In the following, you’ll find an overview of all the Women’s and Gender Studies topics you will be able to choose from in 2023. Some topics can be taken both in the Bachelor of Arts as well as the Master of Arts (Women’s and Gender Studies) and Graduate Certificate in Gender Mainstreaming Policy and Analysis. The codes for undergraduate (UG) or postgraduate (PG) studies are listed individually.
Women’s and Gender Studies Topics in 2023
WMST1001 (UG): Sex, Gender and Identities
Have you ever wondered what it means to be a woman, a man or to live between or outside these categories? Have you wondered if or why or how this matters? Have you ever wondered how race and class are entangled with our ideas of sex and gender? If so, then this is the topic for you!
Taught by Dr Laura Roberts, WMST1001 introduces you to some of the foundational questions that feminist and queer theorists have been grappling with since Simone De Beauvoir asked back in 1949 “What does it mean to me to be a woman?”. Introducing you to some of the main themes in Gender Studies you will be armed with the conceptual tools and language to articulate the problem of the ‘White-Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy’!
WMST1002 (UG): Gender, Power and Change – Introducing Feminist Debates
You might identify as a feminist, or you might not. Either way, feminism is a major movement of our time and it helps to know the basics. This topic is an introduction to the many versions of feminism that aim to understand gender, how it’s tied up with power (none disagree with that!) and how gender relations can and do change.
Taught by Associate Professor Barbara Baird, and canvassing mainstream feminisms as well as those that challenge the world from an Indigenous, anti-capitalist, transgender, or body-centred position, to name just a few, this topic will increase your conversational skills as well as your handle on change.
WMST2016 (UG)/8013 (PG): Listening Up – Colonialism, Race and Gender
There’s never been a better time to reflect on what it means to live in a colonised country, and how this shapes gender relations for First Nations women and all the rest of us.
Associate Professor Barbara Baird, who identifies as a white feminist, teaches this topic which asks students to ‘listen up’ to the creative and intellectual work of First Nations women. Listening Up offers pathways into thinking about the history of race and colonialism in this country and their contemporary manifestations. It’s challenging for some, eye-opening for many, and inspiring for all. Are you ready to ‘listen up’?
WMST3010 (UG)/9010 (PG): Thinking Through the Body
What does it mean to think through the body? Why is this crucial for feminist theory and politics? To answer these questions, we turn to a range of feminist, trans, decolonial and posthuman philosophers and theorists to look for answers. Each week we engage deeply with important texts and the ideas they pursue, all excluded from the dominant canon of western theory and philosophy, and each arguing in various ways for the importance of paying attention to our embodied locations when producing knowledge.
Thinking Through the Body, taught by Dr Laura Roberts, offers an opportunity to explore these ground-breaking texts that offer you the language and conceptual tools to articulate your life experience. Upon completion of this topic, many students note that it has changed their life! This is the topic you never knew you needed!
WMST3014 (UG)/9022 (PG): Global Feminist Activism
Around the globe, people from all walks of life are calling for change. People are taking to the streets demanding an end to colonialism and dictatorships as well as challenging democratic systems that fail to end racism and sexism. People are calling for alternative ways of living that challenge many issues including, to name a few, climate destruction, prisons, and violence against women and minority groups.
This topic, taught by Dr Laura Roberts, examines how these issues are connected using a decolonial feminist lens and explores social movements around the world including, for example, South Africa, Iran and Brazil as well as learning about feminist prison abolition and feminist disability activism. If you are interested in learning more about feminist politics and how your liberation is linked with others further afield enrol in this topic today!
WMST 3015 (UG)/9025 (PG): Media and Cultural Identities
If you love media and popular culture, this is the topic for you. In particular, this topic will think about how media and popular culture powerfully shape gender and sexuality norms, as well as race, class and ability. We will think about media representations, how media is produced, how it is consumed – and how it is actively challenged by audiences.
To do this, we draw on feminist media studies, as well as cover pop culture trends and debates that you bring to class – anything from cancel culture, to digital activism, to binge-viewing, to the pros and cons of social media. You will also get a chance to write your own media ‘think-piece’ on a topic close to your heart.
SOCI3054 (UG)/WMST9023 (PG): Sexualities, identities, power and resistance
Whether it’s the possibilities of pleasure, demands for law reform or the challenges posed by new and diverse identities, the politics of sexuality are never far from contemporary debate in public and private settings.
If this is your jam you will find the intersectional approach of Sexualities, identities, power and resistance, taught by Associate Professor Barbara Baird, stimulating, provocative and reassuring, all at once! The topic joins a historical perspective with feminist, queer, decolonial and crip theories.
DVST 9031 (PG): Gender Analysis
This topic is taught as role-play with students becoming Gender Analysis Advisors at the International Development Organisation (IDO). IDO is a virtual organisation and role-play platform for teaching and learning about gender equality and equity in the ‘real world’ within international agencies, government, non-government, private sector and community-based organisations, including cooperatives and social enterprises.
In their gender analysis advisory roles, students complete IDO’s Learning Program on gender analysis in order to investigate different ways of undertaking gender analysis and develop their critical understanding of ‘doing’ gender analysis.
Reporting to IDO’s CEO, Ms Cara Ellickson (the Topic Coordinator), members of IDO’s In-House Gender Analysis Team will also support IDO to undertake gender analysis work for clients, partners and other stakeholders across the globe.
DVST 9032 (PG): Gender Mainstreaming
This topic is taught as role-play with students becoming Gender Mainstreaming Officers at the International Development Organisation (IDO). IDO is a virtual organisation and role-play platform for teaching and learning about gender equality and equity in the ‘real world’ within mainstream agencies.
In their gender mainstreaming officer roles, students complete IDO’s Learning Program on gender mainstreaming in order to develop a critical understanding of ‘doing’ gender mainstreaming and investigate how this strategy has been adopted by a diversity of agencies and organisations.
Reporting to IDO’s CEO, Ms Cara Ellickson (the Topic Coordinator), members of IDO’s In-House Gender Mainstreaming Team will also support IDO to undertake gender mainstreaming work for clients, partners and other stakeholders across the globe.
Further options in the Women’s and Gender Studies major
In the second and third year of your degree, this major also lets you include topics from History, Indigenous Studies, Sociology, English and Screen and Media. You’ll find the full list of topic options for Women’s and Gender Studies in the Handbook.
Combine whichever majors you like in the Bachelor of Arts
Women’s and Gender Studies aren’t the only thing close to your heart? With the Bachelor of Arts, you can combine whichever fields you like. Choose from over 25 majors or minors such as Psychology, French or Drama and create a skillset aligned to your dream career.
What are you waiting for – apply now and work towards one of the many jobs in the Arts!