Hist 53002 Professor Gail Bederman
Fall 2005 255 Decio
Tues. & Thurs, 3:30-4:45 E-Mail Gail.Bederman.firstname.lastname@example.org
Main Bldg 404 Office Hours: Tuesdays, 12:45-2:15
or by appointment
Office Phone 631-7789
Historiography: The historIes of Women, Masculinity,
Gender and SExuality in the USA
The following required books are available for purchase at the bookstore. One copy of each is also on 2 hour and overnight reserve at the library.
Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique (1963) Any edition OK.
Deborah Gray White, Ar’n’t I a Woman: Female Slaves in the Plantation South W.W. Norton, 1985 , 1998 (Any edition OK)
Beth Bailey, Sex in the Heartland; Harvard University Press, 1999
Chana Kai Lee: For Freedom’s Sake: The Life of Fannie Lou Hamer (University of Illinois Press, 1999))
Leila J. Rupp: A Desired Past: A Short History of Same-Sex Love in America (University of Chicago Press, 1999)
The following required books will be available for purchase in class, at a reduced price. One copy of each is also on 2 hour and overnight reserve at the library.
Gail Bederman, Manliness & Civilization: A Cultural History of Gender and Race in the US, 1880-1917 (University of Chicago Press, 1995) If you want to buy a copy, you can pay me 50% of the “author’s price.” Your price works out to roughly $7.35 plus your share of the order’s postage/handling.
George Chauncey, Why Marriage? The History Shaping Today’s Debate over Gay Equality. (Basic Books, 2004) Much cheaper on the internet than at bookstore. We can order together, if you like.
A few copies of each of the following optional books are also available at the bookstore. Some of you will have them from last year’s “Historical Methods” class. We will consult them, as needed.
William Kelleher Storey, Writing History: A Guide for Students (Oxford University Press, 1999)
Martha Howell & Walter Prevenier From Reliable Sources: An Introduction to Historical Methods (Cornell University Press, 2001)
Copies of all the above books except Writing History by W.K. Storey are also on 2-hour/overnight reserve at the Hesburgh Library. Please see me if you would like to borrow my copy of the latter.
Students are also required to read TWO packets of xeroxed articles. One is available for purchase at the Copy Center 301 O’Shaughnessy Hall. These articles are marked with a “*” on the syllabus.
The other course packet will be distributed in class. These articles are marked with a “§” on the syllabus.
N.B. This syllabus is an outline, not a contract. As needed, readings or topics may be added, substituted, or shifted to different days.
Course Objectives: This course has two main objectives.
First, the main objective of this course on historiography is to introduce students to one particular historiographic tradition. We study the history of historical scholarship about US women, men, gender and sexuality. We will concentrate on material that has been written since the “rebirth of women’s history” during the “rebirth of second wave feminism” in the mid-late 1960s.
This is NOT a course in the history of American women. (Or the history of men, gender, or sexuality.) If you learn something about what American women (men, gender, or sexuality) looked like or did in the past, that would be an added bonus. That is not the aim of the course, however. We are not reading these books to learn the subject matter. In other words, we are studying History as an intellectual discipline that tries to make and discover knowledge, rather than history, understood as “what actually happened in the past.”
Rather, our aim is to study and assess how the historians who (re)invented the histories of women, men, gender and sexuality. How did the historians working in new fields—e.g. women’s history in the 1960s-1980s, or men’s history in the 1990s, or the history of sexuality today—decide what kinds of approaches to incorporate into that field of history? Why did they pick those particular types of topics, issues, and methodologies? Did their choices they help or hinder them from writing good history?
As we shall see, most of the authors of the works we will read this semester were deeply influenced by various twentieth-century political movements. Nearly all have been influenced by feminism (whether liberal, radical, or socialist). Many have also been influenced by gay liberation or the newer GLBT rights movement, and/or by African-American civil rights movements.
Some critics of women’s (gender, men’s or queer) history—both historians and non-historians—have complained that because most of these historians had strong feminist commitments, which shaped their scholarship, the history they wrote is “biased” and thus not “good history.”
Our task this semester is to consider some exemplary works from these fields and decide whether or not this allegation is valid. Do strong political commitments help or hinder the writing of history? Specifically, are the books and articles we are reading this semester solid and reliable works of historical scholarship? Why or why not? What makes good history, anyway? Should historians’ contemporary interests and concerns affect the development of the areas of history in which they work? Why or why not? Is there any way to avoid contemporary concerns affecting the discipline? If so, what kinds of scruples should the historian have in controlling this influence?
There are no right or wrong answers to these questions. I expect each student in this class to come up with her or his own, reasoned, well-thought-out, well-documented conclusions.
At the end of the semester, you will write an 8-page paper answering the following question, “How do historians’ strong political commitments help and hinder the writing of good history?” Each of you will narrow and tailor this question in consultation with the instructor. No additional reading or research will be necessary. There will also be some interim writing assignments to facilitate this final project and larger goal for the class.
Second, this class will serve as an informal “self-help group” for students engaged in writing their honors theses.
To that end, we will spend about 10 minutes in every class discussing how our research and writing are going, and exchanging tips and questions.
Our class discussions will NOT substitute for regular (even weekly or bi-weekly) consultation with your thesis advisor.
Rather, our seminar meetings can provide a useful supplement to your regular meetings with your thesis advisor. S/he will supervise and direct your research. However, together we can share hints, methods, schedules, and support one another in our own writing of history.
Week 1: Introductions & Generations
Tues, Aug. 23 Introduction. Purpose of class. Assignments. . This class vs. your thesis. Signing up for chapters…
Thurs, Aug. 25: Generations and Gender.
Question to Consider for Today. Women’s, men’s, and gender history was invented by women (and some men) from the baby boom generation. Would your generation do it differently? Can what they write be “relevant”(to quote from the boomers)?
§ Reading assignment: Handout.
§ “C. History Today” Howell & Prevenier, 143-150.
Week 2: The (Re) Birth of Women’s History in the late 1960’s
Tues, Aug. 30 Calls for a History of Women: 1966-1969: “What would a history of women look like?”
*Barbara Welter, “The Cult of True Womanhood, 1820-1860” American Quarterly, Vol 18, No 2, Part 1, 151-74)
*Gerda Lerner “New Approaches to the Study of Women in American History,” Journal of Social History, 3:1 Fall, 1969, 53-62)
Written Assignment In consultation with your thesis advisor, draft a schedule of what you want to accomplish each week as you work on your thesis, over the course of this semester. Include at least 5 “due dates” for yourself. Bring five copies to class with you. If you cannot meet with your thesis advisor prior to this date, we can reschedule this assignment
Thurs, Sept. 1 Historical Context: What was going on with “American women” in 1969 when Welter & Lerner wrote those articles?
“Chapter 12: Decade of Discovery” in Sara M. Evans, Born for Liberty (Free Press: 1989), 263-85; also see the footnotes, pp 359-61. )
*William H. Chafe, “The Road to Equality: 1962-Today” in Nancy F. Cott, No Small Courage: A History of Women in the United States ed. Nancy F. Cott (Oxford UP: 2000; originally published in 1994) )
§”Statement of Purpose, National Organization for Women” (1966); Robin Morgan, “No More Miss America!” (1968); Pat Mainardi “The Politics of Housework” (1970) )
Journal due: Why did Welter and Lerner envision women’s history as they did? What kind of history did they envision? Was this “good history?” How was their vision related to the feminist movement of the 1960s?
Week 3: Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique as History and as Historical Writing:
Tues Sept 6 The Feminine Mystique (1963)
Everybody read “Preface & Acknowledgments” Chapters 1 & 2, and ONE other chapter. (We will divide them in class, for coverage)
Questions to consider: What role does the history of women play in Friedan’s argument? (Remember that the field had not yet been re-invented when she wrote). Is this an important document in the history of women in America? Why or why not?
Thurs, Sept 8: Debunking The Feminine Mystique in the 1990s
* Daniel Horowitz, “Rethinking Betty Friedan and The Feminine Mystique: Labor Union Radicalism and Feminism in Cold War America” American Quarterly, Vol. 48, No. 1. (Mar., 1996), pp. 1-42.
* Joanne Meyerowitz, “Beyond the Feminine Mystique: A Reassessment of Postwar Mass Culture, 1946-1958,” Journal of American History 79 (March, 1993) 1455-1483.
Note: As you read the Horowitz and Meyerowitz articles, note how they use their sources and define their research topics. Note how they craft their introductions, and how they structure their papers. We will talk about these articles, not only in relationship to Friedan’s book, but also in relation to your theses.
Journal due: How did the Feminine Mystique use historical arguments to make its points about women’s position in the 1960s? What influence, if any did the Feminine Mystique have on the 1969 articles we read last week by Barbara Welter and Gerda Lerner? Did the articles written by Horowitz and/or Meyerowitz change your opinion of the Feminine Mystique? Why or why not? Are Horowitz’s and/or Meyerowitz’s articles “good history?” Why or why not.
Week 4: Development of Women’s history: 1975-85
Tues, Sept. 13 “Women’s Culture/Bonds Between Women/Sisterhood” Each of three articles, when first published, had a huge impact on what women’s historians saw as the main purpose of their field. How does each call for changing the focus of US women’s history, compared to the literature you have read that was published before it?
*Carroll Smith-Rosenberg, “The Female World of Love and Ritual: Relations Between Women in Nineteenth-Century America:” in Disorderly Conduct (Knopf, 1985) 53-76; originally published in Signs Vol. 1, No 1, 1975
*“Introduction,” Nancy F. Cott, The Bonds of Womanhood: Woman’s Sphere in New England, 1780-1835, (1977), 1-18
*§“Preface to the Second Edition: Then and Since”, Nancy F. Cott, The Bonds of Womanhood: Woman’s Sphere in New England, 1780-1835, Second edition (1997) xi-xv
*Nancy A. Hewitt, “Beyond the Search for Sisterhood: American Women’s History in the 1990s”from Unequal Sisters 3rd edition, ed. Vicki Ruiz, & Ellen Carol DuBois (2000) 1-19 Originally published in Social History (1985). The revised introduction to the article was first written and published in this women’s history textbook, in 2000.
Thurs, Sept. 15
Deborah Gray White, Arn’t I Woman? Female Slaves in the Plantation South (W.W. Norton, 1985), Be prepared to discuss pp 13-61
In addition please “pre-read” the book as you would normally do for any book assigned for a history class. We will discuss how & why to “pre-read” in class
Week 5: Women’s History, 1975-85, Continued
Tues, Sept. 20
Deborah Gray White, Arn’t I Woman? Female Slaves in the Plantation South (W.W. Norton, 1985), Be prepared to discuss entire book.
Journal due How did the “mission” of women’s history, as expressed by Smith-Rosenberg. Cott, and Hewitt develop between 1975 and 1985? How did these historians’ vision for women’s history expand on (or change) the vision articulated by Welter and Lerner in 1969? How do you explain the direction that women’s history took over these years, as exemplified by in these books and articles? Why does Hewitt object to “sisterhood?” Does White’s book fulfill her goal for US women’s history? Why or why not? Given the concerns of their authors—are the books and articles assigned between Sept. 13 and Sept. 20 “good history?” Why or why not?
Thurs Sept 22 NO CLASS: JENKINS INAUGURAL
Week 6: Men’s History & Gender Methodology
Tues, Sept. 27 Men’s History: the early Days
§Note Handouts: Introductions from Filene (xiii-xvi ) & Rotundo (ix-xi),
*Peter G. Filene, Him/Her/Self: Sex Roles in Modern America Second Edition (J.H.U Press, 1974, 1975, 1986), pp, 69-93, 272-279.
*E. Anthony Rotundo, American Manhood: Transformations in Masculinity from the Revolution to the Modern Era, (Basic Books, 1993), ix-xi, 1-9 300-301.
*Michael Grossberg, “Law as Masculine Profession: in Mark C. Carnes & Clyde Griffen, Meanings for Manhood: Constructions of Masculinity in Victorian America (University of Chicago Press, 1990), 133-149, 251-56
Thurs, Sept. 29 Joan Scott and Gender History, 1988:
*Joan W. Scott, “Introduction” in Gender & the Politics of History (Columbia University Press, 1988) 1-11, 223-24 —Read this introduction carefully, and see if you can explain how the following article does (or attempts to do) the type of history Scott calls for, here.
§Joan W. Scott, “L’Ouvrière! Mot Impie, Sordide… Women Workers in the Discourse of French Political Economy, 1840-1860”in Patrick Joyce, ed. The Historical Meanings of Work (1988)
If you wish, you may turn in the Oct. 6 Journal today. See below.
Week 7: Bederman, Manliness and Civilization: Gender, Masculinity, and what it was like to write and research a history monograph in these fields.
Tues, Oct 4 Bederman, Manliness & Civilization
Everybody read 1-45. Read one additional chapter: 2, 3, 4, or 5. Skim the other chapters. (See signup sheet)
Thurs, Oct 6
Bederman, Manliness & Civilization, 217-39.
Journal due How did “Men’s history” develop, as exemplified by the books and articles assigned on Sept. 27, Oct 4 & Oct 6? Why was men’s history needed? How is it similar/different from women’s history? Do Filene, Rotundo, Grossberg and/or Bederman write “good history?” Why and/or why not?
OR: What is “Gender History,” according to Scott? How does it differ from “Men’s History” or “Women’s history—or does it? Is Scott’s “L’Ouvrière” good history? Why/why not? Does Bederman? Why or why not?
N.B You need not write about Manliness and Civilization in this journal, if you prefer not to do so. If you do write about it, however, please write as if you have never met the author and do not pull your punches! Your true, unvarnished assessment of the readings is required in all of these journal entries, especially this one!
Week 8: Ethics, Etc.
Tues, Oct 11 Professional Ethics
*American Historical Association “Statement on Standards of Professional Conduct” Adopted 2005 http://www.historians.org/pubs/Free/ProfessionalStandards.cfm .
Thurs, Oct 13 NO CLASS. “Mid-Semester Progress Report” due. (E-mail attachment OK)
Week 9 Sexuality
Tues. Oct 25
§ John D’Emilio & Estelle B. Freedman, “Introduction” Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America, Harper & Row, 1988), xi-xx
* John D’Emilio & Estelle B. Freedman, Chapter 13: “Sexual Revolutions” Intimate Matters” 301-325, 396-398
Thurs, Oct 27: NO CLASS
Week 10: Beth Bailey, Sex in the Heartland
Tues, Nov. 1 Beth Bailey, Sex in the Heartland, 1999
Everybody read “Introduction,” 1-12.
In addition, read either chapter 1, 2, 3, or 4 (signup sheet) skim the other three
Thurs, Nov. 3 Beth Bailey, Sex in the Heartland; Harvard University Press, 1999, first half of book
Read either chapter either chapter 5, 6 or 7; (signup sheet) skim the other two
Everybody read Chapter 8 & Epilogue, 200-218
Journal due How is “The history of sexuality” different from/similar to women’s history, gender history, and/or men’s history, as exemplified by these works by D’Emilio. Freedman, and Bailey? What kinds of political commitments are exemplified in these readings? Is Sex in the Heartland “good history?” Why and/or why not?
Week 11: Chana Kai Lee, For Freedom’s Sake: The Life of Fannie Lou Hamer
Tues. Nov. 8 Chana Kai Lee, For Freedom’s Sake: The Life of Fannie Lou Hamer 1999
Read Preface, 1-102
Thurs, Nov. 10 Chana Kai Lee, For Freedom’s Sake: The Life of Fannie Lou Hamer 1999
Read 103-end. Remember to pay particular attention to the conclusion 179-81.
Journal due Does For Freedom’s Sake exemplify the goals and trends of women’s history identified in the works we read during the first five weeks of this course? If so how? If not, why not? What is new here, in terms of her approach to the field—or is this a “women’s history” book at all? What kinds of political commitments does Chana Kai Lee reveal, in her writing? Is For Freedom’s Sake “good history?” Why and/or why not?
Week 12: Leila J. Rupp, A Desired Past
Tues. Nov. 15 Leila J. Rupp, A Desired Past.
Everybody read ix-11;
In addition, read either chapter 2, 3, or 4 (signup sheet) skim the other two
Thurs, Nov. 17 NO CLASS
Week 13: Rupp, Continued
Tues. Nov. 22 Leila J. Rupp, A Desired Past.
Read either chapter either chapter 5 or 6; (signup sheet) skim the other two
Everybody read Chapter 7.
Journal due A Desired Past is a different sort of book than the others we have read so far. It attempts to synthesize all the new scholarship on gay and lesbian history, and present it for a popular audience. Does the author do a good job of making this field of history accessible and understandable? Why or why not? What kinds of political commitments does Leila Rupp reveal, in her writing? Is A Desired Past “good history?” Why and/or why not?
Thurs. Nov. 24 THANKSGIVING
Week 14: George Chauncey, Why Marriage? The History Shaping Today’s Debate over Gay Equality
Tues, Nov. 29 George Chauncey, Why Marriage?
Thurs, Dec. 1 Why Marriage?
Journal due Why Marriage? is also a different sort of book than the others we have read so far. Written by one of the most respected historians of sexuality in the business, it attempts to provide a historical context for a contemporary political controversy. What kinds of political commitments does Chauncey reveal, in his writing? Is Why Marriage? “good history?” Why and/or why not?
Week 15: Endings
Tues, Dec. 6. Conclusions and Final Thoughts
Assignments, Logistics, and Requirements
Final Paper: Students will write a 7-8 page essay answering the following question: “How do historians’ strong political commitments help and hinder the writing of good history?” Each of you will narrow and tailor this question in consultation with the instructor. No additional reading or research will be necessary. This paper will be due by 5:00 pm, Thursday, December 15.
Mid-Semester Progress Report This assignment has two parts. First, write an informal three-page thought piece giving your interim answer to the question, “How do historians’ strong political commitments help and hinder the writing of good history.” Use our Women’s history reading so far as a case study, and give examples of what you mean. This need not be a formal or coherent essay—I just want you to share your thoughts so far, even if they are contradictory or disjointed. Second, write me a short progress report about your research. What have accomplished towards the completion of your honors thesis so far this semester?
Revised Mid-Semester Progress Report (10/1)
This assignment has two parts.
First, write an informal three-page thought piece on ONE of the following questions,
1“How do historians’ strong political commitments help and hinder the writing of good history.” Use our Women’s history reading so far as a case study, and give examples of what you mean. This need not be a formal or coherent essay-I just want you to share your thoughts so far, even if they are contradictory or disjointed.
2. In a short, informal three-page essay, please discuss how what you have learned about the development of the field of of U.S. women’s history historiography helps you understand some aspect of the historiography which YOU are addressing in your thesis. Given what you have learned about the development of the literature on U.S. women’s history, what can you say about the development of your thesis’s historiographical tradition? You may wish to compare and contrast your thesis’s tradition to that of US women’s history (as you understand it so far.) Or, you may wish to discuss your field on its own terms.
3. Please apply the approaches, methods, and/or theoretical concerns of U.S. women’s/gender and/or men’s history to the topic of your thesis. What kinds of questions might you ask about the subject you are researching? How might you go about answering those questions, in terms of either research or conceptualization? What do you think those answers might be?
4. Or,you may come up with your question. This question should either apply our readings in this course, so far to your thesis topic OR discuss some larger question historiographical raised by the class’s reading,so far.
Second, write me a short progress report about your research. What have accomplished towards the completion of your honors thesis so far this semester?
Journals: These are intended to help you think through the historiographical issues presented by the assigned texts. They should be roughly 2-3 double-spaced, typewritten pages. They do NOT need to be polished: first drafts are fine. I just want to know that you have read the material and thought about its place in the historiography we are studying.
All students must write three journals prior to mid-semester break, and three journals after mid semester break. I.e. you must write journals on 3 of the following dates: September 1, September 8, September 20, and October 6. AND you must write journals on 3 of the following dates: November 3, November 10, November 22 and November 29. Those who turn in seven or eight journals instead of the required six will receive extra credit.
Journal entries are due at the beginning of class. Late journals should be turned in, but will be penalized somewhat.
Verbal Assignments: Class Discussions
Students will be expected to come to class prepared to discuss the day’s assigned readings. One third of your grade will be based on class participation.
–In-Class Discussion 33%
–Journal Entries 6 @4% each 24%
–Mid-Semester Assignment 10%
–Final Paper 33 %
Standards for Letter Grades
A Work that goes beyond instructor’s expectations: is careful, thoughtful, original, thorough, all at once. Truly outstanding work — even for a Notre Dame student.
A- Very good work with most of the attributes of “A” work but either deficient in some technical aspect, in thoroughness and care or just not as strikingly incisive, original or creative as “A” work. Still, excellent work.
B+ Better than good competent work, even for a Notre Dame student. Good competent work with aspects that really shine or creative original work that needs more thoroughness to pin it down.
B Good competent work, which meets all requirements, the instructor could specify in advance. Reasonably thorough. Alternatively, work with some excellent aspects that are balanced by serious deficiencies.
B- Almost up to the specifiable standards. Often characterized by some vagueness and signs of lack of effort or insufficient engagement with the material. Sometimes the result of correctable misunderstanding. Talk to instructor.
C+ Below the specifiable standards for good work. Talk to instructor.
C Minimally passing work, showing serious misunderstanding or lack of effort and engagement. Talk to instructor.
C- through F Talk to instructor immediately!!
I support Notre Dame’s Honor Code, and expect all my students to do the same. I hereby take the Honor Pledge. “As a member of the Notre Dame community, I will not participate in nor tolerate academic dishonesty.” I expect you each to make the same commitment.
COLLABORATION VS. PLAGIARISM
Scholarly and intellectual activity thrives on collaboration and the exchange of ideas. I have no objection to any student collaborating with other students in any way. You are encouraged to discuss ideas, paper topics, your answers, and even show one another your papers before turning them in. Collaboration with other classmates does not violate the honor code in this class, when it comes to reading, thinking, discussing your ideas, proofreading or commenting on one another’s papers before you turn them in, etc.
Plagiarism, on the other hand, is forbidden and if detected will be punished.
According to Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary, to plagiarize means ” to steal and pass off as one’s own (the ideas or words of another) : use (a created production) without crediting the source.” For more information on plagiarism, see http://www.nd.edu/~writing/resources/AvoidingPlagarism.html
Do not copy anybody else’s words or phrase or sentence or paragraph into your papers or journals unless you put quotation marks around them. Do not take phrases, sentences or paragraphs out of books or journals or off websites and copy them into your paper. Do not present anyone else’s original idea or interpretation as if you thought of it yourself. Instead, make it clear (in a footnote, parentheses, or in the text) whose idea this originally was. Sadly, over the past several years, I have received papers that committed each of these infractions. Sometimes the students didn’t even realize they were plagiarizing–hence this clarification in the syllabus.
Suspected plagiarism will be treated in accordance with the policies of the University Honor Code. www.nd.edu/~hnrcode
If plagiarism is proven, this usually means at least an “F” on the paper, and often an “F” for the class.
Attendance at all classes is mandatory. However, students may miss up to three regularly scheduled classes with no penalty. I understand that unexpected emergencies and exigencies arise.
Students who attend regularly (i.e. who do not miss more than three scheduled classes per semester) will receive the benefit of the doubt when it comes time to figure the final grade. Students who do not attend regularly will not receive the benefit of the doubt
Students who miss four or more regularly scheduled class meetings will receive a “0” for every missed class. These “0” absence grades will be computed in their overall Class Participation Grade.
Students who miss more than one fourth of the regularly scheduled classes (i.e. who miss 8 or more classes) may receive a final course grade of “F”.
All students are urged to come to my office hours at least once during the semester (preferably before mid-term) to discuss any questions or issues that have been raised by the course, to let me know how things are going, to talk about your honors thesis work, or just to say hello. I really enjoy getting to know my students, so please–come see me during my office hours! If you have a scheduled class or job work during my scheduled office hours, I’m happy to set up an appointment for another time, If not, please try to make my scheduled hours.