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Teaching and Research

The English Department offers a number of courses every year that focus on the study of women and gender, most of which are listed as women-emphasis electives or as cross-listed courses in the Women's Studies Department. It is possible to take such a course at every level in our English program:  ENGL 1155, Introduction to Literature: Gender and Form; ENGL 2242: Themes in Women's Writing; ENGL 3363, Feminisms and Their Literatures; and ENGL 4407, Queer Theory. In addition, courses on women and gender may be offered as special topics or directed studies. Gender study is a well established part of the field of English literature, and many professors in the department incorporate such an approach among a variety of others in their teaching and research.  Several English professors are also appointed as faculty in the Joint M.A. in Women and Gender Studies.  


Check out the women-emphasis courses offered by our department in 2016-2017.


The Lesbian Pulp Fiction Collection

Spring Fire book cover

This special collection of rare books in the Mount Saint Vincent Library is a rich research resource for students of literary history, feminist theory, women's history, cultural studies, and visual design. The novels are on permanent display beside the circulation desk in the Library.


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Women-Emphasis Courses 2017-2018

In 2017-2018, the English Department is offering the following courses that are also listed in the Women's Studies program.


ENGL 1155: Introduction to Literature: Gender and Form

Full (1.0) Unit--Fall and Winter 

An introduction to the critical study of the major forms of fiction, poetry, and drama, using examples from the time of Chaucer to the present day.  Readings will include a balance of female and male writers, and a special focus for discussion will be representations of gender.  Students may not take both ENGL 1155 and ENGL 1170/1171 for credit.

NOTE: This course is listed as a women-emphasis course in the Women's Studies Department.


01FW       Monday and Wednesday   1:30-2:45     Dr. Graham Fraser

02FW       Tuesday and Thursday       3:00-4:14    Dr. Rhoda Zuk


ENGL 4407 / WOMS 4407/ GWGS 4407  Queer Theory / half unit

Winter term
Monday and Wednesday 3:00 - 4:15
Instructor:  Dr. Diane Piccitto


As a theory of otherness, disruption, and alternative ways of being and acting in the world, Queer Theory offers a mode of resisting and deconstructing normative - especially heteronormative - ideologies, discourses, and practices. Addressing representations of marginal identities and experiences, it is a rich theory that continues to develop and be reshaped with contemporary investments, particularly in the context of sexuality, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression, as well as numerous constellations of expression, performance, and desire. Throughout the course, we will consider the way various thinkers have contributed to this dense field and interrogate the philosophical implications of their theories, including the relationship between theory and practice, knowledge and being, identity and embodiment. Specifically, we will conduct intensive examinations of fundamental critical texts such as those by Sigmund Freud, Michel Foucault, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and Judith Butler. Students are strongly encouraged to take ENGL 2202 (Introduction to Critical Methods) before taking this course.