Spring 2021 - GSWS 321 D100

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

Intergenerational Activism

Class Number: 7061

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We, Fr 8:30 AM – 10:20 AM

  • 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.


From street theatre to flash dance mobs, community art in public spaces has been used to challenge normalizing discourses and give voice to silenced minorities. In this course, we will explore its potential to generate social change, and in particular, to examine and forge productive and creative partnerships between old(er) and young(er) queers. Among other activities, participants will design, produce, and showcase an original piece of collaborative critical artwork.

The course invites immersion in creative process. Participants will be expected to engage critically with course materials that will include readings, lectures, and performances. 

Participants will be evaluated though their weekly arts journal entries, their engagement in collaborative performances and texts, documentation of an interview with an elder, their written reviews of performance, a concluding artist’s statement, and their participation in collaborative processes. Weekly responses should demonstrate critical engagement with course readings, discussions, and presentations and the ability to make scholarly and creative connections among them. They will be accepted in any form that demonstrates critical engagement, reflection, and analysis (including writing, digital imagery, video, performance, or these in combination). Participants will be required to view at least one local arts/activist event (such as a gallery show, concert, reading, or performance, most likely online) and present a formal review.

In this course, participants will interrogate the possibilities of critical arts engagements and the importance of intergenerational dialogues. They will learn how to analyze and critique cultural arts practices, discuss the ways in which they can be used to bridge and interrogate the gaps and conversations between old and young, and use artistic methods to illustrate some of their own insights and understandings.



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


  • Review of Performance 10%
  • Interview 10%
  • Collective participation 10%
  • Artist statement 15%
  • Weekly Arts Journal 20%
  • Collaborative Performance 35%


We will meet in synchronous sessions weekly on Wednesdays and Fridays 8:30 - 10:20 am. We will use primarily Canvas (Blackboard Collaborate) and Zoom as a back-up. Asynchronous work will be expected using the discussion space on Canvas. Access to internet and a computer with camera and microphone will be required.



Robson, C. (2020). Writing Beyond Recognition: Queer Re-Storying for Social Change. Myers Education Press.

Additional texts will be available on Canvas.

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 spring 2021 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).