AMH 4561

American Women in Public, 1776-1876

 

Matt Gallman                                                                            Office: Keene-Flint 203

University of Florida                                                                  Spring 2006

T  10:40-11:50; Th 10:40-12:35                                                   Office hours Tues 2:00-4:00

Flint 0013                                                                                  (352) 392-0272  x241

                                                                                                gallmanm@history.ufl.edu

 

Course Summary

The nineteenth century was a fascinating time of flux for many American women.   Despite commonly acknowledged cultural rules limiting the public behavior of women, various individuals and groups challenged these dominant gender norms in all sorts of arenas.  This semester we will explore a variety of ways in which women entered the public arena during this period.   Lectures and discussion topics will range from activists and reformers, to novelists and orators, to slave owners and the enslaved, to seamstresses and mill workers.

 

This course will depend heavily on student preparation and participation.  Very few class meetings will be organized as traditional lectures.  Most classes will emphasize the close readings of assigned texts or documents, often depending on the efforts of student leaders or presenters.

 

Because this is a new course, some assignments will be developed or changed as the semester develops.

 

 

Class Meetings and Preparation

The readings in this course are quite heavy.   You will be reading eight books, several articles, and quite a few documents.  The books (listed below) should be available at Goering’s Bookstore.  Additional essays and documents will be announced as the semester progresses.

 

You are expected to attend all classes, prepared to discuss the assigned readings.  I will take roll fairly regularly, and more than two absences will adversely affect your grade.   You should also come to class with notes on the assigned readings.  These notes should include discussion topics to raise in class as well as any questions that you might have.   You will have regular open note quizzes on the readings.

 

On several occasions you will be called on to present material to the class or to help lead discussion.  On these occasions you should be particularly well-prepared for class.

 

 

Class Lead Discussions

Students will be divided into six groups (A through E) to help lead the Thursday discussions.   These discussions should be based upon the assigned readings, but they could incorporate additional documents or materials.   Student groups should read their assigned book well in advance of the date, and meet with each other to discuss their discussions.   Student groups are also required to meet with me prior to their discussion day.

 

Written Assignments

In addition to the assigned readings, you will have three very short papers, and in each case you will be presenting your findings to the class (usually as part of a group).   The first paper will be based on documents in The Birth of American Feminism.   The second two essays (and presentations) will be based on very modest research in primary sources. Please review the University's honesty policy at http://www.dso.ufl.edu/judicial/academic.htm.

 

You will also write a final take-home examination based on the assigned readings and class discussions/lectures.

 

Grading

·         Paper #1 on Seneca Falls document                                          10

·         Paper #2 on newspaper research project                                   15

·         Paper #3 on personal papers research project                            15

·         Quizzes on readings                                                                  10

·         Participation, Presentations, Leading Class                                 30

·         final essay                                                                                20

missed classes or absences will result in reduced grades

 

Accommodations

Please do not hesitate to contact the instructor during the semester if you have any individual concerns or issues that need to be discussed.  Students requesting classroom accommodation must first register with the  Dean of Students Office (http://www.dso.ufl.edu/drp/).  The Dean of Students Office will provide documentation to the student who must then  provide this documentation to the instructor when requesting accommodation.

 

Course Readings

  The following books should be available at Goering’s bookstore.

Additional readings are noted below or will be announced as the semester progresses

 

Class Meetings and Assignments

 

INTRODUCTION

  1. Tues January 10                                    Introduction
  2. Thurs January 12                                   Gender and History

Joan W. Scott, "Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis," American Historical Review 91 (1986): 1053-1075.

 

WOMEN IN PUBLIC

  1. Tues January 17                                    Separate Spheres?

Linda K. Kerber, "Separate Spheres, Female Worlds, Woman's Place: The Rhetoric of Women's History," Journal of American History 75 (1988): 9-39.

  1. Thurs January 19                                   Revolutionary Women

“Remember the Ladies”   This is a three page letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams,  March 31, 1776.
Judith Sargent Murray, "On the Equality of the Sexes" (1790)
Edenton Ladies' Tea Party (British cartoon)

 

CHARLOTTE TEMPLE

  1. Tues  January 24                                   The Cult of True Womanhood
  2. Thurs    January 26                                The novel as history

Susannah Rowson, Charlotte Temple

 

BONDS OF WOMANHOOD

  1. Tues January 31                                    Bonds of Womanhood - I
  2. Thurs    February 2                                Bonds of Womanhood  - II

Nancy Cott, Bonds of Womanhood

DISCUSSION LEADERS – GROUP A

 

THE BIRTH OF AMERICAN FEMINISM

  1. Tues February 7                                    Discuss documents
  2.  Thurs   February 9                               Discuss documents

Virginia Bernhard and Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, editors, The Birth of American Feminism, pp. 1-100.

SHORT ESSAY #1 DUE  ON DAY OF PRESENTATION

 

  1. Tues February 14                                  Discuss documents
  2.  Thurs   February 16                              Discuss documents

Virginia Bernhard and Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, editors, The Birth of American Feminism, pp. 101-228.

SHORT ESSAY #1 DUE ON DAY OF PRESENTATION

 

 

WORKING CLASS WOMEN

  1. Tues February 21                                  Working Class Women
  2.  Thurs   February 23                              Lowell Girls

Thomas Dublin, ed., Farm to Factory

DISCUSSION LEADERS – GROUP B

 

 

THE SLAVE SOCIETY

  1. Tues February 28                                  Enslaved women                      
  2. Thurs February 30                                 Celia’s Story

Melton McLaurin, Celia, A Slave

DISCUSSION LEADERS – GROUP C

 

WOMEN ON THE WESTWARD MIGRATION     

  1. Tues  March 7                                      Western women
  2. Thurs    March 9                                    The Trans-Mississippi  West

Jeffrey, Frontier Women: The Trans-Mississippi West, 1840-1880 

DISCUSSION LEADERS – GROUP D

 

March 14-16     -        spring break

 

CITY LIFE

  1.  Tues  March 21                                    Presentations on urban women
  2. DOCUMENTS FOR PAPER #2 DUE IN CLASS
  3.  Thurs   March 23                                  Presentations on urban women

PAPER #2 DUE IN CLASS                    

 

THE CIVIL WAR

  1.  Tues March 28                                     Wartime Women in public
  2.  Thurs   March 30                                  Hospital Sketches

Alcott, Hospital Sketches  

DISCUSSION LEADERS – GROUP E

 

  1.  Tues April 4                                         NO CLASS
  2.  Thurs   April 6                                      Susie King Taylor

Susie King Taylor, Memoirs

DISCUSSION LEADERS – GROUPS F

 

THE IMPACT OF THE CIVIL WAR?

  1.  Tues April 11                                       A Divided Suffrage Movement
  2.  Thurs April 13                                      The Centennial

 

PRIVATE WRITINGS, PUBLIC WORLDS

  1. Tues April 18                                        Research Presentations
  2.  Thurs   April 20                                    Research Presentations

Paper #3 DUE IN CLASS

                 

  1. Tues  April 25                                       CONCLUSIONS