History | Modern Europe through the Lens of Gender
H620 | 7867 | Roos


A portion of the above class reserved for majors
Above class open to graduates only
Above class meets with GNDR-G701 and CULS-C701

This course focuses on the ways in which gender analysis has
reshaped historians’ understanding of crucial problems and
transformations in European history from the late eighteenth century
to the present. How does our assessment of the trajectory of modern
European history change if we look at it through the lens of gender?
From the perspective of women’s status in society, what were the
major turning points as well as periods of stagnation and backlash
during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries? How should we
conceptualize the connection between changes in established gender
relations and shifts taking place in other areas such as the
economy, the state, politics, or the cultural sphere? To what extent
have conflicts over gender impacted the course of modern European
history? Which factors tend to strengthen male dominance, and under
which historical conditions do advances in women’s emancipation
become possible? These are some of the questions we will address in
our discussions of recent work by gender historians. Topics include
the French Revolution, industrialization, the rise of bourgeois
society, nationalism, imperialism, the First World War, the welfare
state, the Russian Revolution, Stalinism, the interwar period,
modern mass culture, fascist movements and regimes, and
reconstruction and memory in Europe after World War Two. This class
will introduce students to different theoretical approaches to the
study of gender including approaches influenced by Marxism,
psychoanalysis, the work of Michel Foucault, and theories of
language and cultural representation, respectively. Key questions
focus on the relationship between gender and other categories of
social analysis such as class and race, and on the intersections
between the history of gender and the history of sexuality. Some of
the readings for this course are: "Feminism and History," ed. by
Joan W. Scott; Lynn Hunt, "The Family Romance of the French
Revolution"; Judith R. Walkowitz, "Prostitution and Victorian
Society"; Wendy Z. Goldman, "Women, the State, and Revolution:
Soviet Family Policy and Social Life, 1917-1936"; Victoria de
Grazia, "How Fascism Ruled Women: Italy, 1922-1945"; and Dagmar
Herzog, "Sex after Fascism: Memory and Morality in Twentieth-Century
Germany."

Requirements: Regular attendance; short weekly response papers; two
book reviews; one bibliographic essay of 12-15 pages.