HIST 356: American Women's History, 1865 to the Present

HIST 356 focuses on the pivotal roles women have played in shaping American history from the late nineteenth century to the present day. We will learn how the experiences of American women have decisively shaped American society, culture, politics, and economics throughout the nation’s history. This course is not designed to act as a counter-narrative to “traditional” American history, but rather it seeks to place women at the center of the narrative and it offers a more complete and complicated vision of the American past. In examining the experiences of women, we will pay particular attention to the ways in which gender roles are historically constructed, especially in relationship to factors such as race, ethnicity, social class, and age. Understanding what it has meant to be a woman at different points in American history will allow us to investigate how women have worked within, and pushed against, various boundaries in order to exercise control over their lives and to gain visibility and power in American society.

Required Texts:

  • Buhle, Murphy, and Gerhard, Women and the Making of America, Volume 2 (2009), ISBN 978-0138126872
  • Ware, Modern American Women: A Documentary History, 2nd edition (2002), ISBN 978-0072418200
  • Chopin, The Awakening (1899)
  • Moody, Coming of Age in Mississippi: An Autobiography (1968)
  • Students will also be required to obtain and review a book from a list provided by the instructor.

View a sample course syllabus.

Contact the Friday Center at CCO@unc.edu with any questions or for more information.

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