Fall 2010 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Nickerson, Michelle
Discipline and Number
HIST 4360 Section 001
TR Time 2:30 PM - 3:45 PM
Course Title
Women in 20th Century America

Description of Course:

This course examines a “long” 20th century of U.S. women’s history, from the last decades of 1800s to the present day. We will study a range of female experiences across class, race, ethnic and religious lines, following women as they participated in the century’s major social, political and cultural developments. Themes will include: women’s work; recreation and the family; political movements; and the formation of gendered racial identity. We will use different types of texts to cover this breadth of experience, including autobiography and fiction. The class will examine the ways in which women’s sense of self, private and public experiences, and status have changed over time. The semester will start with a discussion about women and rights: specifically the expansion of rights embodied in the suffrage amendment and the constriction of rights represented by Jim Crow laws. Our conversations will move to debates about feminism, women and the emerging consumer culture, female participation in the war effort, the revival of domesticity in the post-World War II era, the Civil Rights movement and the backlash against feminism.

Required Texts:

Louisa May Alcott, Little Women (Signet Classics, 2004), ISBN-13 978-0451529305

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper, Dover Thrift Edition, ISBN-10: 0486298574 (1997)

Olive Higgins Prouty, Now, Voyager (Feminist Press 2004) ISBN-10 1-55861-476-1

Sara Davidson, Loose Change: Three Women of the Sixties (Univ. of Calif. Press, 1997), ISBN 978-0520209107

Anne Moody, Coming of Age in Mississippi (Delta, ISBN: 0385337817)

Highly Recommended: Kate Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations 7th Edition (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2007 978-0226823379), paperback

The other readings will be accessible on WebCT and the McDermott library’s on-line course reserve site.

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

Students must complete a lower division history course to be eligible for this class. It is also highly recommended that you complete your major’s required 3000-level course: ex. HIST 3310 Historical Inquiry. The course demands writing at upper-level undergraduate level.

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