History | Gender and Sexuality in American History
A265 | 24954 | Gamber


Above section open to all undergraduates

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 ways in
which various societies define what it means to be a “man” or
a “woman”) and changing attitudes toward sexual behaviors influenced
selected issues and events in American history. We will consider the
European “discovery” of America, the industrial revolution, race
relations in the “Old” and “New” South, the Spanish American War and
Cold War.   We’ll examine the relevance of issues that we often think
of as “private” to political and economic history.  We’ll focus on
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 (averaging about 100 pages a week), and in some
cases, viewing. Written work will consist of very brief weekly
essays, two midterms (you will have a choice of in-class and take-
home versions), and a final examination; all will be in essay
format.  All assignments will require you to connect issues and
concepts presented in lectures to readings, illustrations, and films.