fb pixel

Featuring Feminisms: Currents Perspectives - a WGS course

Thu. Jun. 2, 2022

“I should retire now because I will have as good a class but never a better class than this,” stated Dr. Pauline Greenhill, Professor in Women’s and Gender Studies, having just nominated the students in her third-year course Feminisms: Current Perspectives in W2022 for a WGS feature on the Arts website.

Before reaching out to the students, I met with Dr. Greenhill to find out more about the course and this particular group of students.

The course: Feminisms

Feminisms is a required course for WGS majors and minors. It follows a second-year course that provides the basics and builds in feminist history and theory and includes topics such as gender and sexuality, Indigenous, decolonial, and antiracist feminisms, and abolition.

Greenhill says she and her colleagues in WGS really work to keep as up-to-date as possible in these courses. It is important, she says, “knowing what feminism is and isn’t - particularly because of the events of our time where we see movement away from reproductive choice, turns away from antiracist views, and denial of gender fluidity.  We need to recognize the legacy of colonialism and how it affects every aspect of our lives.”

Greenhill maintains that it’s possible to be “idealistic and realistic” and this is reflected in the course content. Her goal is to “teach courses as a way to address what is impactful in people’s lives and address what we need to know as critical citizens of the world.”

The assignment: Manifestx

For their final assignment, Manifestx (Manifesto/Manifesta, a statement of perspectives and principles) students were to give their own perspective on feminism in any format they chose. Some wrote essays while others created zines*. One student, Greenhill says, used puppets to make a video; another wrote a song; another created a game.

The students

According to Greenhill, the story of this particular offering of the course was the students. The academic work of individual students was done to a high standard, but the way they came together as a group was remarkable, she says. “They supported each other, they were positive and welcoming, they were respectful and worked well together. It was amazing!”

Here we introduce you to two of the students in Greenhill’s Feminisms class and they each share work they did for the course. Zoee Wittmann is starting her third-year and majors in WGS. Emma Joyal is going into her fourth year and she majors in English with a minor in WGS. To view, please see the links below.

Zoee Wittmann's call for change - Ms. Wittmann shares some information about herself and the first paragraph of her manifesto. In her submission, we get a glimpse of some of the life experience which has shaped her views and we hear her powerful call for change.

Emma Joyal's recipe for Feminism - Ms. Joyal's manifestx takes for the form of a recipe. The images and text (in the pdf) stand alone, but in her "response," Joyal shares about herself and explains why her creative approach lends itself so well to expressing her feminist manifestx.

*A zine is “a small-circulation self-published work of original or appropriated texts and images.” (Wikipedia accessed May 25, 2022).