WOMENSTD 372 - Women and Gender in European History
Section: 001 Gendered Revolutions, from the Enlightenment to the Internet
Term: FA 2017
Subject: Women's Studies (WOMENSTD)
Department: LSA Women's Studies
Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Classic accounts of the transition to the modern world have presented this historical shift as a matter of revolutionary change. The French Revolution is said to have opened up possibilities for representative democracy; the Scientific Revolution to have enabled the spread of cultures of experiment; and the Industrial Revolution to have changed the nature of work, travel, and consumption in and beyond Europe. In Gendered Revolutions, we will begin by re-examining, with a gendered and raced lens, these classic accounts of the making of the modern world. To what extent does our understanding of the transition to modernity change if we begin by asking how its three foundational “revolutions” affected relations between women and men, and/or between colonial and metropolitan subjects?

Much work in gender history has demonstrated how the transition to modernity in political, scientific, and social domains entailed new forms of gender subordination. Constitutional democracies were built upon a stark new division between “public” and “private” spheres of life. New scientific understandings of the human body tended to presume an essential difference between the bodies of women and men. And industrialization, especially its so-called “second phase,” tended to correspond with the exclusion of many married women from waged employment, and with the intensification of imperial violence. As the course unfolds, we will see how these foundational dynamics of gender subordination were contested over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries by various iterations of feminist, socialist, anti-colonial and other movements. We will also consider how these foundational subordinations interacted with other large-scale historical dynamics such as imperialism and decolonization, the world wars, histories of scientific racism, communist movements, post-war reconstructions of Western and Eastern European countries, and recent transformations in communication technologies.

Course Requirements:

Students will be expected to read approximately 50 pages per week, prepare for course discussions, complete midterm and final exams, and compose an original research paper.

Intended Audience:

Designed to be welcoming and engaging for majors and non-majors alike. Students interested in the critical study of race, class, gender, and sexuality may be particularly interested in this course.

Class Format:

Involves a combination of lecture and discussion, does not have any prerequisite requirements.

WOMENSTD 372 - Women and Gender in European History
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
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