Ws 341b history of American Women, 1865-Present

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WS 341B -- History of American Women, 1865-Present

Professor S. E. Cayleff

Spring 2012

Class Times: Tu/Th 9:30-10:45

Prof’s Office Hours: Tu 11:00-12:30; Th 11:00-11:45

Phone: 594-5943 Arts and Letters 321

Graduate Assistant: Danielle Bauer

Graduate Assistant Office Hours: Th 10:45-12:15. All emails answered by Monday and

Thursday each week.

Email: Office: AL316

Please note: This syllabus is a contract. You are responsible for knowing its contents and

fulfilling the requirements. Please read it carefully and refer to it constantly throughout the


Required Texts

The following books are for sale at KB Books. The mandatory class Reader is for sale at KB

Books (only) for use in this course.

 Chopin – The Awakening

 DuBois and Dumenil – Through Women’s Eyes (TWE), 2nd Edition

 Ehrenreich and English – For Her Own Good

 Houston – Farewell to Manzanar

 Plath – The Bell Jar

 Yezierska – Bread Givers

Learning Outcomes

 By taking this course on “Women in American History” you will be able to:

 Situate women’s experiences within specific eras in American history

 Bring a feminist and critical gendered analysis to human experience

 Differentiate amongst the experiences of diverse women as their positions are affected by

race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, social class and so on.

 Understand the cultural institutions that determine the material circumstances of women’s

lives (religion, law, medicine and so on...)

 Analyze how cultural and gendered norms and ideals impact diverse women’s lives (e.g.

patriarchy, heteronormativity, shifting expectations of women’s “place” in the private and

public realms and soon.

 Understand ways in which women have resisted and rebelled against these cultural

institutions and norms

 See how women have formed separate institutions, ways of being and communities

within these historical eras

 Advance your critical thinking and writing skills


 Enhance your ability to discern and analyze present-day gendered relations

This course fulfills the American Institutions/G.E. requirement. Students are expected to think

critically about the readings and to come to class prepared to have that knowledge supplemented

by lecture material. On discussion/slide/film days, students will be asked to critically analyze a

variety of the ideas, issues and themes that emerge in the readings and lecture material.

Class Etiquette

Please do:

 Arrive on time

 Do all of the readings due for that day

 Turn assignments in on time

 Communicate with the professor or graduate assistant if you must leave early or know

you will miss a class for an emergency

 Provide written documentation for any medical or personal emergency absences. No

documentation means no excused absence.

Please do NOT do any of the following:

 Arrive late

 Email any assignments to the professor or graduate assistant, as these will not be


 Read a newspaper

Listen to electronic devices

 Surf the Internet

 Send/receive text messages

 Read materials not associated with class

 Engage in distracting, off-subject conversations with classmates

 Sleep

Notice: In order to create a respectful environment for everyone, any student found texting,

reading non-class related materials, surfing the web or sleeping will be asked to leave for that

class and will not receive credit for attendance that day. Repeat infractions may result in failing

the class.


Attendance will be taken during each class and counts towards your participation grade. Four or

more absences constitute an "F" grade on attendance. To have an absence excused, written

documentation must be provided.

Academic Misconduct and Plagiarism:

Section 41301 of Title V of the California Code of Regulations defines academic misconduct as

“Cheating or plagiarism in connection with an academic program at a campus.” According to the

SDSU Center for Student Rights and Responsibilities, “Examples of cheating would include

using unauthorized notes or study guides during an exam, unauthorized collaboration on


coursework, stealing course examinations or materials, falsifying records or data, and

intentionally assisting another individual in any of the above.” Some examples of plagiarism

include submitting work that was written by someone else or using someone else’s ideas (written

or verbal) without referencing that source in a footnote or bibliography. When using exact

quotes, be sure to put these quotes within quotation marks.

How to Read for this Course:

Read the introductions and conclusions of the essays or books first and read them closely. When

you read, read for argument. Determine the author's main themes and main argument. The editors

of your books give you these in the chapter introductions, but you will learn how to extract these

yourself as you read. Keep the weekly questions in mind as you read: these help you extract the

most important ideas.

Special Circumstances:

Religious holidays: Anticipated absences for religious holidays must be cleared with the graduate

assistant a minimum of ten days in advance.

Students With Special Needs: Students who need accommodation of their disabilities should

contact me privately to discuss specific accommodations for which they have received

authorization. If you have a disability, but have not contacted Student Disability Services at 619-

594-6473 (Calpulli Center, 3rd Floor, Suite 3101), please do so before making an appointment

with the professor.

Women's Studies Major or Minor:

Thinking about a Major or Minor in Women's Studies? The program offers exciting courses, is

committed to women's issues and social justice, and is adaptable to your interests and concerns.

For more information

contact: Dr. Doreen Mattingly Undergraduate Advisor.


Total: 100 points (plus extra credit points if applicable)

-Attendance and discussion participation 10%

-Historical novel essay, 6 pages (based on one novel you select) 20%

-Exam 20%

-Primary Source Analysis (selection and analysis) 10%

-3 community involvement events @5% each 15%


Annotated bibliography

This includes a 6-7 page annotated bibliography

(this is NOT a standard narrative paper) and an oral presentation:

---OR--- Participation in one of the Community-Based Service Learning internships, which

includes a journal, final reflection paper and an oral presentation



ESSAY: One 6 page analytic essay on ONE OF THE FOLLOWING THREE CHOICES:

Awakening/Breadgivers (due 3/1); Farewell to Manzanar (due 3/13) or Bell Jar (due 3/22).

These are ANALYTIC essays that require that you go beyond what we discuss in class. You need

to offer specific examples from the text, use citations within your essay, and utilize

information/citations from AT LEAST FOUR (PLUS the novel) of your assigned readings that

complement the topic at hand. Also, attach a bibliography. Papers that do not follow these

instructions will receive a grade of zero.


Historical Method: Primary and Secondary sources:

A primary source is something from the era. This is a source that has not yet been

interpreted by a scholar or anyone else. It can be a diary entry, demographic table from a

census, medical record, “expert’s” writing at that time, a document from radical thinkers,

poem, music, etc.

A secondary source is something written by someone who has already interpreted original

(primary) materials. It is academic scholarship, etc.

Your source must fall within the time-frame of our course and it must be American in focus. It

cannot be a source we have read for the class; it is a new source that you have located. Analyze

it using the prompt provided here. Identify and answer all portions of the prompt in your

response. Also include your own analysis in your response. Bullet points are fine. All must be

turned in by 4/17, though you can turn them in anytime starting Week 3. You can use this

primary source as one of the three you are using for your annotated bibliography. A “primary

source” is any document, letter, newspaper article, photos, drawing, object, etc. from a specific

historical moment. It is something by and for the people at that time-a first-hand source from that

time and place.

Your analysis of it must include your thorough analysis of the following questions.

NOTE: If you cannot give thorough details to these questions, then you do not have a useful

document—please find another one.

1. What is the document?

2. What year was it written?

3. Who were the person(s) who made it? What facts about the author(s) of the document

help you to understand the purpose of the document?…to understand the details in the

document? (you may need to do a little research on-line or in another source to answer

this please DO NOT use Wikipedia-it is unreliable). IF YOU CANNOT LOCATE THE

AUTHOR: What facts about the TOPIC give you the background to understand the

purpose and importance of details in the document? If you cannot ascertain this, choose

another document.

4. Related to #3, what was the author’s point of view about women’s role at that time and

place? i.e., what is the gender, race, social class, occupation, political view, religion, or

any other factor that will help you understand what helped create the author’s ideas about

women’s role at that time.


5. What was the original purpose of the document?

6. What are several SPECIFIC DETAILS, or quotations, in the document that support the

author’s purpose?

7. Prepare a paragraph or two explaining how the document relates to the week’s readinghow

it helps you understand the themes found on the syllabus for that week. (Note the

week’s topic and the questions). Use examples from both the assigned reading and your


Community Involvements and Reflective Essays: 15% (5% each essay)

The Women's Studies Department encourages students to explore the connections between

theory and activism by offering students the option to fulfill a percentage of their course

requirements through participation in community events relevant to Women's Studies. This

course requires that you attend THREE such events (to be announced throughout the

semester). After you attend an event you are asked to write a 2.5 double spaced Reflective Essay.

The prompt you are addressing is: “Who was the speaker/exhibit, etc. and what were the

main points of the event? How did this event complement, clarify and/or contradict issues

and themes we have studied in our class?”

You must use specific examples when answering this prompt that refer to class lectures,

readings, and discussions. You will be assigned points on a 1-5 scale; 5 being the highest.



1) Annotated Bibliography


2) Community Based Service Learning internship


Each student will select a topic they think would be a valuable supplement to the extant lecture

material in WS341B. You will locate FOUR secondary (interpretive) and TWO primary sources

("from the era"/first-person accounts). Using these you will create your argument. The Annotated

Bibliography should be 6-7 pages. During the last few classes, each student will give a 5 minute

(only!) presentation with some sort of audio-visual aide(s) about the annotated bibliographic

research. It's your turn to be creative: poster boards, brief videos, role-playing, and so on. Your

presentation will be assigned a date later in the semester.

Proposal: All Research Proposals are due March 6.

For those doing the Annotated Bibliography, you must submit a one-page Research Proposal that

includes the


1. Title

2. Statement of historical era and relevant demographics (race, age, locale, social class, religion,

sexual orientation and so on).

3. 3-5 analytic questions you intend to ask of the materials. These may shift, but this is a “launch

point” for you to begin to distill the information.


4. Complete bibliographic citations (author, source, place of publication date, page numbers and

any other relevant information that places/contextualizes the source) for FIVE secondary and

THREE primary sources.

Final Paper Instructions for Annotated Bibliographies:

The final product should be 6-7 pages only -- over-length papers will be penalized. You are

allowed two internet sources only; all others must be gotten from the library in article or book

form. Ten points deducted for each additional Internet source used. All papers are due May 3

and 11:00 a.m. or they will be considered late.


For those students NOT doing a community-based service learning option, an end-of-thesemester

Annotated Bibliography is required. A separate posting on Blackboard will provide full

and complete details for its format. Please note: if you are doing this option, you must turn in a

Research Topic Proposal (Due March 8) about your paper. Please see due date for Topic

Commitment below. Due dates for oral presentations for Annotated Bibliographies are assigned

over the course of several classes at semester’s end. All written papers are due on date stipulated

below. Model papers from semester’s past will be circulated so that it is clear this is NOT a

traditional “narrative” paper.

The Annotated Bibliography should include:

1. Title

2. Statement of historical era and relevant demographics. Place your topic within its historical

context (do this by noting era, location, and relevant information for that era, etc.).

3. Note which women are included in your study and those who are not. Note how their social

class, race/ethnicity, regional location, religion, sexualities and so on help shape their


4. You will be answering the 3-5 analytic questions you asked on your proposal. These may have

changed somewhat, but they will still serve as the backbone of your paper.

5. Using the four secondary and two primary sources you chose, you will answer your questions.

6. Note: complete bibliographic citations (author, source, place of publication, date, page

numbers and any other relevant information that places/contextualizes the sources) are necessary.

NOTE: You may use the primary source you analyzed and turned in separately. Your six sources

should not “reuse” sources assigned for class reading.

7. You must state where on the syllabus (amidst all of semester’s materials) your topic would be

inserted and why.

8. Provide content/specific information.

9. Provide your own original analysis. Please note, since the goal is for you do original

thinking, please remember that this research MAY NOT REPEAT material covered in class.

You need to bring original insights to the topic.



Preference will be given to Women's Studies majors and minors.

Students may apply to participate in one of four Community Service Learning internships. If

selected, you are exonerated from the 6-7 page annotated bibliography assignment, but must

complete the primary source analysis assignment (refer to page 4). You must be able to attend

one of two scheduled training sessions. You must log 20 hours working with one of the

following, keep a weekly journal, and write a reflective essay (prompt to be provided). Both the

journal and the essay must be turned in for you to receive full credit. Your

contribution/attendance/efforts will be calculated by your on-site supervisor).

1) Young Women's Studies Club (YWSC) at Hoover High School: MUST BE AVAILBLE

THURSDAYS 12:30-1:30 and able to get to Hoover High on El Cajon Blvd.


341B Cultural Competency training session. These hours “count” towards your 20 hour


3) Women's Museum of California(WMC) in Golden Hills, San Diego, 2323 Broadway

4) San Diego County Women’s Hall of Fame event through the WMC5) Women’s Outreach

Organization at SDSU

In order to be selected to work with the YWSC you MUST be available on

Thursdays 12:30-1:30 and able to be at Hoover High School (on El Cajon Boulevard) during that

time. Sorry, no exceptions. You will also be bound by specific rules: dress code, serving as

appropriate role models and demonstrating cultural competency.

Those applying for the other CBSL opportunities (such as SafeZones) will have more flexible


To fulfill the requirement, you must:

•Obtain handout.

•For YWSC and SafeZones, you must attend a 90 minute Cultural Competency Training Session

•For SafeZones, you must attend an Ally Training Session.

•Meet regularly with graduate coordinator.

•For YWSC, attend Thursday meetings

•Participate in designated projects/events.

•Fulfill the 20 hour commitment which will be calculated by the on-site director.

•Keep a weekly journal, which will be submitted with the reflection paper

•Write a six page reflection paper (no research required) due May 3.

•Give a group presentation at the end of the semester with the other students working on the

same project. It is suggested that each member of the group present on a specific aspect of the

collective experience.

•Presentation dates will be assigned.


These will be offered throughout the semester. Students may get credit for a maximum of three.

They will include Women's Studies speakers, American Indian pow-wows, activist events on


campus and so on. All extra credit assignments are due one week from the actual event itself. To

get credit, turn in 1.5-2 typed pages about insights you gained, some form of “proof” of

attendance, and comment on how the event furthered your knowledge about issues from this

course. YOU CANNOT “double-dip” by using the same “Community Involvement” activity for

an extra-credit assignment. Please write in response to the following prompt: “How did attending

this event clarify or expand upon insights gained in this class?”


3/1 – Awakening/Breadgivers essay due (CHOICE)

3/6 – Annotated bibliography proposal due (if you are doing CBSL you are exonerated from this)

3/13 – Farewell to Manzanar essay due (CHOICE)

3/22 –The Bell Jar essay due (CHOICE)

4/5 – Exam study guide distributed

4/5 –Students receive list of when they will give their final oral presentation (EVERYONE)

4/17 –All primary source analyses not yet turned in are due (EVERYONE)

4/12 –Exam

May 1, 3, 8 – Student presentations (EVERYONE)

May 3 – All Annotated Bibliographies and Community-Service Learning reflections are due by

11:00 a.m.




(Note: students are expected to come to class having completed the readings that appear for that

date and ready to participate productively in discussion.)

1/19 Introduction: no readings required for the first class

Course mechanics

What is Women’s History? How do its methods differ from “traditional” history?

Unit One: The 19th Century Legacy: Woman's Culture and Transforming the Public Sphere

1/24 19th Century Legacy: Limitations, Rewards and Widening Horizons: Education;

Views of Women’s Physiology, and Entrance into the Public Sphere

TWE: “Introduction for Students” pp. xxvii-xxxv; “Late Nineteenth-Century Immigration…” pp.


Unit Two: The New Woman and the Progressive Era

1/26 The Progressive Era and the "New Woman" Defined: The Settlement House


Jacob, “She Couldn’t Have Done It…Lizzie Borden.” READER

Ehrenreich and English, For Her Own Good, Chapter 4.

Sanchez, “Go After the Women…” READER


** Begin reading The Awakening** Everyone must read this novel whether you choose to write

this essay or not.

1/31 Urban Working Women: Immigrant Women and Their Families


TWE: “Jacob Riis’s Photographs,” pp. 434-440; “Female Wage Labor and the Triumph of

Industrial Capitalism.” pp.337-342; “The Female Labor Force,” pp. 455-462.

2/4 Women's Strikes and Trade Unions; Socialist Women

***Continue reading The Awakening

Film: “Heaven Will Protect the Working Girl”

TWE: “Parades, Picketing…”pp. 490 through the document on Lawrence, Mass.

Ehrenreich and English, For Her Own Good, Chapter 6.

Muncy, “The Ambiguous Legacies of Women’s Progressivism,” READER

2/7 Women's Organizations: Race and Class Dimensions, 1890-1940

Film: “Madam C. J. Walker”

TWE: “The Female Dominion,” pp. 462-469; “Women’s Networks…” pp. 563-569; Visuals,

“Women in Public Space: Uncle Sam Wants You,” pp. 498-502; and “Women’s Networks in the

New Deal,” pp. 563-569.

2/9 Race Activism:

Film: Ida B. Wells

TWE: “African –American Women and the Great Migration,” pp. 509-516; Ida B. Wells, “Race

Woman,” pp. 358-362.

2/14 “Restlessness” and the Middle Class

Discussion: Chopin, The Awakening

Ehrenreich and English, For Her Own Good, “Microbes and the Manufacture of Housework,”

Chapter 5.

TWE: “Women in the Cartoons,” pp. 441-448.

**Begin reading: Yezierska, Bread Givers** Everyone must read this novel whether you choose

to write this essay or not.

2/16 New Morality and Feminism: Youth, Flappers and the New “Sex Freedom”

All in the READER: D’Emilio & Freedman, “Morals and Manners in the 1920s;” “Singing the

Blues” lyrics; Peiss, “Charity Girls;” Blee, “The Ku Klux Klan in Indiana.”

TWE: “The Emergence of Feminism,” pp. 476-481.

**Continue reading Bread Givers.

2/21 The Birth Control Movement: Margaret Sanger and Reproductive Freedom

TWE: “Modernizing Womanhood,” pp. 503-507; and “Prosperity Decade: The 1920s,” pp. 521-


***Begin serious research for your annotated bibliography: proposals are due 3/6***


Unit Three: Social Class, Ethnicity and Women’s Opportunities and Limitations

2/23 Women in the Great Depression

TWE: “African American Women and the Great Migration,” pp. 509-516; “Depression Decade,”

pp. 535-545.

2/28 DISCUSSION: Breadgivers

By now, those of you who have chosen the Annotated Bibliography option, should be well on

your way in compiling your one page Annotated Bibliography proposal, which is due 3/6.

**Begin reading Farewell to Manzanar.** Everyone must read the novel, whether you choose to

write on this topic or not.

3/1 Cross-Class Solidarity: The Struggle to Become Full Citizens By Gaining the Vote

Film: Iron jawed Angels

TWE: “Votes for Women” pp. 469-475; and Visuals, pp. 490-498.

***One of the elective essays is due today on The Awakening and The Breadgivers. Please

answer the following question in 5 double-spaced typed pages: SCHOLARLY ENDNOTES

ARE EXPECTED. You must cite a minimum of four primary and/or secondary sources

that we have used in class to “frame” your essay. Avoid generalizations; at all times give

specific examples as you answer the question.

Question: Both protagonists, Edna Pontelier and Sara Smolinsky, were women whose social

class, ethnicity and religion prescribed a distinct life course for them. Yet the concerns,

opportunities and decisions each made were very much defined by their individual and

cultural circumstances. Compare and contrast how each woman’s opportunities and

limitations were affected by her: ethnicity, religion, social class and geographic location.

Also, please speculate what types of political beliefs (based on the era in which each lived)

they might have held. What types of social or political organizations might each have

joined? Please be specific in the examples you give.

Unit Four: Individual Milestones and Cultural Demand: Opportunities for Women at Mid-


3/6 DISCUSSION: Farewell to Manzanar (40 minutes)

***Your proposal for the annotated bibliography is due today***

Babe” Didrikson Zaharias: The Modern Woman Personified; Conflict and Opportunity

TWE: “Young Women Speak Out…” pp. 556-562; Visual Sources, “Women at Work,” pp. 5570-


NOTE: If you are writing on Farewell to Manzanar be sure to read the TWE segments.

3/8 Women and World War II

FILM: "The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter."

TWE: “Working for Victory: Women and War,” pp. 1941-1945, pp. 545-555;


**Begin reading: The Bell Jar.** Everyone must read the novel, whether you choose to write on

this topic or not.

Towards Women’s Liberation

3/13 Film: Seeds of the Sixties

****Essay on Farewell to Manzanar due today if you chose to write on it.****

QUESTION: (1) How did internment affect the traditions and roles of both Issei and Nisei

women? (2) Daughters of immigrants often find themselves caught between

two identities—that of their parents’ culture and that of mainstream U.S. culture. What

were examples from readings that reveal this dual identity? What were examples of how

young Nisei women like Jeanne embraced or rejected American culture to cope with their



Please answer the question in 6 double-spaced typed pages: SCHOLARLY ENDNOTES


Ehrenreich and English, “Motherhood as Pathology,” For Her Own Good, Chapter 7.

TWE: “Family Culture and Gender Roles,” and “Women’s Activism in Conservative Times,” pp.


** Continue reading The Bell Jar

3/15 The 1950s Toll

A brief insight into “The Feminine Mystique: so-named by Betty Friedan.

DISCUSSION: S. Plath, The Bell Jar

TWE: “The Limits of the Feminine Mystique,” p. 626

3/20 The 1960s and Cultural Revolution

Ehrenreich and English, “The Fall of the Experts,” For Her Own Good, 295-340.

TWE: Visual Sources, “Television’s Prescriptions for Women,” pp. 628-642; “Women's

Liberation and the Sixties Revolution” pp. 670-674.

3/22 Civil Rights and the New Left

TWE: “A Mass Movement for Civil Rights,” pp. 610-622; 653-658


Question: Some have called Sylvia Plath a “prophet for the Women’s Liberation

Movement” because her life and creative struggles personified the responses of some

women to the stifling restraints of the 1950s. Using specific examples from your readings,

lecture material and the novel analyze the conflicting opportunities and restrictive sex role

expectations Esther Greenwood experienced. How did her social class and education

impact her situation? Speculate on how much of her despair was a result of cultural norms,

and how much was a result of her personal psychological depression. Why did the author,

Plath, refuse to allow Esther Greenwood to die?


Please answer the question in 6 double-spaced typed pages: SCHOLARLY ENDNOTES



4/3 Women's Liberation: The Problems and Potential for Unity:

TWE: “The Impact of Feminism” pp. 685-694; and “Women and Public Policy,” pp. 694-700.

READER: Glamour, “The National Abortion Debate;” and Collins, “What’s in a Name?


4/5 Film: “Chicano Park”

**Students receive schedule of final presentation dates**

**Exam study guide distributed**

READER: Ruiz, “Out of the Shadows.”

Unit Six: Critical Issues since the 1990s: Diversity and Struggle

4/10 Daughters of the Earth: Native American Women: Negotiating “Two Worlds”

Film: “Winds of Change: A Matter of Choice”

READER: Howe,” An American in New York…;” and Green, “Women in American Indian

Society.” Chapter 7.

4/12 Exam

4/17 Women-Committed Women: Lesbian Life and Struggles

***All primary source analyses not yet turned in are due today***

LGBTQI Speakers

READER: Davis and Kennedy, “Oral History…Lesbian Community,” Faderman, “Lesbians in

the ‘80s;” and articles from Utne Reader.

4/19 Violence against Women and Women’s Health

Guest Speaker

***Class exercise***

Reader: Articles on women’s health- “Women Are Different;” “Minorities Are Underserved,”

“Dying to Win;” and “Who Isn’t on a Diet”

TWE: “Women's Lives in Modern America and the World” pp. 754-762 and “Feminist Revival

of the 1990s,” pp. 766-777.

4/24 Women and Work: Includes Discussion of Female Headed Households

Film: “WAL*MART: The High Cost of Low Price”

4/26 Graduate student run class

***Class exercise***

TWE: Visual Sources: “American Women in the World,” pp. 778-794.


May 1: Student presentations

May 3: Student presentations: ***ALL ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHIES AND CBSL



May 8: Student presentations.

Student presentations have been assigned according to your topic. Your oral presentation,

with audiovisual aides, should be 5 minutes ONLY.





SUGGESTED TOPICS: Annotated Bibliography

Women factory workers

The daily lives of ethnic women

Labor radicalism

Clara Lemlick

Socialist women

Eleanor Roosevelt

Mary McLeod Bethune

Anzia Yezierska

Betty Friedan

Wilma Mankiller

Title IX and Women’s Sports

Women’s roles during WWII

The Black Club Women

Jane Addams

Women’s changing fashion and what it reveals

about their social roles

Rosa Parks

Maya Angelou

Lesbian Lives

Emma Goldman

Del Martin & Phyllis Martin; Daughters if Bilitis

Wages for Housework Movement

Amelia Earhardt

The Ninety-Nines

Gloria Steinem

Individual women: politicians, writers, athletes

and so on


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