own research (research will be secondary, there will be no primary data collected). In addition to course readings you should aim to include at least two further academic sources and one other external source (could be a policy document, media source, website, e.g. UN site). Length should be around 2,500 words. APA referencing required. 30%
  • Film Response: We will watch a number of documentaries throughout the course. You are required to write a short description for one, discuss it in context of this course and your own personal response. Due one week after your chosen film was shown in class. Length is 1000 words. 10%
  • Participation: The grade for participation is based not just on speaking lots in class, though being active is encouraged, but also on the nature of that participation. Contributions that advance discussion, facilitate others and treat the views and opinions of others with respect will be rewarded. 10%



  • Jacobs, S., Jacobson, R. & Marchbank, J. (2000), (eds), States of Conflict: Gender, Violence and Resistance, London, Zed Books.
  • Gurm, B., Salgado, G., Marchbank, J., & Early, S. D. (2020). Making Sense of a Global Pandemic: Relationship Violence & Working Together Towards a Violence Free Society. Kwantlen Polytechnic University: Surrey, BC. Free Ebook https://kpu.pressbooks.pub/nevr/
  • Readings on Canvas
  • Electronic journal articles and online reports – available through your SFU library account.

*A note on readings: States of Conflict is 21 years old – it hails from the beginnings of feminist exploration of the role women play in conflicts – most of the work on this area exists in journal articles not books - so this book is a useful insight not only to different case studies but to the beginnings of the discipline. I am currently working on creating a new book on Gender, Conflict & Catastrophe to update this area.

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 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place.  Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware 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.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the fall 2021 term.