TR 9:30 - 10:50 am
The purpose of this course is to provide an in-depth examination, at the graduate level, of the history of women in the United States and Great Britain from around 1600 to the present. Its central focus is how the factor of gender, along with other factors such as class and race, affected the historical experience of women. It is designed to develop high-level skills in critical reasoning and analysis through scholarly reviews of books on women’s history; the completion of an advanced, graduate-level research paper; and passing an oral exam on both lecture material and the required reading. While no prior knowledge of British history is required, it is presumed that the student has had at least the lower-division survey of U.S. history.
Review of Reviews: looking through the book review sections of scholarly historical journals such as the American Historical Review, select 7 reviews of books that have something to do with women’s history, although these can be from any place or time period (in other words, you are not limited to American or British women between 1600 and the present. However, you may not pick a review for one of the monographs you chose to review.) Then write a paper in which you, essentially, review the reviews. What, in your opinion, makes these good reviews? What would you say defines these as "scholarly" reviews? Compare and contrast the styles, expertise, and effectiveness of these reviews. Include copies of the reviews. (10% of final grade)
3 book reviews (30%): For each of the two monographs that you select, you will write a book report, in which you must summarize the thesis; moreover, you must locate and read at least two scholarly reviews of each book, and must address any major comments or critiques made by the reviewer in the analysis of the book. This analysis, which will be written and handed in, is also to consider what type(s) of sources the author used and how the author utilized those sources.
Finally, you will write on Virginia Woolfe’s A Room of One’s Own, focusing particularly on one of the questions Woolfe poses: how would the view of women in history be different if women had been allowed to express themselves, instead of being represented by male authors?
Each such book project will count for 10% of the student’s final grade.
Research Paper (40%):
In this paper, you are to research and write about the life of a woman known to you, living or dead. This will most likely be a family history, either of a woman that you know/have known (for example, a mother, grandmother, aunt, etc.), or a woman (for example, a great-grandmother) that you have heard about but not known personally. Using oral history and primary sources (letters, legal certificates, etc.), you will construct this woman’s life history and put it in historical context. How was – or wasn’t – her life "typical" of her times? How did historical events and currents shape her life? An alternative to a family history is to profile in the same way a woman (teacher, coach, office holder, etc.) that you admire who is not a relative.
This paper counts for 40% of your final grade, and the quality of your research is a very important component in the grade you receive. The paper must meet graduate standards of research and writing.
Oral final exam (10%): Sometime during exam week (May 9 - 13), each graduate student will schedule an oral final exam with the instructor, which will last about 45 minutes and can include questions about the course work, the student’s paper, and/or books the student has written on. This will be the last 10% of the final grade.
The paper must meet graduate standards of research and writing.
Standard 100 point scale is used.
Paper must be typed and annotated.
The paper is due Tuesday, April 28. Late papers will be penalized 5 points off for each weekday late and ABSOLUTELY NO PAPERS WILL BE ACCEPTED AFTER THURSDAY, MAY 5.