Fall 2023 - POL 316 B100

Sex, Love, and Politics (4)

Class Number: 3936

Delivery Method: Blended


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 6 – Dec 5, 2023: Fri, 12:30–3:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    POL 210 or permission of the department.



Explores the political dimensions of sex, sexuality, and love. Students will read academic materials on eros and philia, repressive hypothesis, compulsory heterosexuality, and power and patriarchy, and focus on contemporary policy debates, including same sex marriages, gender expression, polygamy, pornography, prostitution, and sexual violence (especially on university campuses). Students with credit for POL 419 Selected Topics in Political Theory II under the title Sex, Love, and Politics may not take this course for further credit.



This course will explore the role of sex and love in political life, how they are shaped by politics, and how they shape politics. Students will examine and discuss a selection of materials developing themes related to, for example, sex, love, and knowledge, sex and citizenship, sex and disability, love in contexts of racism, dispossession, and colonialism, the political control of sexual practices, sexuality, and gender, and love as a key to ending all forms of oppression.

Course Organization:

Students are expected to participate in weekly seminars (3 hours) and on-line activities (1 hour), in addition to regular course readings and assignments.


  • Participation (in seminars and in check-ins) 20%
  • Short Narration (audio recorded) 25%
  • Mid-Term Assignment (written) 25%
  • Short Essay (written) 30%



A. Andrews, A Quick & Easy Guide to Sex & Disability (Limerence Press, 2020).

bell hooks, All About Love (New York: Harper Collins, 2018).

David Chariandy, I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You (Penguin Random House McClelland & Stewart, 2018).

Mady G and J.R. Zuckerberg, A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities (Limerence Press, 2019).

Alexander Nehamas and Paul Woodruff, trans., Plato: Symposium (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1989).

Leanne Simpson, Islands of Decolonial Love (Winnipeg: ARP Books, 2015).

NOTE:  These texts are available in the library, on reserve, and/or in the bookstore (and some maybe available second hand or in PDF online). All other required readings will be in Canvas or available otherwise on-line.


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.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

The Department of Political Science strictly enforces a policy on plagiarism.

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.