Gender and Nationalism

History 103C.002

Spring 2006
Instructor (text): 
204 Dwinelle
Day & Time: 
W 12-2
Also listed as 103B.006

This course seeks to bring together the two vast historiographic fields of the history of nationalism and history of gender. We will attempt to understand the extent to which these two histories were intertwined in modern history. The course will begin with some methodological discussions. We will then proceed in a part-chronological part-thematic manner. Particular attention will be paid to: (1) war and revolution as definitive moments in nation-building and defining gender-roles (2) gender and the colonial encounter as crucial to the politics of 'nation-ness.'

Themes that will be discussed will include the French Revolution and republican citizenship; German romantic nationalism and the male body; the colonial sexual order; empire, masculinity, and youth movements; nationalism, theories of degeneration, and hetero-normativity; war, citizenship and the politics of exclusion; nationalism and maternal roles; sex, masculinity, and the New Right; and the cosmopolitan project.

About half of the literature will focus on Britain and its empire, the rest on continental Europe. During the course we will constantly as methodological questions about the ways histories of nationalism and gender are written, concepts such as 'imagined communities' or 'hegemonic masculinity,' and the payoff or shortcomings of writing such histories as histories of identity. We will conclude with a discussion of these themes in contemporary cinema (Neil Jordan's "The Crying Game" or Wong Kar-Wai's "Happy Together," your choice).

Readings will include a selection of both primary and secondary sources. Some familiarity with European history is desired. Requirements: avid participation, class presentations, two short papers (5 pp) based on class presentations, one longer paper (10-12pp).