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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Kim V.L. England
GEOG 476
Seattle Campus

Women and the City

Explores the reciprocal relations between gender relations, the layout of cities, and the activities of urban residents. Topics include: feminist theory and geography (women, gender, and the organization of space); women and urban poverty, housing and homelessness; gender roles and labor patterns; geographies of childcare; and women and urban politics. Offered: jointly with GWSS 476.

Class description

How are gender identities linked to discourses about the city? How do gender identities and gender relations shape the social and material construction of different spaces, places, and landscapes; and vice versa? Do femininities and masculinities vary over time and space? Do women and men live different lives in different parts of the city? How do other social identities intersect with gender to produce varying experiences of different places, and even the same places and spaces? These are the sorts of questions that lie at the heart of this course. We will explore the reciprocal relations between gender and urban spatial structures, employing English-language feminist geography literature primarily from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Student learning goals

Gain an understanding of the nature of feminist urban geography, and understand why it has emerged recently, and why it should be studied.

A good grasp of some of the major topics addressed by urban geographers concerned with gender, and by feminist geographers interested in cities.

Learn about conducting research into issues related to women and the city, and had some hands-on experience of doing research.

Improve your ability to read, write and think critically. To think through issues in abstract, theoretical terms and find empirical evidence which together improve your ability to make convincing arguments.

Appreciate that the various ideas explored in this class are not only of significant academic importance, they also structure, and are used more generally in society to legitimate particular discourses and practices associated with women and the city.

General method of instruction

Combination of lectures, research assignments, and seminar discussions of course materials. You are expected to contribute by making useful and thoughtful contributions to class discussions. To ensure that we have informed, interesting discussions, you are expected to read the assigned readings before every class and come prepared to contribute.

Recommended preparation

The class is aimed at juniors and seniors with a social science background.

Class assignments and grading

Short research papers, class presentation, one exam

Class participation (all quarter); class presentation/facilitation (one class meeting; short research papers; final exam


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Kim V.L. England
Date: 04/17/2012