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
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
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.
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.
Email any assignments to the professor or graduate assistant, as these will not be
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
assistant a minimum of ten days in advance.
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. email@example.com
COURSE EVALUATION CRITERIA:
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%
-Primary Source Analysis (selection and analysis) 10%
-3 community involvement events @5% each 15%
-FINAL PROJECT OPTIONS: 25%
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
WRITTEN WORK REQUIREMENTS:
•ESSAY: One 6 page analytic essay on ONE OF THE FOLLOWING THREE CHOICES:
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.
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
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?
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
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.
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.
For those doing the Annotated Bibliography, you must submit a one-page Research Proposal that
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
THREE primary sources.
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
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:
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.
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.
COMMUNITY-BASED SERVICE LEARNING:
Students may apply to participate in one of four Community Service Learning internships. If
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.
2) Safe Zones at SDSU: YOUR MUST ATTEND A THREE HOUR ALLY TRAINING as well as a
3) Women's Museum of California(WMC) in Golden Hills, San Diego, 2323 Broadway
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:
•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
•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
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)
May 1, 3, 8 – Student presentations (EVERYONE)
May 3 – All Annotated Bibliographies and Community-Service Learning reflections are due by
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
TWE: “Introduction for Students” pp. xxvii-xxxv; “Late Nineteenth-Century Immigration…” pp.
Unit Two: The New Woman and the Progressive Era
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
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
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.
Discussion: Chopin, The Awakening
Ehrenreich and English, For Her Own Good, “Microbes and the Manufacture of Housework,”
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***
TWE: “African American Women and the Great Migration,” pp. 509-516; “Depression Decade,”
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-
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
Towards Women’s Liberation
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.
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.
TWE: “A Mass Movement for Civil Rights,” pp. 610-622; 653-658
Please answer the question in 6 double-spaced typed pages: SCHOLARLY ENDNOTES
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?
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.
READER: Davis and Kennedy, “Oral History…Lesbian Community,” Faderman, “Lesbians in
the ‘80s;” and articles from Utne Reader.
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.
Film: “WAL*MART: The High Cost of Low Price”
TWE: Visual Sources: “American Women in the World,” pp. 778-794.
May 1: Student presentations
Women factory workers
The daily lives of ethnic women
Mary McLeod Bethune
Title IX and Women’s Sports
Women’s roles during WWII
The Black Club Women
Women’s changing fashion and what it reveals
about their social roles
Del Martin & Phyllis Martin; Daughters if Bilitis
Wages for Housework Movement
Individual women: politicians, writers, athletes
and so on