Gender and Power: Women's History in North America

Course Code: HIST 3300

Academic Year: 2021-2022

Did women ever sneak onto battlefields? Why, at first, were women denied the vote? What was it like for a woman entering the workforce for the first time? Why was it assumed that the best place for a woman was in the kitchen and not the classroom? From European explorers initial contact with First Nations women to the turmoil of World War II, and from suffrage movements to the raised fists of twentieth century feminism, women have played crucial roles in North American history. In this course, students explore how ideas of gender and identity were impacted by human experience, with particular emphasis on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Each week students examine how the preconceptions of race and class shape notions of Canadian and American culture. Students will explore topics such as patriarchy and the marginalization of women, moral regulation, domesticity, masculinity, women in the work force, political awakening, and the impact of immigration, education, and sexual politics on North American society. Finally, students will look at key historical moments through the lens of gender in order to consider the lived experiences of women during industrialization, World Wars I and II, the Great Depression, and the rise of the suburbs. The course is premised on the notion that gender relations are culturally produced, and the power struggles that result shape both governmental policy and personal politics. Category and Level: Arts and Humanities, Upper Level Restrictions: None Note: Students benefit from taking a lower level course in the Arts and Humanities category prior to enrolling in this upper level course.