History | Gender and Sexuality
E104 | 0128 | Gamber


MW 12:20P-1:10P M015

Students must enroll in a discussion section.

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.