Howard Zinn, A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present. 1995. NY: Harper Perennial
Book of Readings
Voice Male, The Magazine of the Men's Resource Center of Western Massachusetts (hand out)
THIS SYLLABUS IS DESIGNED AS A STUDY AID--KEEP IT AS A REFERENCE DURING THE SEMESTER. READING
ASSIGNMENTS, MIDTERM EXAM DATE AND PAPER DUE DATE, AND OTHER VITAL INFORMATION IS LISTED AS WELL AS
STUDY QUESTIONS FOR EACH TOPIC. USE THESE QUESTIONS TO PREPARE FOR DISCUSSION GROUPS AND EXAMS.
Final grades will be computed by giving equal weight to: discussion group participation, including
attendance and class participation (25%); out of class 3-5 page essay (25%); midterm exam (25%); final
exam (25%). Note: the final exam will not be cumulative, but will include material from
the midterm on.
Since we are aware that large lecture courses are not the optimum way for most people to learn, we have been very careful to design the discussion sections to be integrated into the course rather than optional add ons. Discussion sections provide an opportunity to clarify the issues under discussion for that week. If you are confused by the lecture, film, or reading, bring your questions to the discussion group. In addition to their strictly academic function, the discussion groups are also places where students may talk about the ways in which the topics we address in this course may have touched their lives. We expect you to have completed and thought about all of the readings for the week and come to discussion ready to engage in dialogue. Attendance and participation in discussion group is (25%) of the grade for this course.
Our assumption is that students are generally honest, but we will take necessary action against students who commit any infraction of University guidelines on academic honesty. Familiarize yourself with the section on academic honesty in the Undergraduate Rights and Responsibilities handbook. Pay particular attention to the section on plagiarism. Ignorance of these guidelines will not constitute a valid excuse for plagiarism.
Despite the size of this class, we are concerned about the quality of your experience. We will try to foster as much of your active participation as possible. Lectures will include time for questions and discussion sections have been designed to be an integral part of the course. All of us are available to meet with students individually during our office hours or by appointment. Make use of office hours to continue class discussion, clarify confusions or to discuss any other problems you may be having with the course. Because of the size of this class and the nature of the subject matter, it is necessary to have the following ground rules:
January 31: INTRODUCTION AND DEFINITIONS-- WHAT IS WOMEN'S STUDIES & WHO ARE THE
How is woman defined? Does "objective knowledge" exist? In what ways do social, cultural, political and economic forces determine the "facts?" Is there a "woman's perspective?" How do race, class, and sexuality change that perspective? How do groups of women differ from each other? What are the commonalties among women? Are we united by the experience of living in patriarchal cultures? How can we forge movements for social change across our similarities and differences?
February 2: DISCUSSION SECTIONS WILL MEET
READING: All articles are in the READER-chapters are in the Zinn book
Marilyn Frye, "Oppression"
Vivian Ng, "What is Women's Studies?"
Sally Roesch Wagner, "Is Equality Indigenous?"
February 5: THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF GENDER: RACE, ETHNICITY, CLASS,
SEXUALITY AND GENDER
Audre Lorde, "Age, Race, Class and Sex: Women Redefining Difference"
Donna Castaneda, "Gender Issues Among Latinas"
Connie Chan, "Asian American Women and Adolescent Girls"
Linda Garnets, "Life as a Lesbian: What Does Gender Have to do with it?"
Peggy McIntosh, "White Privilege and Male Privilege . . ."
Ruth Ostenson, "Who's in and Who's Out: The Results of Oppression"
February 7: IMPERIALISM & DEMOCRACY:
INDIGENOUS PEOPLE & THE FOUNDATIONS OF US SOCIETY
What are the ideological foundations of the United States? Do freedom and equal opportunity really exist or does oppression limit individual achievement? What is the importance of history? What is the relationship between our history and the issues we face in the contemporary world? What are our national priorities and how have they been shaped by our history? What is the importance of women's history? How has our knowledge of Indigenous women been shaped and distorted by race and gender assumptions?
READING: Howard Zinn, People's History of the US, Chapters 1 & 2 (Zinn)
February 12: EUROPEAN AMERICAN WOMEN--COLONIAL & EARLY NATIONAL PERIODS
How were European American women's lives shaped by the political, legal, religious and economic forces of their times? How did the revolutionary idea of freedom effect the experience of European American women? What were the ways the European American resisted their oppression? How did they benefit from being European American?
READING: Zinn, Chapters 3 & 6
February 14: AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN UNDER SLAVERY:
WORK & FAMILY
What was the economic foundation of slavery? What were some of the changes in the slave system over its 400 year history in the US? How would a thorough integration of slavery into US history effect our ideas about freedom and liberty? What was the experience of African American women in slavery? What particular family and community forms did African Americans create under slavery? What were the ways that they resisted their oppression?
READING: Zinn, Chapter 9, pp. 167-179
Deborah Grey White, "The Nature of Female Slavery"
February 19: HOLIDAY-NO CLASS
February 21: TODAY IS A MONDAY AT UMASS-WE WILL HAVE CLASS
WOMEN IN 19TH CENTURY POLITICAL MOVEMENTS:
ABOLITION AND WOMEN'S RIGHTS
What is abolition? Who were the people who were involved in the movement? What were the differences in philosophy and strategy between Black and white abolitionists? Was gender an issue? What was the relationship between the Abolition movement and the Women's Rights movement? What were the differences in philosophy and strategy between African American and European American women in the movement for women's rights? What is suffrage and did women's gaining it change their lives?
1838: Sarah Grimke, "Legal Disabilities of Women"
1848: "The Seneca Falls Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions"
Sojourner Truth, "Book of Life
Zinn, Chapter 9, pp. 179-205
February 26: EMANCIPATION AND LYNCHING VIDEO: IDA B. WELLS
What were the economic and political bases for lynching? What are the myths about lynching? How do societal attitudes about American men and white women contribute to the justification for lynching? What were the political and economic consequences of lynching for African American people and communities? How are the stereotypes created to justify lynching continually supported in contemporary US cultural forms and public policies?
February 26: INDUSTRIALIZATION & IMMIGRANT WOMEN'S WORK: 1890-1924
Who w-ere the immigrants who came to the US at the turn of the century? Why did they come? What did they find when they came here? What ways did women and children participate in immigrant families' economic survival? What problems did they encounter in their workplaces and how- did they respond to their exploitation?
Zinn, Chapter 11, pp- 247-276
February 28: WORLD W AR II & WOMEN'S EXPERIENCE I: WORK VIDEO: ROSIE THE RIVETER
What was the role of propaganda in defining "women's place" during the war? Did new images really challenge prevailing gender roles? Why did women work? What were the conditions under which women worked during the war? What services were available for their children? How did the conditions of women workers change after the war? What can we learn about the role of media in our lives from this history?
Zinn, Chapter 15
March 5: WORLD W AR II AND WOMEN'S EXPERIENCE II:
CONCENTRATION CAMPS FOR JAPANESE AMERICANS VID EO: UNFINISHED B USINESS
Who were the people who were forced into concentration camps? How many were US citizens? What were the economic bases for the imprisonment? What was the "threat" from Japanese Americans? How did the camp experience impact subsequent generations of Japanese Americans? Why do we need to know this history in a Women's Studies class?
Zinn, Chapter 16
March 7: WOMEN IN THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT
VIDEO: AIN'T SCARED OF YOUR JAILS -EYES ON THE PRIZE
What were the goals of the Civil Rights Movement (CRM)? How did the goals and tactics of the CRM threaten the system of racial segregation (Jim Crow) in the South? In the North? What was the role ofwomen in the CRM? What did the CRM accomplish? Why has the '60's been portrayed as if the CRM did not exist? What can we learn about the struggle against racism from the CRM? How did the CRM affect the development of the women's movement
Zinn, Chapter 17
The Civil Rights Act of 1964
March 12: SIXTIES UPRISINGS AND THE SECOND WAVE OF FEMINISM
How was the women's movement of the late 1960's and early 1970's shaped by the social expectations for women at the time? What were some of the strategies women used to resist the limitations of these norms? What were the goals of the various branches of the movement? What changes have resulted from the women's movement? What can we learn from the successes and failures of the movement? What accomplishments have been overturned since the 80's? What still needs to be done?
READING: William Chafe, "The Revival of Feminism"
Cohambee River Collective, " A Black Feminist Statement"
Nora Hall, African American Women Leaders and Politics of Alliance
March 14: WOMEN AND WORK I:
OCCUPATIONAL SEGREGATION & THE WAGE GAP
What is the nature of women's work? How is it related to societal expectations for women" How do race and class impact on the definitions ofwomen's work? Has the work that women have traditionally done been considered real work? What are the consequences of those definitions for women and children? Where are women in the economy? Do education, individual talents, skills and effort alone determine women's placement in the workforce? How has women's entry into the workforce effected the division of labor at home? What are some of the particular needs that working women have and what particular difficulties do they face on the job?
Kenitz & Folbre, "Women"
Joan Acker, "Hierarchies, Jobs, Bodies. .."
Morrison, White, Van Nelson, uExecutive Women on a Tightrope" Cyndi Deitch, "Gender, Race, and Class. .."
March 26: WOMEN AND WORK II: POVERTY & WELFARE GUEST LECTURE: Jeanine Marks and Tanya Kachwaha
Why are so many women and children poor? What is the relationship between conventional assumptions about women and the value of women's work? How do public officials view poor people') What public policies could help women to adequately support themselves and their children') What are some of the ways that women have organized for change around these issues')
Diana Pearce, "The Feminization of Poverty: Update"
Bane, et. al., "1/5 of the Nation's Children, Why are they Poor?"
Bernice Lott, "Global Connections: The Significance of Women's Poverty
March 28: WOMEN AND WORK III:
REMEDIES-UNIONS & AFFIRMA TIVE ACTION READING:
National Committee on Pay Equity, "The Wage Gap
April 2: WOMEN AND WORK IV : INTERNA TIONAL CONNECTIONS VIDEO: GLOBAL ASSEMBLY LINE
What changes in technology have allowed multinational corporations to move parts of their operations to Third World countries? How does the presence of factories in "free trade zones' affect Gonditions for workers? How are women used by these corporations? Why do corporations often prefer to hire women? How have women resisted the terrible conditions of work') What impact does the ability to take parts of the production process out of the country have on workers in the U.S. ?
Ehrenreich & Fuentes, "Life on the Global Assembly Line" Charolotte Bunch, "Women ' s Rights as Human Rights"
April 4: WOMEN AND GLOBALIZATION-2000
GUEST LECTURE: GABRIELLA DELGADILLO
David Moberg, "Bringing Down Niketown"
April 9: THE FAMILY: MYTH, DREAM OR NIGHTMARE?
How is family defined? Are forms of family organization based on nature? Is the family life most people in the US experience consistent with the image of family projected by the media and public officials') What are the consequences if it is not? What are the cross cultural and historical differences in family form and the role women play in the family') What are the implications of those differences? What has been and is the role of the state in maintaining families? What role should it have and why? Why have feminists been critical of the family?
Diana Gittins, "What is the Family? Is it Universal?"
Patricia Mainardi, "The Politics of Housework"
April 11: LESBIAN AND GAY FAMILIES VIDEO: WE ARE FAMILY
What constitutes a family? Are a lesbian or gay male couple who live together a family? Should same sex partners be treated like married couples entitled to all the benefits of married couples? How can the state justify taking children away from their mothers or fathers solely because of their sexual orientation?
April 16: HOLIDAY-NO CLASS
April 18: RACIST PUBLIC POLICIES AND U.S. FAMILIES:
NATIVE AMERICANS AND AFRICAN AMERICANS
What particular impact do economic, political and social pressures have on famlies of color? How does racism shape family life? What role does racism and sexism play in shaping public policy on the family? What role has the family played in the survival of people of color in the US? What are the strategies women of color have developed to ensure that survival?
Patricia Hill Collins, "Black Women and Motherhood"
Robert A. Trennert, "Educating Indian Girls. .."
April 23: VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN I-CONSTRUCTIONS OF MASCULINITY VIDEO: TOUGH GUISE
Violence against women occurs in the family and outside of the family. What are the societal bases of violence against women? Why is the fear of rape so common among women? What are the cultural myths about rape? What is the prevalence of date rape? Rape on campus? What is the relationship between rape and cultural definitions of aggressive sexuality for males and passivity for females? What ways have women resisted rape? How has the activism of feminists effected the treatment of women who have been victims of violence?
Michelle Paludi, "Sexual Harassment in College & University Settings"
Martin & Hummer, "Fraternities and Rape on Campus"
Michael Kimmel, "Clarence, William, Iron Mike, Tailhook ...and Us"
Anonymous, "The Rape of Mr. Smith"
April 25: VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN II: BA TTERING VIDEO: DEFENDING OUR LIVES
What is the percentage of women who are battered in their intimate relationships? How has the legal system hindered women from obtaining help? How have traditional defnitions of family contributed to the difficulties women face in getting help? Many women do leave abusive relationships, but for those who do stay, what might be some of their reasons for staying?
Richard Gelles, "Family Violence"
Stahley, "Battered Women, Why Don't The Just Leave?"
" Anishanabe Values and Their Culture"
April 30: VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN III: INCEST VIDEO: TO A SAFER PLACE
What is the prevalence of incest? Why is there silence around this issue? Why is it important to break the silence? In what ways does the legal system place obstacles before women who want to prosecute their abusers? How do traditional notions of family hinder survivors from getting help?
Elizabeth Stanko, "Incest: Some ofus Learn as Children Steven Jacobsen,
"The Politics of Touch," VM, p. 18.
May 2: HEALTH CARE FOR WOMEN: DELIVERY AND ACCESS
What is the basis of the health care system in the US? How does it rank with the systems of other industrialized countries? Who does it benefit? What the ways in which gender, race and class impact the quality and kind of health care received? Why have feminist activists focused on health care? What changes in the health care system have resulted form the efforts of women activists?
READING: Catherine Kohler Reissman, "Woman and Medicalization .."
Audre Lorde, "Breast Cancer: A Black Lesbian. .."
May 7: WOMEN'S BODIES: REPRESENTATIONS AND CONSEQUENCE VIDEO: KILLING US SOFTLY 3
How does the media represent women's bodies? How has that representation changed over time and how do these images of women affect women's self -concept? What is the relationship between the current obsession with thin woman and the dramatic rise in anorexia and bulimenia? Why are girls in the fourth grade now on diets?
READING: Abra Fortune Chernik, "The Body Politic"
Nonny Lamm, "It's a Big Fat Revolution"
Christine Smith, "Women, Weight and Body Image"
May 9: REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS
GUEST LECTURE: DR. MARLENE FRIED, Director Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program & Professor of Philosophy, Hampshire College
Why is abortion a major issue for women? Has abortion always been illegal? How has access to abortion and birth control been limited? What are the consequences of denying women access to abortion? Will making abortions illegal stop women from having them? What do we mean by reproductive rights and how does race and class effect the way women might define those rights?
READING: Angela Davis, "Racism, Birth Control and Reproductive Rights"
Marlene Fried, " Abortion in the United States-Legal but Inaccessible"
Nancy Russo, "Understanding Emotional Response After Abortion"
May 14: SEXUALITY AS A SITE OF DIFFERENCE GUEST LECTURE: STEPHANIE EVANS
What is sexuality? How is it related to culture? nature? How do gender norms determine the nature of sexuality? What does freedom in sexuality mean? Why is it hard to talk about sex? Is there a sexual double standard? What is homophobia? Heterosexism? How are attitudes towards lesbians and gay men impacted by social definitions of"real" men and women?
READING: Unger and Crawford, "Sexuality in a Social Context"
Schwartz, "Sex as a Social Problem
May 16: FORMS OF RESISTANCE
What is resistance? What are the ways in which we practice it in our lives? How can we expand the range of our resistance? How can we forge collective struggles?
READING: Susan Faludi, "The Undeclared War on Woman"
Burk & Hartmann, "Beyond the Gender Gap"
Vera Taylor, "The Future of Feminism: A Social Movement Analysis"