Women and the American Experience, 1607-1870

This course is designed to teach you to think critically, analytically, and contextually about the diverse experiences and social roles of women from settlement in the 17th century to the era of Reconstruction after the Civil War.   As we build on our chronological framework, we will explore Native American women; regional variations in the formation of colonial society; the "proper place" of white women; women and politics, reform movements, religion, and sexuality; African-American women and slavery; women as pioneers; women and work. Through a combination of lectures, reading assignments, in-class discussion, class presentations, and historical films or documentaries, the course will emphasize the diversity and change among the various social classes and races that comprise our history.  Readings will be based on both secondary and primary sources.  Because I believe strongly in letting women tell their own stories, you will have many opportunities to “hear women’s voices” through letters, diaries, journals, and autobiographies.  You will examine what various women say to you about their lives in specific historical contexts.  We will work hard but we will have fun while we do so!

This course has been approved by IC’s Committee for College-Wide Requirements for meeting the qualifications of the Integrative Core Curriculum.  Contingent you’re your successful completion of all course requirements and your uploading of required learning outcome artifacts onto Taskstream (indicated elsewhere on this syllabus), this class meets and satisfies the ICC HUMANITIES, DIVERSITY, and POWER AND JUSTICE DESIGNATIONS.


School of Humanities and Sciences  ·  201 Muller Center  ·  Ithaca College  ·  Ithaca, NY 14850  ·  (607) 274-3102  ·  Full Directory Listing