RWW seminar homepage

Welcome to the Ruth Wynn Woodward Advanced Seminar homepage. This course takes place in the Department of Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies (course no. 333) at Simon Fraser University. The course materials listed below are for Fall Semester 2014. Course materials for the 2012 fall semester are archived and available via the RWW seminar calendar.

Titled “Gender, Place and Culture: Feminist Interventions in Urban Studies”, this RWW Seminar is an exploration into and conversation about the geographies of social inclusion in the city. We will examine the interplay between bodies and cities, as evidenced by embodied practices (eg, active transportation, guerrilla gardening), social relations, and modes of planning and governance. Women and gender will often be at the centre of our analyses, but the scope of our feminist urban imaginations will not be limited to women and gender. Using an intersectional, feminist geographical lens to guide our discussions, we will explore the spatiality of social relations, focusing especially on how experiences of identity and difference shape our experiences and perceptions of healthy and socially sustainable cities.

We will use various materials and formats (including collaborative mapping exercises and neighbourhood inventories) to consider what makes a city socially sustainable, from the built environment and laws and policies to cultural landscapes and urban activism. We will use these to examine: forces that shape the urban form, the effects of urban form, and the interventions that people have made to make cities more just and equitable.


September 3: “Starting points”

In class discussion of Montgomery, Happy City; Higgins, “Life After Brooklyn”; and Schulman, The Gentrification of the Mind (selections)

September 10: “Feminist geographies (at multiple scales) as a framework for analysis”

  • Whitzman, Women’s safety and everyday mobility. In Building Inclusive Cities, pp. 35-52 (Chp 3)
  • Cope (2008) Patchwork neighborhood: children’s urban geographies in Buffalo, New York, Environment and Planning A, 40, pp. 2845-2863
  • Gökarıksel (2012) The intimate politics of secularism and the headscarf: the mall, the neighborhood, and the public square in Istanbul, Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, 19, pp. 1-20 (Recommended)

September 17: “Claiming Space and Finding Voice in the City”

September 24: “What is a Healthy City for All?”

October 1: “An Embodied Sense of Place”

  • Montserrat Degen & Rose (2012) The sensory experiencing of urban design: The role of walking and perceptual memory, Urban Studies, 49, pp. 3271-3287
  • Rogaly & Qureshi (2013) Diversity, urban space and the right to the provincial city, Identities, 20, 423-437
  • Koefoed & Simonsen (2011) ‘The stranger’, the city and the nation: on the possibilities of identification and belonging, European Urban and Regional Studies 18, pp. 343-357 (Recommended)

October 8: “Urban Citizenship and Community”

  • Ortiz Escalante and Sweet, Migrant women’s safety. In Building Inclusive Cities, pp. 53-71 (Chp 4)
  • Lambrick, Safer discursive space. In Building Inclusive Cities, pp. 162-183 (Chp 10)
  • Toronto Women’s City Alliance (2010) Communities in which Women Count. (Recommended)

October 15: “Engagements with Participatory Process”

  • Millner (2013) Involving Others: From Toolkit to Ethos for a Different Kind of Democracy. In Noorani, Blencowe & Brigstocke (Eds) Problems of Participation, p 21-35. Lewes, UK: ARN Press.
  • Jupp (2007) The feeling of participation: Everyday spaces and urban change. Geoforum, 39, 331-343
  • Pollock & Sharp (2012) Real participation or the tyranny of participatory practice? Public art and community involvement in the regeneration of the Raploch, Scotland, Urban Studies, 14, pp. 3063-3079 (Recommended)

October 22: “The Metrics of Inclusion: How Do We Measure and Evaluate Success?”

  • Khosla & Dhar, Safe access to basic infrastructure In Building Inclusive Cities, pp. 117-139 (Chp 8)
  • Khosla (no date) Vienna, Austria: A model city for gender mainstreaming.
  • Shaw, How do we evaluate the safety of women? In Building Inclusive Cities, pp. 184-201 (Chp 11)

October 29: TBA

November 5: “Stories of the City”

November 12: “The State of the City: Gender Mainstreaming and Intersectional Analysis”

November 19: TBA

November 26: “Knowledge Production and the Changing Urban Landscape”


Click here for a pdf copy of the fall 2012 course syllabus: RWW seminar syllabus. For an copy of the 2014 syllabus, please contact me directly.