Skip to main content

Search Bar Icon Close Menu

Master Syllabus

Print this Syllabus « Return to Previous Page

Administrative Unit: History and Political Science Department
Course Prefix and Number: HIST 373
Course Title: *Women and Gender in American History
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

This course examines the history of women in the United States from the colonial era to the present. This course examines gender as a system of power relations that has been integral to the shaping of American politics and public policy and to the development of the American economy. The class explores the meaning of women's status across cultures and historical periods; examines how women have attempted to define, maintain, or gain power in changing historical circumstances; identifies common dilemmas and struggles faced by women; and considers how changing definitions of gender have intersected with ideas about race and ethnicity throughout American history. Cross-listed as WMST 373.  Prerequisite:  Junior standing.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s):

Junior standing.

Course Rotation for Day Program:

Offered odd Spring.

Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

The required text must be assigned and supplemented with a primary documents collection.  Additional primary and secondary sources may be assigned as well.

Choose one textbook from the following list:

Additional primary and secondary sources and appropriate scholarly monographs may be assigned as well.

Other appropriate scholarly monographs may be assigned.

Through Women's Eyes: An American History with Documents by DuBois & Dumenil
By DuBois & Dumenil
Category/Comments - MAIN TEXT
Inventing the American Woman: An Inclusive History, Volume 1: To 1877 and Volume 2: Since 1877
By Riley
Category/Comments - MAIN TEXT
Women and the Making of America
By Buhle, Murphy & Gerhard
Category/Comments - MAIN TEXT
Documents Collection for Women and the Making of America
By Buhle
Category/Comments - Primary Source Reader
Root of Bitterness: Documents of the Social History of American Women
By Cott
Category/Comments - Primary Source Reader
Major Problems in American Women's History
By Norton and Alexander
Category/Comments - Primary Source Reader
Women and Power in American History
By Sklar and Dublin
Category/Comments - Monograph
A Shining Thread of Hope: The History of Black Women in America
By Hine
Category/Comments - Monograph
Sifters: Native American Women's Lives
By Perdue
Category/Comments - Monograph
No Constitutional Right to Be Ladies: Women and the Obligations of Citizenship
By Kerber
Category/Comments - Monograph
Feminism and History
By Scott
Category/Comments - Monograph
The Majority Finds its Past: Placing Women in History
By Lerner
Category/Comments - Monograph
Course Learning Outcomes
  1. Explain the impact of gender on the development of American society, politics, and economics using a range of primary sources.
  2. Identify and utilize a range of secondary sources in an analysis of women’s history.
  3. Explain gender as a social construct and how gender differentiates historical experiences.
  4. Explain the intersectionality of race, class, and gender and how it shapes men’s and women’s experiences.
  5. Analyze gender relations within the context of men’s and women’s lives as individuals, as members of groups.
Major Topics/Skills to be Covered:

Because the course represents an upper-level history elective, it bears a distinctive responsibility for teaching advanced knowledge within the discipline. It must be distinguished as an advanced course by three structural components: extensive reading, intensive writing, and historiographical thinking. It must require advanced students to complete both in class and out of class projects (i.e., midterms, finals, team reports, quizzes, research papers).  The course reading load should be at least 1000 pp.; the course writing assignments should total 5000 words.

  • Gender and the politics of history
  • Social construction of gender
  • Native American women’s lives prior to contact with Europeans
  • Republican motherhood
  • The separation of spheres and the cult of domesticity
  • The slave experience for African and African American women
  • Industrialization and gendered work
  • Women and nineteenth-century reform movements
  • The quest for woman suffrage
  • Gender and narratives of political legitimacy
  • Women and the war experience
  • Gender and race
  • Gender and class
  • Second and Third Wave feminism

Recommended maximum class size for this course: 35

Library Resources:

Online databases are available at the Columbia College Stafford Library.  You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Prepared by: Tonia Compton Date: April 17, 2015
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course learning outcomes and cover the subjects listed in the Major Topics/Skills to be Covered section. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

Office of Academic Affairs


Request info