Fall 2015 -
Undergraduate Course Description
Discipline and Number
4:00 PM - 5:15 PM
|U.S. Women from Settlement to Present
Description of Course:
This introductory course critically analyzes gender and women's history through the experiences of those born as or living as female, from colonial North America to the contemporary United States. We will examine the perspectives of Native, European, African, Mexican, and Asian American women, as well as those who challenge gender categories, within the contexts of historical change in the U.S.
Integrating both historical and scholarly sources, this course is organized around three main themes and questions in women's history: What are the intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality? How did an economic shift from the family economy to wage earning shape gender ideologies and women's lives? How has citizenship been gendered? The course will examine how women's history provides a crucial perspective on broader American history, and also how and why it is a dynamic and unique area of study.
We will examine a variety of primary sources, including political writings, photographs, music, and film. Weeks will average 50-90 pages of reading. We will pay particular attention to oral history as a vital methodology for history "from the margins"--an approach that brings forward the voices of traditionally underrepresented groups and individuals. In the process, students will hone their skills of written analysis and oral communication.
Linda K. Kerber, Jane Sherron De Hart, and Cornelia Hughes Dayton, eds.,
Women's America: Refocusing the Past, 8th edition (Oxford University Press, 2015)
*Please note this is the most recent edition
Toni Morrison, A Mercy (Vintage, 2009)
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
20% Class Attendance and Verbal Participation
10% Start-Ups (ungraded; points for informed brainstorming) and Discussion Leading
15% Initial draft of paper
20% Final draft of paper
25% Oral history paper
10% Group presentation