History 325 – Introduction to Women’s History: The American Experience
Ohio State University
Winter 2007, TR – 2:00-3:48
Campbell Hall Room 200
Instructor: Dr. Basia Nowak
292-2674 (leave messages with the front desk receptionist)
Office: 373 Dulles Hall
Office Hours: Tuesday 1-1:45 and by appointment
Teaching Assistant: Jane Berger
292-2674 (leave messages with the front desk receptionist)
Office: 009 Dulles Hall
Office Hours: Thursday 4-5 and by appointment
This course surveys the history of American women from indigenous groups prior to European settlement to the present. Readings, lectures, and assignments will emphasize the ways in which gender intersected with class, race, and ethnicity. Students will gain a broader understanding of the connections between women’s “private” and “public” lives, the diversity of American women’s experiences in the past, and women’s multifaceted roles in shaping American history. Throughout the quarter, students will learn about some notable women but the focus of the course will be on a general overview of women’s experiences.
Ellen Carol DuBois and Lynn Dumenil, Through Women’s Eyes: An American History with Documents (2005)
Harriet A. Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl: Written by Herself (2000)
Hilda Satt Polacheck, I Came a Stranger: The Story of a Hull-House Girl (1991)
Joan Jacobs Brumberg, The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls (1998)
All readings are required and are available for purchase at campus bookstores. The reading assignment that is listed for a given day is the assignment that is to be completed for that day. Reading Through Women’s Eyes regularly will help students follow the lectures more easily. Through Women’s Eyes provides both a narrative of women’s history alongside visual and written primary source documents.
Grading and Expectations
15%—2-Page Film Paper
30%—5-6 Page Paper
Important information regarding grades:
1) "C" essays will include: an introductory paragraph that contains your thesis; a body of several paragraphs in which you offer evidence to support your thesis; and a conclusion that reiterates your basic argument.
2) "B" essays will include: all of the above requirements for a "C" essay plus more relevant data and analyses than is found in an average essay.
3) "A" essays will include: all of the above requirements for a "B" essay plus more data and some indication of independent or extended thought.
4) As for "D" and "E" essays: usually, these essays do not include a viable thesis and/or they do not include very much information from the course.
5) Since the University does not record D- grades, a student earning a course average below 62 will receive an E in this course.
6) The T.A. and I reserve the right to consider improvement when determining final grades.
7) The official university grade breakdowns are:
A 92.6 and above B- 79.6-82.5 D+ 67.6-69.5
A- 89.6-92.5 C+ 77.6-79.5 D 62-67.5
B+ 87.6-89.5 C 72.6-77.5 E below 62
B 82.6-87.5 C- 69.6-72.5
You are expected to attend all course sessions and complete readings and assignments by the due date. I will not take attendance but in order for you to do well in the course, you will have to attend lectures. I expect courteous behavior during all sessions. Please respect the opinions and ideas of others, do not engage in other activities during the course (such as reading newspapers, finishing assignments for other classes, etc.), and turn off all cell phones during class.
Both the midterm and final exams will be based on lectures, readings, films, and discussions. The midterm will cover information up to February 1. The final exam will cover material from February 8 until the end of the course. Exams will consist of short identifications and essays. Both exams will be in class.
You are responsible for writing a two-page typewritten double-spaced response paper to the film Iron Jawed Angels, which you will watch in class. The film depicts Alice Paul’s and the National Woman’s Party’s struggles for winning suffrage for women in the early part of the twentieth century. Feel free to write about what you found most compelling, surprising, or thought provoking. For example: Which aspect(s) of the film gave you the most interesting insight into women’s experiences in the past? Did the film lead you to make connections to the present situation of women (or your personal life)? Did the filmmakers take some liberties in making this film? Choose a particular theme that you found most intriguing. The point for this exercise is not to write the “correct” answer but to show that you understand and have thought seriously about the film. Treat this short film assignment as a paper that will be graded on both content and grammar. The film paper is due on February 20 at the beginning of class.
A 5-6 page paper is due at the beginning of class on March 1. Attached is the paper assignment.
Assistance in Writing
Besides discussing your writing with either me or the teaching assistant, you can also visit the OSU Writing Center. It is located in room 485 Mendenhall Lab—125 South Oval Mall. You can make an appointment in person or by calling the Writing Center at 688-4291 or 292-5607. The Center provides free tutorial services at any stage of the writing process, with the exception of proofreading. This is a great resource, especially for students who struggle with writing papers. Writing is a skill that you can improve, and taking advantage of such resources is a good place to start improving your written work.
Late Assignments and Make-up Exams
If you have to miss an exam because of illness or a verifiable emergency, you must contact me or the teaching assistant before the exam. We will reschedule a make-up as soon as possible. A valid medical excuse or documentation of emergency will be required to take a make-up exam. If a medical or family emergency precludes you from handing in your papers on time, notify me or the teaching assistant immediately before the papers are due. You will need documentation for a paper to be accepted late without it affecting your grade. For all late papers without excused documentation, each day that the paper is late, your letter grade will be lowered by 5 %.
It is the responsibility of the Committee on Academic Misconduct to investigate or establish
procedures for the investigation of all reported cases of student academic misconduct. The term academic misconduct includes all forms of student academic misconduct wherever committed; illustrated by, but not limited to, cases of plagiarism and dishonest practices in connection with examinations. Instructors shall report all instances of alleged academic misconduct to the committee (Faculty Rule 3335-5-487). For additional information, see the Code of Student Conduct (http://studentaffairs.osu.edu/resource_csc.asp). For a discussion of plagiarism, see http://cstw.osu.edu/writingCenter/handouts/research_plagiarism.cfm. For the OSU Writing Center, see http://cstw.osu.edu. Come see me or your T.A. if you have any questions about plagiarism or academic misconduct.
Students with disabilities who have been certified by the Office for Disability Services will be appropriately accommodated, and should inform the instructor and the teaching assistant as soon as possible of their needs. The Office for Disability Services is located in 150 Pomerene Hall, 1760 Neil Avenue; telephone 292-3307, TDD 292-0901; http://www.ods.ohio-state.edu/.
All students must be officially enrolled in this course by the end of the second week of the quarter. The department chair will not approve any requests to add the course after that date.
Should any changes to this syllabus become necessary I will announce them as soon as possible in class.
4 January Introduction to Course: Syllabus and Expectations
What is Women’s History?
9 January Native American Women
Settlers in the Seventeenth Century: The Chesapeake
Reading: Through Women’s Eyes, “Introduction” and chapter 1 (entire)
11 January Settlers in the Seventeenth Century: New England
16 January Women of the Revolution: The Public and Private Lives of Women in the Eighteenth Century
Reading: Through Women’s Eyes, chapter 2 (entire)
18 January “The Cult of True Womanhood”: Fantasy or Reality for Middle-Class, Working-Class, and Slave Women
Reading: Through Women’s Eyes, chapter 3 (entire)
23 January Discussion Sections on the reading will meet in either Campbell Hall 200 or University Hall 086 from 2:00-2:48 or 3:00-3:48. You will receive detailed instructions prior to the discussion section.
Reading: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (entire)
25 January Shifting Opportunities for Women: The Western “Frontier”
Reading: Through Women’s Eyes, chapter 4 (pages 202-244)
30 January Roots of Social and Political Activism: Antebellum Years
Civil War and Transformations for Women
Reading: Through Women’s Eyes, chapter 4 (245-263)
1 February Labor, Politics, and Everyday Life: Post-Civil War Years
Sexuality and Utopian Communities in the Nineteenth Century
Reading: Through Women’s Eyes, chapter 5 (entire)
6 February Midterm Exam
8 February Work, Immigration, and Reform at the Turn of the Century
Reading: Through Women’s Eyes, chapter 6 (entire)
13 February “Municipal Housekeeping” and Votes for Women: Political and Social Activism in the Progressive Era
Reading: Through Women’s Eyes, chapter 7 (entire)
15 February Film: Iron Jawed Angels
20 February After Victory: Women, Politics, and the First Sexual Revolution in the 1920s
From the Great Depression to the New Deal
Reading: Through Women’s Eyes, chapter 8 (pages 480-507, 519-547)
Film response paper due at the beginning of class
22 February Women in WWII
Reading: Through Women’s Eyes, chapter 8 (pages 507-518)
27 February Women in Postwar America and the 1950s: Images and Reality
Reading: Through Women’s Eyes, chapter 9 (entire)
1 March Civil Rights and Women’s Rights Movements
5-6 page papers are due at the beginning of class.
6 March Discussion Sections on the reading will meet in either Campbell Hall 200 or University Hall 086 from 2:00-2:48 or 3:00-3:48. You will receive detailed instructions prior to the discussion section.
Reading: Brumberg, The Body Project (entire)
8 March The Rise and Decline of Modern Feminism
Reading: Through Women’s Eyes, chapter 10 (entire)
Final Exam Monday, March 12 – 1:30-3:18 in our classroom.
Objectives/Learning Outcomes: By completing the requirements for this Historical survey, students will:
1. Acquire a perspective on history and an understanding of the factors that shape human activity. This knowledge will furnish students insights into the origins and nature of contemporary issues and a foundation for future comparative understanding of civilizations.
2. Develop critical thinking through the study of diverse interpretations of historical events.
3. Apply critical thinking through historical analysis of primary and secondary sources.
4. Develop communication skills in exams, papers, discussions.
Objectives/Learning Outcomes: By completing the requirements for a History Major, students will:
1. Acquire a deeper understanding of the factors that shaped human activity as it changed over time in varying geographical and cultural contexts.
2. Broaden knowledge of history by completing at least two courses covering topics before 1750 and at least two courses covering topics after 1750.
3. Develop an international perspective on history by concentrating courses in a primary geographical field and supplementing that focus with at least three courses outside of the primary geographical area.
4. Enhance the ability to apply critical thinking through historical analysis of primary and secondary sources.
5. Develop the ability to analyze and evaluate diverse interpretations of historical events.
6. Advance their effectiveness in oral communications and in writing historical arguments and documenting evidence to support those arguments.
In order to pass the course, you must pass the final exam with a score of at least 62%.