HIS 317L • United States Women, Gender, and Sexuality Since 1865
This course examines U.S. women's history from the Reconstruction era following the Civil War through the twentieth century, a period of intensive change. At the same time, we consider how cultural understandings of gender and sexuality transformed 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.
This is primarily a lecture course, but we will regularly hold short discussions. We will also screen and analyze short films and film clips. Weekly readings will include a range of materials, from original historical documents and autobiographies to scholarly essays and longer studies.
Attendance (5%) Reading handouts (5% each - 15% total) 5-page essay (25%) Midterm #1 (25%) End-of-term exam (30%)
Ware, Susan. Modern American Women: A Documentary History Hunter, Tera W. To 'Joy My Freedom: Southern Black Women's Lives and Labors after the Civil War Peiss, Kathy Lee. Hope in a Jar: The Making of America's Beauty Culture Bailey, Beth. From Front Porch to Back Seat: Courtship in Twentieth-Century America Douglas, Susan J. Where the Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media Esmeralda Santiago, Almost a Woman