Gender Studies | Topics in Gender Studies: Marraige and the Nation
G302 | 26905 | Sword

What is marriage? Is it a private agreement or a public contract? A
legal bond or a religious sacrament?  A right or a privilege?  Who
can enter it?  Who determines when it is over, and on what grounds?
This seminar examines the long history of American debates about
these questions. We will consider the complex ways that beliefs and
policies regarding marriage have affected national understandings of
gender roles, of racial difference, of the meaning of citizenship,
and of the function and reach of government.  The chronological
emphasis of the course is on the eighteenth and nineteenth
centuries, although we will conclude by discussing the place of
history in the current controversy over gay marriage.  This course
counts for intensive writing credit.