Fall 2019 - CMNS 355 D100

Technologies of Gender and Sexuality (4)

Class Number: 10615

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Fr 9:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    HCC 2510, Vancouver

  • Prerequisites:

    60 units.



The course takes an intersectional feminist perspective on exploring, critiquing and developing alternatives to dominant technologies of sexuality and gender. Topics may include: shifting notions of femininities and masculinities; (cyber)feminist methodologies in cultural studies; the body and subjectivity; gender and surveillance; post-feminism; work in the media and tech industries; gender and gaming.


The end of ‘normal’ gender and sexualities has been upon us for some time, with identity politics and intersectional analyses at the forefront of public conversations about gender. But, still, gender inequalities persist. What role do media play in constructing our shifting notions of gender and sexuality, of femininities and masculinities? How do technologies enable us to embody, police and even hack genders and sexualities? How can we think of gender itself as a technology that we operate and perform in everyday life. This course provides a foundation, in the context of critical communication studies, for an analysis of the different ways that “gender” and “technology” are understood and applied within the study of media and technology. The course will take an intersectional feminist perspective on exploring, critiquing and developing alternatives to technologies of gender, at the same time tracking shifting notions of femininities and masculinities. Topics for the course include: feminist methodologies in cultural studies; cyberfeminism debates; theories of performativity, the body and subjectivity; gender and surveillance; post-feminism; gendered historiographies of technology; experiences of work in the media and tech industries; sexuality and spatial relations.


Learning goals

·      To investigate an intersectional framework for considering gender (masculinity, femininity) in relation to sexuality, dis/ability, ethnicity/racialization, and socio-economic class.

·      To develop a theoretical foundation for understanding gender and sexuality as intrinsic to the introduction and social operation of media and technologies.

·      To consider feminism as a radical epistemology for understanding social constructions, including political and economic structures, media and technology.

·      To apply conceptual knowledge to a topic of personal interest that either critiques or proposes ways of designing technology with an equitable, anti-patriarchial,
       liberatory framework in mind.


  • Class Participation 10%
  • 4 Reading Responses 20% (5% each)%
  • Major Project Proposal 10%
  • Major Project 30%
  • Take home final 30%


Late assignments are subject to a 5%/day late penalty. This course has a zero-tolerance policy for academic dishonesty or plagiarism. Please familiarize yourselves ahead of time with SFU’s policies and how to avoid it, and check with us if you’re unsure how to use or cite materials: http://www.lib.sfu.ca/help/writing/plagiarism.

Please note that you are expected to engage in professional behavior and communication: your academic standing is your responsibility. Take care to plan your term well and ask for help where needed ahead of time. There are a multitude of resources available to you in the library’s Learning Commons, e.g. writing help, tutoring, and referencing help. In the case of technological failure, the onus is on you to ensure the (right) assignment has been successfully submitted (online).



Hooks, Bell (2015). Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics (2nd ed.). Routledge, NY: New York. 
ISBN: 13: 978-1-138-82162


Additional readings will be available as pdfs on the course 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