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Steven Hoelscher, Chair Burdine 437, Mailcode B7100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-7277

Fall 2006

AMS 370 • Women, Gender and Sexuality in Twentieth-Century America-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
30020 TTh
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
cma A3.130

Course Description

This course closely examines U.S. women's history during the twentieth century, a period of intensive change. At the same time, we consider how cultural understandings of womanhood and sexuality changed during this period. We explore how various groups of women, including working-class women and housewives, recent urban migrants and immigrants, students and activists, negotiated competing understandings of family, work and sexuality. We also trace women's participation in the social movements of this period, paying close attention to how such activism reflected and contested prevailing images of womanhood. At the same time, the course challenge students to think historically about cultural conflicts that continue to have political purchase today, such as reproductive rights, welfare, sexuality, race and ethnicity.

This is primarily a discussion course, with occasional brief lectures. Weekly readings will usually include a range of materials, from original historical documents and autobiographies to scholarly essays and longer studies. We will also screen short films and film clips. The course includes a Women's Memoir Project in which students develop individual and group projects illuminating a particular period or issue in womens history, after conducting their own oral histories.


Coontz, Stephanie. The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap (reprint ed. New York: Basic Books, 2000) Cott, Nancy F. The Grounding of Modern Feminism (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987). Douglas, Susan J. Where the Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media (New York: Random House, 1994). Hunter, Tera W. To 'Joy My Freedom: Southern Black Women's Lives and Labors after the Civil War (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997). Orleck, Annelise. Storming Caesars Palace: How Black Mothers Fought Their Own War on Poverty (Boston: Beacon Press, 2005). Peiss, Kathy Lee. Hope in a Jar: The Making of Americas Beauty Culture (New York: Metropolitan Books, 1998). Rosen, Ruth. The World Split Open: How the Modern Womens Movement Changed America. Ruiz, Vicki L. Out of the Shadows: Mexican American Women in Twentieth-Century America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998). Ware, Susan. Modern American Women: A Documentary History (New York: McGraw Hill, 1997)


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