American Women/American Womanhood:
1870s to the Present
T/TR 9:30-10:50 a.m.
Center Hall, 212
This course examines the history of women in the United States from roughly 1870 to the present. We will explore the status and experiences of American women from a range of perspectives social, cultural, political, economic and legal. A central concern will be the relationship between gender ideologies and divisions based on class and race within America society. Major areas of inquiry will include: strategies that women have employed to attain political influence and power; changing conceptions of women’s rights and duties as citizens; women’s roles as producers and consumers in an industrial and post-industrial economy; and attitudes and policies that have served to regulate female sexuality, reproduction and motherhood.
Contacting Prof. Plant
Office hours: Tuesdays, noon to 2 p.m., HSS 6016
The course requirements are as follows: two 3-4 page papers (25% each); the midterm (20%); and the final examination (30%).
The midterm will consist of a series of short answer questions. The final will have identifications, short answer questions, and two essay questions. Answers to the identifications should be roughly two sentences and should identify the person, event, or term and briefly explain its significance. Short answer questions require a paragraph-long response. Essay responses should be roughly five-paragraphs.
Policy regarding late papers: I will accept late papers without penalty only if an extension is requested by email at least seven days in advance of the due date. Otherwise, a letter grade will be deducted for each day beyond the due date.
Grading for this class will not be on a scale.
I take the issue of academic integrity very seriously, and I will report suspected cases of cheating or plagiarism. Indeed, as a UCSD professor, if I suspect evidence of cheating or plagiarism in my class, I am required by the Office of the Academic Integrity Coordinator to file a report. (See the “Instructors’ Responsibility” and “Students’ Responsibility” sections of the University’s Academic Integrity Statement.) Please do not make me take this step.
The problem of plagiarism has become more pervasive since the rise of the internet. Obviously, purchasing a paper or taking a paper (or any part of paper) off of a website violates the principles of academic integrity. But plagiarism is not limited to these flagrant examples. Any time you take a sentence, or even a phrase, from another person's work without using quotation marks and providing proper attribution, you are plagiarizing. When you write a paper, the best way to avoid plagiarism is to do all the necessary reading, including on-line reading, in advance. Once you begin to write, you should not go on-line again until the paper is done.
If you have any questions as to what is or is not plagiarism, please review the attached MLA statement. If you still have questions, please contact me.
Linda K. Kerber and Jane Sherron De Hart, eds., Women’s America: Refocusing the Past, 6th edition, New York: Oxford University Press, 2003
Jacqueline Jones Royster, ed., Southern Horrors and Other Writings: The Anti-Lynching Campaign of Ida B. Wells, 1892-1900, Boston: Bedford Books, 1997
Leisa Meyer, Creating GI Jane: Sexuality and Power in the Women’s Auxiliary Corps during World War II, New York: Columbia Press, 1996
Maxine Hong Kingston, Woman Warrior: Memories of a Girlhood Among Ghosts, New York: Vintage Books, 1989, orig. 1975
Week 1: Gender Ideology in the Gilded Age
January 5 Introductions
January 7 Overview: Women's Status and Gender Ideology in the Late 19th Century
- "Reconstruction Amendments, 1868, 1870," in Women's America, 247
- "Bradwell v. Illinois, 1873," in Women's America, 248-49
- "Comstock Law, 1873," in Women's America, 250
- "Minor v. Happersett, 1875," in Women's America, 251-52
- Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, "The Women's Centennial Agenda, 1876," in Women's America, 265-68
- Mary Tape, "What right! have you to bar my children out of the school because she is a chinese Descend....," in Women's America, 281-82
- Zitkala-Sä (Gertrude Simmons Bonnin), "...this semblance of civilization...," in Women's America, 282-86
Week 2: Women and Progressive Era Reform
- Annalise Orleck, "From the Russian Pale to Labor Organizing in New York City," in Women's America, 310-327
- Pauline Newman, "We fought and we bled and we died...," in Women's America, 342-44
- Kathryn Kish Sklar, "Florence Kelley and Women's Activism in the Progressive Era," in Women's America, 327-339
- "Muller v. Oregon, 1908," in Women's America, 340-41
In class: View segment of New York: A Documentary
January 14 Race and Reform
- Royster, ed. Southern Horrors and Other Writings, 14-19, 27-41, 50-72, 75-82, 117-30, 138-48
- Patricia A. Schechter, "Ida B. Wells and Southern Horrors," in Women's America, 268-70
Week 3: Women and Politics: The Fight for Suffrage and Its Aftermath
January 19 Feminism and the Suffrage Movement
- Ellen Carol DuBois, "The Next Generation of Suffragists: Harriot Stanton Blatch and Grassroots Politics," in Women's America, 358-64
- "Mackenzie v. Hare, 1915," in Women's America, 358-64
January 21 Women's Politics in the 1920s
- Nancy F. Cott, "Equal Rights and Economic Roles: The Conflict over the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1920," in Women's America, 379-89
- "Equal Suffrage (Nineteenth) Amendment, 1920," in Women's America, 367-68
- "Adkins v. Children's Hospital, 1923," Women's America, 369
- Kim Nielson, "How Did Women Antifeminists Shape and Limit the Social Reform Movements of the 1920s?" Document Project, Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000. You can access this through ROGER, but it is restricted to UCSD IP addresses. On Roger, select "title" and type in "Women and social movments in the United States." Then select "Document Projects" and scroll down until you find this particular project. Please read the introduction and Documents 6-10, 14 and 16.
Week 4: Sexuality, Motherhood and Modernity: 1920s and 1930s
Paper #1 due in class or in my mailbox by 4 p.m., 6th floor HSS
January 26 The Birth Control Movement
- Margaret Sanger, "I resolved that women should have knowledge of contraception..." in Women's America, 370-78
January 28 The Rise of Consumer Culture
- Joan Jacobs Brumberg, "Fasting Girls: The Emerging Ideal of Slenderness in American Culture," in Women's America, 390-98
- Ruth Schwartz Cowan, "The 'Industrial Revolution' in the Home: Household Technology and Social Change in the Twentieth Century," in Women's America, 399-410
- Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, "Disorderly Women: Gender and Labor Militancy in the Appalachian South," in Women's America, 399-410
In class: View segment of Our Dancing Daughters
Week 5: The Depression, the New Deal, and Gender Roles
February 2 Familial Life and State Policies in the 1930s
- Leslie J. Reagan, "When Abortion Was a Crime: Reprodution and Economy in the Great Depression," in Women's America, 423-28
- Jacqueline Jones, "Harder Times: The Great Depression," 429-32
- Alice Kessler-Harris, "Designing Women and Old Fools: Writing Gender into Social Security Law," in Women's America, 435-447
- Blanche Wiesen Cook, "Storms on Every Front: Eleanor Roosevelt and Human Rights in Europe," in Women's America, 447-454
February 4 MIDTERM
Week 6: World War II: A Watershed?
February 9 World War II and Gender Ideology
- Meyer, Creating GI Jane, 11-70, 100-21
- Valerie Matsumoto, "Japanese American Women During World War II" in Women's America, 459-66
- Ruth Milkman, "Gender at Work: The Sexual Divison of Labor during World War II," in Women's America, 466-77
February 11 Mobilizing Womanpower
In class: View film, "The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter"
Week 7: The Cold War and Political Protest
February 16 Sexual Politics in Cold War America
February 18 Political Protest and Repression in the Cold War and Salt of the Earth
- Estelle Freedman, "Miriam Van Waters and the Burning of Letters," in Women's America, 500-507
- Amy Swerdlow, "Ladies' Day at the Capitol: Women Strike for Peace versus HUAC," in Women's America, 517-32
- Charles Payne, "A Woman's War: African American Women in the Civil Rights Movement," in Women's America, 532-36
View segment of Salt of the Earth (in class)
Week 8: The Rebirth of Feminism in the 1960s and 1970s
February 23 Second Wave Feminism
- Daniel Horowitz, "Betty Friedan and the Origins of Feminism in Cold War America," in Women's America, 481-495
- Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique, New York, 1963, chap. 1
- Pauli Murray, "I had entered law school preoccupied with the racial struggle...but I graduated an unabashed feminist as well...," in Women's America, 537-546
- "Hoyt v. Florida, 1961; Taylor v. Louisiana, 1975," in Women's America, 546-550
- "Civil Rights Act, Title VII, 1964," in Women's America, 546-550
- Jane Sharron De Hart, "Second Wave Feminists and the Dynamics of Social Change," in Women's America, 598-623
February 25 Social Change and Women's Lives
- Maxine Hong Kingston, Woman Warrior, 3-53, 96-109, 164-209
Week 9: Progress and Reaction: Sexual Politics and the Workplace, 1970s-1990s
March 2 [Caught up]
March 4 The Rise of the New Right: The Backlash Against the ERA and Abortion Rights
- Phyllis Schlafly, "The thoughts of one who loves life as a woman...," in Women's America
- "Roe v. Wade 1973," in Women's America
- "Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, 1992," in Women's America
- Jane Sherron De Hart and Carolyn Herbst Lewis, "Thirty Years After Roe: The Continued Assault on a Woman's Right to Choose," in Women's America
Oral history project due in class or in my mailbox by 4 p.m., 6th floor HSS
Week 10: Unresolved Conflicts, Contemporary Issues
March 9 Women, Work, and Welfare
March 11 Women in the 21st Century: Final Reflections
- Sara Evans, "Women and Global Citizenship," in Women's America
March 16 8:00-11:00 FINAL