History 55—American Women's History
Spring 2004—Professor Beth Salerno

Contact Information
Office: Bradley House 212
Phone: 641-7049
E-mail: bsalerno@anselm.edu
Mail boxes: #1753 or outside my office door
Office Hours: Mondays 4-5 pm, Wednesdays 1:30-2:15, Fridays 1:30-2:30. I am also available by appointment on most days.

Course Overview:
This course is designed to provide you with a chronological overview of American Women's History from settlement to the late twentieth century. We will be reading a women's history textbook, Born for Liberty, which will provide our basic guide through time. We will also read articles and primary sources, most of them drawn from Linda Kerber's collection titled Women's America: Refocusing the Past (6th edition). Two readings will be provided in photocopy format and are listed as "readings packet" on the readings schedule below.

It would be impossible to teach you abut every woman who ever lived in America. We all recognize that. But it is also impossible to teach you about every group of women—white, black, Native American, Asian, Hispanic, wealthy, middle class, poor, educated, illiterate, writers, teachers, homemakers—the list goes on and on. Therefore, while mentioning some women and many groups, this course is designed to provide some insight into the many factors—race, class, education, political views—which break women up into different groups and make their histories quite different.

Yet one could not teach a "women's history" course unless women—across race, class and even time—had something in common. This course will invite us to ask—what experiences do women share that have made their history different than men's? How has history affected women and how have women affected history? Technology, economic changes, wars, ideologies, political events—all of these have had profound effects on women at different times and we will study examples of all of them. We will also ask—how has the study of women affected history? Is there a difference between what women did and what we know they did based on the records they left? Does understanding what happens to women help us understand better what happens to men? We will be studying history at two levels—what happened and how we know what happened. We will also be answering questions on two levels—what impact did an event have on women and what impact did women's actions or reactions have on society as a whole?

Work Requirements:

Analysis Papers (40%): Each student will be required to write two papers, one before the midterm, one after. All papers should be typed, in 12 point font, with 1 inch margins and page numbers on each page. Further information about the topic and length for each paper will be given out at a later date. Papers will be due Wednesday, February 18 and Wednesday, March 29.

Midterm Exams (30%): There will be two "midterm" exams, each worth 15% of your grade. They will be given on Wednesday, February 25 and Wednesday, April 7 in class. They will consist of short answer and essay questions.

Final Exam (20%): The final exam will be held on Wednesday, May 12 at 1 pm. It will consist of short answer and essay questions, and will be cumulative.

Class Participation (10%): Your class participation grade will be based on your verbal participation in class (i.e. were you there asking questions, answering questions or talking in small groups and debates?). I recognize that some people find it difficult to talk in class, but you cannot learn to express yourself if you never open your mouth. This course requires you to think about difficult and complex issues. You are expected to take risks in expressing your opinion about the material and to back up your comments with material from the text.

Please note that class participation requires attendance. Regular attendance will be crucial to your success in this class since we will cover a great deal of material each class, some of which will not be in the book. I strongly suggest you find a friend with notes should you need to miss class. You cannot make up class participation points, but you can have two unexpected absences without any effect on your grade. Please contact me as soon as possible if you are ill, have an excused absence due to sports or other activities, or will need to miss class for some other reason.

Required Texts:

1) Sara M. Evans, Born for Liberty: A History of Women in America (NY: Free Press Paperbacks, 1997).

2) Linda K. Kerber and Jane Sherron De Hart, eds., Women's America: Refocusing the Past, 6th edition (NY: Oxford University Press, 2004).

3) Article Packet: Available from the Professor.

Cheating: Just in case anyone was wondering, if I find you cheating on an exam, you will fail the exam. Please don't try it.

Plagiarism: Intentionally or unintentionally representing another's work as your own is plagiarism. This includes failure to provide a citation for any passages taken directly from a text AND for any ideas you have drawn from a text. We will go over citation in class, and you are always welcome to ask general or specific questions. You should also read the definitions in the student handbook.

Please be aware that I take plagiarism very seriously and lack of citations will be reflected in your grade. Turning in someone else's essay or using significant sections of someone else's work without attribution will result in a ZERO (not just failure) of the assignment. A second offense will mean failure of the course. First and second offenses will be reported to the Dean.

Less serious plagiarism, including lack of quotation marks or citation, will require rewriting of the paper for no better than a C grade. If you plagiarize a second time, you will fail the assignment. A third offense will mean failing the course. Second and third offenses will be reported to the Dean.

Late work: In order to do well in this course you must keep up with the readings and assignments. This includes getting your work in on time. Late assignments will be penalized one full letter grade for each day they are late (including weekends). Assignments turned in the same day they are due, but after I have collected them in class, will also be penalized one half grade. I will consider exceptions to this rule ONLY IF you have contacted me in advance or if you have a verified illness the day the paper is due. Please consider your schedule early in the course and contact me with any expected problems.

Incompletes: Incompletes will not be granted in this course unless there are extenuating circumstances and you have talked to me before the final exam.

Students with disabilities or other concerns not addressed thus far: I will be happy to make whatever accommodations students with disabilities arrange with the Dean's Office. Please come talk to me about these arrangements. Students with any other concerns—shyness, full-time job, starting quarterback position on the football team, etcetera—should also feel free to talk to me about how these issues might impact your participation in the course. I will work with you to help you succeed in this course, although ultimately the responsibility lies with you to balance your schedule and needs.

Reading Schedule: Please note that all reading should be completed prior to class. I reserve the right to make changes to this schedule and you are required to find out about and adhere to changes, even if you miss the class in which they are announced. Be sure you have the phone number of a friend in the course, or you are welcome to call or e-mail me to discuss a missed class. I will provide the remainder of the course reading in the middle of the semester.

Date Topics: Reading:
1-21 Introductions; Syllabus; Laying out the terrain.
1-23 What is the Study of Women's History? Introduction to Kerber
1-26 Colonial Native American Women Introduction and Chapter 1 of BFL
1-28 Household organization and power Kerber 25-37
1-30 Colonial White and Black Women BFL Chapter 2
2-2 White Women, Housework & Marriage Kerber 45-58
2-4 Black Women & "Reproductive" Work Kerber 59-68
2-6 Shaping Gender Roles Kerber 69-82
2-9 The American Revolution BFL Chapter 3
2-11 The Revolution and Women's Roles Kerber 114-127
2-13 The Industrial Revolution and Separate Spheres BFL Chapter 4
2-16 Women and Work Kerber 129-131; 153-167
2-18 Reform and Rights BFL Chapter 5; FIRST PAPER DUE
2-20 Organizing for Reform and Rights Kerber, 200-213
2-23 Claiming Rights Kerber 193-200; 214-219
2-25 Midterm Exam
2-27 War and its Aftermath BFL Chapter 6
3-1, 3-3, 3-5 Spring Break Have fun!
3-8 Progressive Era and Suffrage BFL Chapter 7
3-10 Education, "Separatism" and Shaping the Nation Kerber, 327-341
3-12 European Immigrant Women & Work Kerber 302-325; 342-344
3-15 Body Image Kerber, 390-398
3-17 Birth control, flappers and consumerism Kerber 370-378; BFL Chapter 8
3-19 The Great Depression BFL Chapter 9
3-22 Race, Class, Work and Welfare Kerber, 429-447
3-24 Women and World War II BFL Chapter 10
3-26 The WWII Homefront Kerber 459-477
3-29 The Cold War BFL Chapter 11; SECOND PAPER DUE
3-31 Women and the HUAC Kerber, 496-500; 517-532
4-2 Lesbianism, Sources and Sports Kerber 500-517
4-5 Civil Rights BFL Chapter 12; Kerber 550-552
4-7 Midterm
4-9 Class Cancelled—Good Friday Have a very happy Easter.
4-12 Class Cancelled—Easter Monday
4-14 Private and Public Actions to Empower Women: Birth Control and the Miss America Protest Kerber 560-568; Kerber 576-578
4-16 Feminism BFL Chapter 13
4-19 "Second-Wave" Feminists Kerber 598-623
4-21 Women Divided: ERA Kerber 379-389; Kerber 593-597; 624
4-23 Women Divided: Abortion (Historical Overview) Kerber 183-192; 250; 423-428; 630-636
4-26 Women Divided: Abortion Article Packet, Abortion Section
4-28 Women Divided: Pornography Article Packet, Pornography Section
4-30 Women in War Kerber 637-643; 647-656
5-3 Conclusions BFL Chapter 14