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Dr. Susan Sage Heinzelman, Director 2505 University Avenue, A4900, Burdine Hall 536, Austin Texas 78712 • 512-471-5765

Spring 2010


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Course Description

Matrimony, or the rite of marriage, the act of marrying, can be traced to the turn of the fourteenth century. It is a continually evolving concept, though also a sociohistoric artifact that intersects with the histories of race, ethnicity, class, age, gender, sexuality, and place. As such, the evolution of matrimony in America has lasting implications in culture and society. In this course we will examine its historical rise. We will interrogate the concept of marriage, paying particular attention to the parameters of courtship and contracts. We will read autobiographical, fictional, and nonfictional accounts of matrimony, ranging in time and place from colonial New England to the antebellum South, from New York in the 1920s to current-day California.

This course will combine lectures and discussions of topics introduced in lectures and readings. As this course is designed to stimulate critical thinking, students should be prepared to share insights and knowledge. This is also a Substantial Writing Component course. Students will be expected to complete multiple writing assignments of varying lengths throughout the semester. Students will also be required to give an oral presentation at the end of the semester.


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