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

Spring 2007

AMS 310 • Introduction to American Studies: Women in America, 1848-present

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
29270 TTh
3:30 PM-5:00 PM
BUR 212

Course Description

AMS 310/HIS 306N will introduce students to the interdisciplinary study of American life and culture. This course will utilize a variety of source materials, from visual to archival to popular culture, as well as incorporate insights from a variety of fields including history, women's and gender studies, literature, art, science and technology, and religion. To help us focus our inquiry, this course will explore womens experiences in America from the 1848 Seneca Falls Womens Rights Convention to the present. We will pay particular attention to the development of feminist movements and to the ways in which main themes in American history, such as capitalism, military conflict, progress, democracy, and religion, change when we look at America from the perspectives of women. We will also study the ways in which ideas about gender - what it means to be male or female  change over time. How are changes in gender roles reflected in and produced by science, politics, art, education, labor, and popular culture? To more fully understand the history and experiences of women in America, discussions of race, ethnicity, class, religion, gender, and sexual orientation will be central to this course.

This class will be a combination of lecture and discussion. Students are expected to come to class each day having read the assigned material and prepared to discuss it. In addition to discussion, we will often have in-class writing assignments and quizzes. To enrich our discussions, I will often bring in music, TV or movie clips, cartoons, or photos.


Course packet, available for purchase at Speedway Copies in the Dobie Mall; Kate Chopin, The Awakening, Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye; Sandra Cisneros, The House on Mango Street; and Susan Ware, Modern American Women: A Documentary History, Second Edition (2002). Books are available at the Co-op and on reserve at the PCL.


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