Gender and Nationalism in Modern Europe

History 103B.005

Fall 2005
Instructor (text): 
3104 Dwinelle
Day & Time: 
Mon 12-2

Why are men expected to die for their nation? This seminar will explore gendered approaches to
the subject of nationalism in Europe beginning with the French Revolution through the end of the
twentieth century. Both nationalism and the meanings assigned to gender differences are
historically specific forms. Historians have begun to trace the role of gender ideologies as one of the dynamics in the origins of European nationalisms. In the European context, the rise of modern nationalism shaped new and enduring ideals of normative masculinities and femininities.
Symbols of national aspiration were typically gendered and incorporated ideals of difference
between men and women. State-building in Europe often involved not only the assertion of gender
difference but also the subordination of women and minority groups. Manly ideals played dominant roles in fashioning ideas of nationhood and war.

Using case studies on European nationalisms and gender, we will consider the following questions:
What were the historical conditions for the production of new national identities and the place of gender in that process? How were nations and national communities ";imagined"; in gendered
terms? What were the differences between men's and women's participation in the discourse of
nationalism? Did men and women imagine the nation in different ways? What are the connections
between women's roles as biological reproducers of the nation and their rights as women and as citizens? How did notions of masculinity and manliness influence nationalism as a political movement and how did nationalist movements tap into and shape ideals of manliness?

Course requirements include weekly readings, active participation in discussion, two oral presentations, two short papers (3-5 pages), and a final paper.