College Of Arts And Sciences | Gender & Sexuality in U. S. History
E104 | 0160 | Gamber, W.
This is NOT a course about "naked people," as BC Magazine once
described an earlier version. Instead, it is a course that combines
conventional historical topics with unconventional themes. "Gender
and Sexuality in American History" examines how gender (the roles
various societies assign to men and women or what scholars call
the "social construction" of masculinity and femininity), and
attitudes toward sexuality (sexual behavior) influenced selected
issues and events in American history. (These will include the
European "discovery" and settlement of America, the American
Revolution, the Civil War and Reconstruction, the rise of big
business, the Cold War, and recent political conservatism). We'll
consider the relevance of issues that we often think of as "private"
to political and economic history. We might find out, for example,
that concerns about gender and sexuality had quite a bit to do with
the Founding Fathers' ideas about American politics and government.
We will examine sources such as visual images, songs, novels, and
films in order to understand how Americans themselves viewed the
relationship between gender and sexuality, on one hand, and
political, social, and economic events, on the other.
You will be required to attend twice weekly lectures, to attend and
participate actively in weekly discussion sections, and to complete
assigned reading (and in some cases, viewing). You will complete very
brief ungraded weekly writing assignments, and expand two of them
into short, 3-5-page papers. You will also have a midterm and a
final, both of which will be in essay format. All assignments will
encourage you to connect issues presented in lecture to readings,
illustrations, and films.