Fall 2023 - GSWS 102 D900

Feminist Action (3)

Class Number: 2373

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 6 – Dec 5, 2023: Fri, 10:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.



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 prioritized different agendas at different times
  • Explain feminist action on major topics such as suffrage; reproductive rights; sexuality; education; 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


  • Create a digital postcard 5%
  • Reading exercises – 3 each 15%
  • Artefact Responses - 4 each 20%
  • Midterm – In person 25%
  • Exam – in person 25%
  • Participation 10%


Create a digital postcard – 5%

Reading exercises – 3 each @ 5% 

Artefact Responses - 4 each @ 5% (you can submit 5 and the lowest score will be dropped)

Midterm – In person, it will include MCQs and a list of terms to define based on the lectures; podcasts and especially readings from the first 7 weeks – 25%

Exam – in person, open book and will include some short answer questions on material from weeks 9-13. Then two essays (selected from 10 questions covering whole course).  25%

Participation – Participation is graded based on attendance at tutorials - 10%



All required readings are available free on Canvas. Some readings are academic but others are writings from activists from their time that were published in activist and feminist leaflets, pamphlets and magazines. Readings are organized by topic and three are assessed as assignments but all are graded as part of your contributions to tutorial conversations and in the Midterm and Exam.



Jen’s Podcasts, created by me and available for you to download from Canvas, are part of the course materials as are specific podcast episodes listed on the syllabus. Items mentioned in the podcast material we listen to may be on the midterm and exam. The idea is that you can pop on your headphones, go for your walk, wash the dishes etc whilst listening.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the semester are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.