Course Schedule

Part I: Expectations and Historical Questions

January 12: Defining Marriage, Defining History

Introduction to electronic resources needed for course

reading:

assignment:

  • Question Sheet about your expectations of marriage, if not filled out in class.
  • Decide on the note-taking strategy that you are going to use.

January 19: Why study the history of marriage?

Please check your IU email account for announcements about this class sent through OnCourse. If you are not receiving them, please let the instructor know by emailing marriage@indiana.edu.

reading:

hand-in / submit on-line:

  • Weekly post to the appropriate On-Course forum
  • Identifying Topics Exercise
  • (Optional) Write the first of your short response papers. Click here for assignment guidelines.

Reading Guide/Paper Questions (In future weeks, you will need to navigate to these through the on-line schedule)

Questions to Think About:

Schedule:

  • After reviewing the course schedule, assignments and policies on-line, what questions do you have about how we will proceed?
  • What aspects of the course sound most interesting? Which ones make you uneasy?

Understanding the Reading:

For each of the assigned authors (Coontz, Cott and Shammas), please think about the following:

  • Before you begin reading, look at the chapter headings and any brief introductory information you can find. In your own words, what would you say the book is about?
  • What kind of books are these? Are they primary or secondary sources? Who is the intended audience for each?
  • What time period do these books cover? When does the historian start her story? And when does it end? Within this time frame, what periods does she pick out as particularly important turning points? (You will be able to answer this question with greater precision of you scan the first and last pages of each of Shammas and Cott's chapters. Note any dates, terms or events you would like defined or clarified.)
  • What is the "thesis statement" for the book?
  • What are some of the questions the historian is trying to answer?

Questions to Write About (if you choose to do your first short response paper this week. Please click here for assignment guidelines. You should choose one of these two options.)

  1. Why should we study the history of marriage? What reasons do the authors give? Which of these do you find most compelling and why?
  2. What do these historians think distinguishes marriage today from marriage in the past? Which of these changes over time seems most significant to you, and what do we need to study to understand how it occurred?

Class discussion

Part II: Patriarchy, Race and Revolution

January 26: Early Modern Marriage / Working with Primary Sources

reading:

hand-in / submit on-line:

  • Weekly post to the appropriate On-Course forum
  • (Optional) Response Paper
Class discussion

February 2: Library Session / Patriarchy, Social Order and Agency

***We will meet in Wells Library E252***

reading:

hand-in / submit on-line:

Class discussion

February 9: Marriage and the American Revolution

reading:

hand-in / submit on-line:

  • Weekly post to the appropriate On-Course forum
  • Optional response paper

Class discussion

February 16: Historians on Marriage and the American Revolution

reading:

hand-in / submit on-line:

  • Weekly post to the appropriate On-Course forum
  • Optional response paper

February 23: Marriage and Nineteenth Century U.S. History

reading:

hand-in / submit on-line:

 

March 2: Divorce and  Marriage Reform

reading:

And one of the following:

hand-in / submit on-line:

  • Weekly post to the appropriate On-Course forum
  • Optional response paper

 

March 9: Why Monogamy?

reading:

Optional primary sources on polygamy:

Optional (recommended for those interested in writing on marriage, race & civilization):

hand-in / submit on-line:

  • Weekly post to the appropriate On-Course forum
  • Optional response paper

Class discussion

Part III: Inventing Modern Marriage

March 23: Inventing Modern Marriage

reading:

hand-in / submit on-line:

  • Weekly post to the appropriate On-Course forum
  • Optional response paper

March 30: Writing Week - No Class

Research Paper Drafts Due on OnCourse, Friday April 2

April 6: Writing Workshop

reading:

Paper Drafts

hand-in:

  • 2 copies of 3 assigned peer reviews.

April 13: Marriage Across the Color Line

reading:

  • Reading Guide/Paper Questions
  • Position Papers
  • Renee Romano. Race Mixing: Black-White Marriage in Postwar America. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2003. Please read the Prologue, Chapters 1, 4,5,6, and the Epilogue in their entirety. Read at least the introductory and concluding sections of chapters 2,3,7, and 8. You are encouraged to try to read the whole book.

hand-in / submit on-line:

  • Weekly post to the appropriate On-Course forum
  • Optional response paper

 

April 20: History and the Debate over Marriage for Same Sex Couples

reading:

  • Reading Guide and Paper Questions
  • Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health. " "Amici Curiae Brief of Historians: The Constant Evolution of Legal Marriage," "Defendant's (Attorney General's) Brief" (Table of Contents and Historical Sections, found on page images 1-5, 48-54, and 77-85; numbered in document as i-iv and 17-23, and 40-47), and the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's Decision in the case. Detailed instructions about where to find the reading and what to focus on can be found in the discussion questions. You are encouraged to explore the GLAD website for additional information about the case.

At least one of the following:

For up-to-date information on legal activities relevant to gay marriage, see the Human Rights Campaign web page on Marriage Recognition.

hand-in / submit on-line:

  • Weekly post to the appropriate On-Course forum
  • Optional response paper (if you haven't completed these, you must do one this week and one next week.)

 

April 27: Defining Marriage for the 21st Century

reading:

 

May 4: Final Paper Due