Photograph by Larry Wright


GSWS 320 Gender, Environment and Climate Justice

January 03, 2019


Kiera J Anderson
Office: Harbour Centre TBA
Office hours: TBA
Lecture: Thursdays 13:30 – 17:20; HC 1315

Course Description:
This class focuses on how women have been affected by environmental destruction and climate change, as well as their relationship with the earth more broadly. Taking the recent protests at Standing Rock and against the Kinder Morgan pipeline as our starting point, we will contextualise those two events within a longer history of land rights and colonisation, environmental degradation, and multinational trade and climate change agreements. We will look at women’s experiences around the world. Case studies will include the 1984 Bhopal gas leak in India, the Ogoni people’s fight to stop Shell’s oil drilling in Nigeria, and the role that climate change played in the Syrian civil war. We will also look at examples closer to home, such as the ‘man camps’ of oil workers in North Dakota and Alberta, the effect of hurricanes and flooding in New Orleans and Puerto Rico, the anti-logging protests in Clayoquot Sound on Vancouver Island, as well as more recent anti-pipeline protests at Standing Rock and on Burnaby Mountain.

As we consider these case studies, we will discuss relevant theoretical issues, from a range of perspectives. In these discussions, we will review key eco-feminist and post-colonial texts by writers like Vandana Shiva and Winona La Duke. We will also draw on relevant texts from queer and transnational feminist theories, trans studies, and critical disability studies. These readings will allow us to critically examine different understandings of women's relationship to nature.

By the end of the course, students should be able to: Have an understanding of different theoretical perspectives about women and the environment. Be aware of the different roles women have played in contemporary environmental struggles.

Educational Goals:
For more detailed information please see the GSWS website:

Course Texts and Courseware:
Readings will be available on Canvas.

Course Evaluation and Assignments:
15%     Attendance and Participation
25%     Group Project
Students will be allocated a week (starting in Week 3) and work together to present the key issues in the readings for that week.
40%     Final Project
The final project can explore anything related to contemporary environmental justice issues. Students have a choice between a written blog, with at least 8 academic-style blog entries, or a 6-8 page paper.
20%     Annotated Bibliography and Outline for Final Project

Prerequisite: 15 units.

Image by the Repeal Hyde art project