Fall 2016 - HIST 425W D100

Gender and History (4)

Class Number: 4775

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 1:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    WMC 3253, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Willeen Keough
    1 778 782-4534
    Office: AQ 6231
  • Prerequisites:

    45 units including nine units of lower division history.



Explores historical changes in masculinity and femininity. Using a thematic and transnational/comparative approach, it will examine how gender identities are formed and refashioned within different historical contexts. It will also explore the interaction between gender and other systems of power such as race, class, and ethnicity. Students with credit for HIST 425 may not take this course for further credit. Writing.


In this course, we will explore recent historiographical and theoretical writings about gender in Canadian and U.S. history, focusing on the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries.  Taking a comparative approach, we will look at gender both chronologically (e.g., understandings of gender relations and identities in different historical periods and changes over time) as well as thematically (e.g., gender and colonial encounters, gender and sexuality, gender and violence, gender and sport).  We will examine the meanings attributed to sexual difference and how gender intersects with other systems of meaning (e.g., race, ethnicity, class, sexuality) in organizing power relations within particular historical contexts.  We will see that gender is not a fixed entity, but an ongoing and dynamic process, in which knowledge about sexual difference is frequently contested, and either legitimized or redefined.  We will also examine how the discipline of history plays a part in this process:  how, by the way it records and analyzes understandings of sexual difference, history becomes part of the power struggle by which gender is produced, reproduced, and transformed.


  • Seminar participation 15%
  • Written responses to readings 10%
  • Book review 20%
  • Research paper—first draft and presentation 15%
  • Research paper—final draft 30%
  • Peer review commentary 10%



Willeen Keough and Lara Campbell, Gender History: Canadian Perspectives (Oxford University Press, 2014).

Katie Pickles and Myra Rutherdale, eds., Contact Zones: Aboriginal and Settler Women in Canada’s Colonial Past (UBC Press, 2006).

Miles White, From Jim Crow to Jay-Z: Race, Rap, and the Performance of Masculinity (University of Illinois Press, 2011).

Assigned readings on SFU Canvas.

Registrar Notes:

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