History 3751 Women, Gender, & Sexuality in Postwar America

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History 3751

Women, Gender, & Sexuality in Postwar America

Fall 2014

Andrea Friedman

123 Busch Hall

5-4339; afriedman@wustl.edu

Office Hours: Wednesday 1-3, or by appointment


Joanne Meyerowitz, ed., Not June Cleaver: Women and Gender in Postwar America (NJC)

Annelise Orleck, Storming Caesar’s Palace: How Black Mothers Fought Their Own War on Poverty


Nancy MacLean, The American Women’s Movement, 1945-2000 (AWM)

Rita Mae Brown, Rubyfruit Jungle

Mary Crow Dog, Lakota Woman

All other required readings can be accessed through the course Blackboard page (https://bb.wustl.edu). Those designated with an “X” on the syllabus are available through Course Reserves; those only available on the Blackboard Course Documents tab are designated “BB.” I expect that you will have access to all readings during class so that you can refer to them during discussion. PLEASE DO NOT BRING TO CLASS ELECTRONIC DEVICES THAT CAN BE CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET. Please print readings and bring them with you. If this policy creates a hardship for you please talk to me.
Course Description

This course explores the history of the United States since 1945 through a focus on women, gender, and sexuality. Many Americans have viewed women’s lives as marginal to the important events of history (wars, politics, economics); see “sexuality” as a purely private matter; and confuse “gender” with biological sex. We will place these topics at the center of recent U.S. history in order to better understand both the past and the world that we live in today. Topics will include cold war politics, the social movements and political transformations of the 1950s and 1960s, the restructuring of political economy and the emergence of the new right in the 1970s and 1980s, and state policy and neoliberalism from the 1990s into the 21st century. Throughout we will endeavor to grapple with how gender and sexuality intersect with other social positions/hierarchies such as race and class to shape U.S. history.


1. Class participation. Class meetings will consist of a blend of lecture and discussion. Therefore, it is absolutely crucial that you do all assigned reading, and think about what you’ve read, before class. Participation in class (as an attentive listener and a speaker who engages in respectful and productive dialogue) is part of your grade. Please note that more than three absences will affect your class participation grade. I may also require in-class assignments (eg, participation in small discussion groups, debates, in-class writing, etc) that will be assessed as part of your participation grade.

2. Papers.

Paper #1: Secondary source analysis, drawing upon one assigned secondary source and one supplemental secondary source from weeks 1-4. Approx. 5 pages. DUE 9/23

Paper #2: Primary source analysis, drawing upon 3-4 primary sources from weeks 6-9. Approx. 5 pages. DUE 10/28.
Paper #3: “Towards Equality in the 21st Century” Speech, drawing on course materials from Weeks 10-14, as well as other relevant materials. Approx. 7 pages. DUE 12/4.
Your grade for the course will be assessed as follows:

Participation: 15%

Paper #1: 25%

Paper #2: 25%

Paper #3: 35%
All course requirements must be met for a passing grade. If you are taking this class pass/fail or credit/no credit, a C- is required to receive credit.
Inclusive Classrooms

Washington University provides accommodations and/or services to students with documented disabilities. Students should seek appropriate documentation through the Disability Resource Center http://cornerstone.wustl.edu/disabilityresources.aspx, which will approve and arrange any accommodations. Please feel free to speak to me about your individual learning needs.

Language or behavior that makes other students feel unwelcome in this classroom will not be tolerated. Examples range from simply interrupting or ignoring others while they are talking to overt harassment or intimidation with reference to race, sex, gender identity, sexual identity, religion, ethnicity, nationality, ability or political belief. Washington University’s Policy on Discrimination and Discriminatory Harassment can be found at http://hr.wustl.edu/policies/Pages/DiscriminationAndDiscriminatoryHarassment.aspx
Academic Integrity

Plagiarism or other violations of academic integrity will result in a failing grade on the assignment, and may result in a failing grade for the course. Please review Washington University’s academic integrity policy at http://www.wustl.edu/policies/undergraduate-academic-integrity.html. A helpful guide to understanding plagiarism can be found at http://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/QPA_plagiarism.html.

All students are strongly encouraged to participate in the online course evaluation system at the end of the semester, by visiting http://evals.wustl.edu
This syllabus is a work-in-progress. I reserve the right to change it at any time.

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