Gender Matters in 20th Century America - Session A

History 136AC

Summer 2014
First 6 Week Session
182 Dwinelle
Day & Time: 
MTuWTh 10-12P
  • This course satisfies the American Cultures Requirement.
  • It’s easy to think of the 20th century as the period that invented sex. The classic stereotypes of the period include flappers in short skirts chugging bootleg liquor, “Rosie the Riveter” with perfect lipstick wielding a sledgehammer, housewives popping Valiums and Birth Control Pills, hippies lying naked in Golden Gate Park, angry women burning bras, and proud men parading in ball-gowns down city streets. Yet the 20th century did not invent gender matters. It was, however, the first century in which people began to argue that gender matters. For the first time, Americans began to see gender as a fundamental aspect of identity, something they demanded control over and increasingly defined as a public rather than a private matter. We will therefore view all the major events of the 20th century in the context of gender. We will, moreover, view the experiences of both men and women, so that we remove the connotation of "women's issues" that is so often attached to "gender issues" and begin to understand gender history from all perspectives--masculine, feminine, racial and national--from the 19th to the 21st century.

    Course Books

    The Handmaid's Tale by Atwood, Margaret Anchor. ISBN: 978-0385490818 Required
    Coming of Age in Mississippi by Moody, Anne Dell. ISBN: 978-0440314882 Required
    If He Hollers Let Him Go by Himes, Chester Da Capo Press. ISBN: 1560254459 Required
    Twenty Years at Hull House by Addams, Jane Signet Classics. ISBN: 978-0451527394 Required
    Manliness and Civilization: A Cultural History of Gender and Race in the United States, 1880--1917 by Bederman, Gail University of Chicago Press. ISBN: 978-0226041391 Required