History 697I: Topics in US Women's and Gender History

 

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Fall 2009

W 6:15-8:45pm

108 Herter Hall

 

Laura Lovett

635 Herter Hall

545-6778

Office Hours:  TBA and By Appt (typically available the hour before class)

 

This course will focus on selected topics in U. S. women's and gender history from the colonial era to the present. Our focus will be on how interpretations of women's experience have been influenced by changing conceptions of race, ethnicity, sexuality, family, class, religion, region, immigration, economics, and politics. We will consider and compare the lives of Native American women, African American women, Asian American women, Latina women, and European American women from the colonial period through industrialization and into the twentieth century. We will give special consideration to different forms of women's political participation, to the influence of different conceptions of masculinity and femininity on political and cultural discourse, and to changing scientific constructions of body norms, ability and disability, reproduction, race, and eugenics, womanhood and motherhood, heterosexuality and homosexuality.

 

 

Disabilities

                  If you have a documented disability that may affect your performance in the class, please speak to the instructor as soon as possible so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

 

Texts: (available at Food For Thought Books and On Reserve in the UMASS Library -3 day reserve so contact the class if you need it.)

 

** Pamela E. Brooks, Boycotts, Buses, And Passes: Black Women's Resistance in the
U.S. South and South Africa
(UMass 2008)

**  Kathleen Brown, Good Wives, Nasty Wenches & Anxious Patriarchs: Gender, Race, and Power in Colonial Virginia (UNC Press, 1996).

** Constance Curry, Joan C. Browning, and Dorothy Dawson Burlage, Deep in Our
Hearts: Nine White Women in the Freedom Movement
(University of Georgia Press,
2002)

** Glenda Gilmore, Gender and Jim Crow (University of North Carolina Press, 1996)

**  Thaviola Glymph, Out of the House of Bondage: The Transformation of the Plantation Household (Cambridge University Press, 2008).

** Elizabeth Kennedy and Madeline Davis, Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold: The History of a Lesbian Community (Penguin 1994)

**  Susan J. Kleinberg, Eileen Boris and Vicki Ruiz, Eds., The Practice of
 U.S.
 Women's History: Narratives, Intersections, and Dialogues (New
 Brunswick:
 Rutgers University Press, 2007).

** Allison Schneider, Suffragists in an Imperial Age: U.S. Expansion and the Woman
Question, 1870-1929
(Oxford 2008)

**  Alex Stern, Eugenic Nation: Faults and Frontiers of Better Breeding in
> Modern
> America, (University of California Press, 2005)

**  Anne Valk, Radical Sisters: Second-Wave Feminism and Black Liberation in Washington, D.C. (University of Illinois Press, 2008).

** Anzia Yezierska, Bread Givers (Persea Books; 3 edition, 2003)

Reading:  You are expected to do the assigned reading in advance of each class.  A bibliography of recommended reading is online at the course website.

 

Course Website: https://spark.oit.umass.edu

 

Schedule (subject to change)

 

9/9           Introduction: What is Women's History?

Reading:

** Alice Kessler-Harris, "Do We Still Need Women's History?," The Chronicle Review  December 7, 2007.

** Gerda Lerner, "Placing Women in History," Feminist Studies 3 (1975) 5-14.

** Rayna Green, "The Pocahontas Perplex," Massachusetts Review 27 (1975).

**  Susan J. Kleinberg, Eileen Boris and Vicki Ruiz, "Introductions," in  The Practice of
 U.S.
 Women's History: Narratives, Intersections, and Dialogues

 

9/16        Women's Lives and Colonial Categories

Reading:

** Kathleen Brown, Good Wives, Nasty Wenches & Anxious Patriarchs: Gender, Race, and Power in Colonial Virginia

** Jennifer Morgan, "'Some Could Suckle Over Their Shoulder'," The William And Mary Quarterly 54 (1997) 167-192.

** Ann Stoler, "Tense and Tender Ties: The Politics of Comparison in North American History and (Post) Colonial Studies," Haunted by Empire (Duke University Press, 2006), 23-67.

**  Gail MacLeitch, "'Your Women Are of No Small Consequence': Native American Women, Gender, and Early American History," in The Practice of
 U.S.
 Women's History: Narratives, Intersections, and Dialogues

 

9/23        Women and Revolution

Reading:

** Laurel Ulrich, The Midwives's Tale (portion, no book ordered)

**  Jeanne Boydston, "The Pastoralization of Housework," Home and Work: Housework, Wages, and the Ideology of Labor in the Early Republic (Oxford 1991).

** Carroll Smith-Rosenberg, "The Female World of Love and Ritual: Relations between Women in Nineteenth-Century America," Signs 1 (1975), 1-30.

** Joan W. Scott, "Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis," American Historical Review 91 (December 1986): 1053-1075.

**  Susan Branson, "From Daughters of Liberty to Women of the Republic: American Women in the Era of the American Revolution," in The Practice of
 U.S.
 Women's History: Narratives, Intersections, and Dialogues

 

9/30        Women and Slavery

Reading:

**  Thaviola Glymph, Out of the House of Bondage: The Transformation of the Plantation Household (Cambridge University Press, 2008).

**  Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, "African-American Women's History and the Metalanguage of Race." Signs 17 (Winter 1992): 251-274.

**  Susan Grant, "To Bind Up the Nation's Wounds: Women and the American Civil War," in The Practice of
 U.S.
 Women's History: Narratives, Intersections, and Dialogues

 

10/7        Feminism and Suffrage

Reading:

** Allison Schneider, Suffragists in an Imperial Age: U.S. Expansion and the Woman
Question, 1870-1929
(Oxford University Press,  2008)

**  Elizabeth Clapp, "The Woman Suffrage Movement, 1848-1920," in The Practice of
 U.S.
 Women's History: Narratives, Intersections, and Dialogues

 

10/14      Race and Reform

Reading:

** Glenda Gilmore, Gender and Jim Crow

** Gail Bederman, ""The White Man's Civilization on Trial": Ida B. Wells, Representations of Lynching, and Northern Middle-Class Manhood," in Manliness and Civilization (University of North Carolina Press, 1995), pp. 45-76.

**  Laura Briggs, "Gender and Imperialism," in The Practice of
 U.S.
 Women's History: Narratives, Intersections, and Dialogues

 

10/21      Women, Labor, and Immigration

Reading:

** Anzia Yezierska, Bread Givers (Persea Books; 3rd edition, 2003)

**  Amy Kaplan, "Manifest Domesticity," American Literature 70 (1998) 581-606.

**  Donna Gabaccia and Vicki Ruiz, "Migrations and Destinations: Reflections on the Histories of U.S. Immigrant Women," in The Practice of
 U.S.
 Women's History: Narratives, Intersections, and Dialogues

Optional: (one of the following)

** Nan Enstead, Ladies of Labor, Girls of Adventure

** Kathy Peiss, Cheap Amusements.

** Annelise Orleck, Common Sense and a Little Fire

**  Martha Gardner, The Qualities of a Citizen

 

10/28   Sexuality

Reading:

** Kennedy, Elizabeth Lapovsky and Madeline D. Davis, Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold : The History of a Lesbian Community

**  Leisa Meyer, "Interrupting Norms and Constructing Deviances: Competing Frameworks in the Histories of Sexualities in the United States," in The Practice of
 U.S.
 Women's History: Narratives, Intersections, and Dialogues

 

11/4      Eugenics Then and Now

Reading:

**  Alex Stern, Eugenic Nation: Faults and Frontiers of Better Breeding in
 Modern
 America, (University of California Press, 2005).

**  Vicki Ruiz, "Morena/o, Blanca/o, y Cafˇ con Leche: Racial Constructions in Chicana/o Historiography," in The Practice of
 U.S.
 Women's History: Narratives, Intersections, and Dialogues

 

11/11      No Class – Veteran's Day Holiday

 

11/17  Gail Collins Reading in South Hadley, 7pm

Author of When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present

11/18     Women, Race, and Resistance in Transnational Perspective

Reading:

** Pamela E. Brooks, Boycotts, Buses, And Passes: Black Women's Resistance in the
U.S. South and South Africa
(UMass 2008)

**  Jacqueline Castledine, TBA

 

11/25  Food Ways: Cream Sauces and Thanksgiving  (Optional Meeting)

Reading:

** Laura Shapiro, Perfection Salad: Women and Cooking at the Turn of the Century (Modern Library, 2001).

 

12/2        Civil Rights as Turning-Point: Biography, Autobiography, and Memory

Reading:

** Constance Curry, Joan C. Browning, and Dorothy Dawson Burlage, Deep in Our
Hearts: Nine White Women in the Freedom Movement
(University of Georgia Press, 2002).

** J. Anthony Lukas, "Sue" in Don't Shoot We Are Your Children (Random House, 1968, excerpt)

**  Winifred Breines, "Introduction," in The Trouble Between Us: An Uneasy History of White and Black Women in the Feminist Movement (Oxford University Press, 2006).

**  Mary Ellen Curtain, " Strong People and Strong Leaders: African American Women and the Modern Black Freedom Struggle," in The Practice of
 U.S.
 Women's History: Narratives, Intersections, and Dialogues

 

12/9 The Second Wave Women's Movement

Reading:

**  Anne Valk, Radical Sisters: Second-Wave Feminism and Black Liberation in Washington, D.C. (University of Illinois Press, 2008).

**  Mary P. Ryan, "Where Does Sex Divide?" in Mysteries of Sex (UNC Press, 2006).