GWSS Feminist Modules

GWSS offers five eLearning modules to teach a few core concepts in Feminist Studies:

  • Empire
  • Gaze
  • Gender
  • Intersectionality
  • Whiteness

The modules are free for instructors both at the University of Minnesota and elsewhere to install in your course website (learning management system) and use in your own classes.

The multimedia modules include videos and assessments, and provide students an opportunity to practice key concepts that increase their fluency in feminist and queer theory, while allowing instructors to develop individual learning outcomes.

How To Access the Modules

Search “GWSS Feminist Modules” in the Canvas Commons.

What If I don’t use Canvas at my school?

The modules are built in Canvas, but if you use a different learning management system (such as Moodle or Blackboard), you can still use them in your course! Here’s how:

  1. Copy the embed code from YouTube for each of the videos. 
  2. Download the assessment questions via these text files, then import the questions into the quiz tool in your own LMS:
  • Empire 
  • Gaze
  • Gender
  • Intersectionality
  • Whiteness


“Empire” introduces learners to key concepts in postcolonial and transnational feminist thought, such as Orientalism, settler colonialism, and cultural imperialism. Expect to learn how these terms interact with critiques of race, class, gender, sex, and nation through examples from science and popular culture. 

The Gaze

“The gaze” theorizes the uneven power of looking by examining the concepts of the “male gaze” and the “white gaze.” Users can expect to learn about Laura Mulvey’s theory of “the male gaze,” as well as bell hooks’ and Kobena Mercer’s critical race critiques of “the gaze,” and how to use the term in film, media, and cultural analyses.


“Gender” introduces how gender is theorized as biological categorization, a social construction, and a performative “doing” or enactment of social norms. This module also includes discussion of sex and sexuality and the relationship between all three terms. Users can expect to learn about how these theories differ, their implications, and how to engage gender intersectionally.


“Intersectionality” describes how systems of power and identities interlock, or become mutually-constitutive. Users can expect to learn about the theoretical and methodological implications of intersectionality, the genealogy of the term, and its practical application. Based in the work of Kimberly Crenshaw, case studies of anti-discrimination law are used as examples.


“Whiteness” introduces analyses of white supremacy, white privilege, and whiteness as a racial/social formation. Users can expect to learn about how to theorize whiteness, the genealogy of white supremacy, how to identify white privilege, and how to discuss the social construction of race. Examples of property law in the U.S. are provided to further illustrate these concepts.

Are you using these modules in your course? We’d love to hear about it!

If you plan to use these modules in your course, please complete this short form. We would like to track how the modules are being used, but we promise not to fill your inbox!

If you have any difficulties with the download, please contact


Modules are made possible through generous grants from the Liberal Arts Technology Innovation Services (LATIS) at the University of Minnesota and support from the Department of Gender, Women, & Sexuality Studies.

Dr. Jigna Desai conceived the modules. Katie Bashore and Diane Detournay developed the content. Lars Z. Mackenzie managed the modules’ redesign: editing and updating content, increasing accessibility and usability, and recording narration voice-overs. 

The Technology Enhanced Learning team at LATIS enabled the production of the modules, with special help from Technology Enhanced Learning Coordinator Celina Byers, Instructional Designer Ann Fandrey, and undergraduate technology assistants Josh Kassel and Brian Roth. We also thank Regina Kunzel, Jude Higdon, Colin McFadden, Lauren Marsh, Jen Mein, Nancy Sims, and Bob Rubinyi for their support.