From Litho Stone to Pentium Chip:
Interpreting Gender in U.S. World War I Posters

Exhibition Project for Gender Studies 103 (Spring 98)

Course Syllabus

Gender Studies 103 
Gender and Society 
Tu/Th 8:30-10:00 

Prof. Jean Williams 
Office: Hepburn 17 
Phone: x5525 
Office Hours: M, 3:30-4:30;
T, 2:15-3:30

Required Texts  
Estelle Disch, Reconstructing Gender: A Multicultural Anthology  
Barbara Findlen, Listen Up: Voices From the Next Feminist Generation  
Gloria Anzaldua, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza  
Toni Morrison, Race-ing Justice, En-gendering Power  

Course Requirements  
Writing Assignments will be discussed further in class.  

Writing Assignment #1 - Gender Bender: Write a 3 page essay integrating personal experience with critical analysis of gender assumptions and cultural norms.  This assignment is called a gender bender because it asks you to do something that goes against traditional gender norms.  You can also write on something that happened in the past, or that you witnessed someone else do against traditional gender assumptions.  Describe what happened and analyze the traditional gender assumptions against which you or another person acted.  What were your reactions or the reactions of others to your (or another person's) act?  How did it make you feel to do this or to watch someone else? Due 2/19 in class.  

Writing Assignment #2 - Gender and WWI posters, Brush Gallery exhibit: Write a text panel to accompany one of the WWI era posters that will appear in the Brush Gallery exhibition opening 4/28.  You will receive detailed information on how the class will participate and on how to approach this assignment.  Please keep the following dates in mind:  

2/12 - Guest lecture on gender and WWI era.  
2/17 - View posters in Brush Gallery.  Select poster to write text panel.  
3/3 - First draft of text panel due.  
4/16 - Final draft of text panel due.  

Writing Assignment #3 - Critical Analysis: Write a 5 page critical analysis of Borderlands/La Frontera.  Suggested paper topics/reading questions will be passed out to facilitate both reading the book and writing the paper.  You can use one of these topics or design your own.  

Alternatively, you may choose to write a 5-page paper that builds on the research you did for your text panel on the WWI posters.  In addition to the reading that everyone in the class is required to complete on gender and WWI, there are a number of supplementary articles on reserve in the library on this topic.  You may use these articles for your paper if you choose this option.  

Papers must be typed, double-spaced, and carefully edited for correct grammar and spelling.  Writing skills will be factored into your grade.  Please note that we will discuss Borderlands in class on 4/9, so even if you choose to write on WWI, you must read Borderlands.  Papers due 4/9 in class.  

Midterm Exam:  The exam will be based on the readings and in-class lectures and discussions.  There will be no make-up exams given without a doctor's excuse.  

Final Project:  Final projects are group projects addressing in greater depth one of the topics we have covered in class.  The project entails writing a 7-10 page paper and presenting your project to the class on 5/5 and 5/7.  Final projects will be discussed further in class.  

Response Portfolio: Before each class, write 200 words in response to the readings.  The purpose of the portfolio is not to summarize the readings.  Rather, you should analyze one or two ideas that are most interesting to you, discussing what the readings or ideas presented in the articles have to say about gender.  You should set aside a notebook for the purpose of these responses, and bring it to class.  These notebooks will be collected at random.  In-class group or individual assignments will also become part of your notebooks.  

Attendance and Participation:   Participation is always encouraged and attendance is required.  After three absences, excused or unexcused, your final grade will be reduced by .35 for each subsequent absence.  

Grades will be based on the following breakdown:   
Writing Assignment #1 (Gender bender):  10%  
Writing Assignment #2 (Text panel):  15%  
Writing Assignment #3 (Critical analysis):  20%  
Midterm:     20%  
Final Project:     25%  
Response Portfolio:    10%  
1/27   Introduction to Gender Studies

Socialization and Representation  
1/29   Constructions of Gender, Race, and Class 

  • Reading: Disch, pp. 1-48 
2/3   Socialization 
  • Reading: Disch, pp. 57-72; 77-94; Findlen, pp. 113-119; 132-137 
2/5   Representation 
  • Reading: Disch, pp. 49-56; 359-364 
  • Video: Slaying the Dragon 
Social Movements 
2/10   Women's Suffrage 
  • Reading: Women: Images and Realities, pp. 390-438 (on reserve) 
2/12   Gender and WWI 
  • Reading: From Nancy Cott, The Grounding of Modern Feminism,  Chp. 2, "The Woman's Party" (on reserve); from Maurine Weiner Greenwald, Women, War, and Work, Chp. 1, "From Afar and Near: Patterns of Change in Women's Work" (on reserve) 
  • Guest lecture: Dr. Judy DeGroat and Dr. David Schmitz 
2/17   WWI Posters 
  • Reading: Peter Paret, et al., Persuasive Images, pp. 10-97 (on reserve); Aubitz and Stern, "Americans All!" (on reserve) 
  • Meet at Brush Gallery to choose posters for text panel 
2/19   Second Wave: Civil Rights and Women's Rights - 1960s and '70s 
  • Gender bender due 
2/24   Liberal, Radical, Socialist, and Black Feminist Thought 
  • Reading: Disch, pp. 232-249; Findlen, pp. 21-28 
2/26   Abortion and "Fetal Rights" 
  • Reading: Women: Images and Realities, pp. 291-309; 439-449 (on reserve);  Findlen, pp. 239-248 
3/3   Birth Control and Forced Sterilization 
  • First draft of text panel due 
3/5   Beauty 
  • Reading: Disch, pp. 131-176 
3/10   Fat and Anorexia  
  • Reading: Findlen, pp. 75-94
  • Video: Slim Hopes
3/12    Mid-term 

3/15-    Spring Break 

3/24   Lesbians and Gay Men 

  • Reading:  Disch, pp. 113-118; 249-255; Findlen, pp. 3-11 
3/26  Sex and Sexuality 
  • Reading:  Disch, pp. 215-232; Findlen, pp. 95-112 
3/31  Gender and Work  
  • Reading:  Disch, pp. 364-398; 560-570 
4/2  Gender and Work  
  • Video: Rosie the Riveter 
4/7  "Difference," Racism and Power 
  • Reading: Women: Images and Realities, pp. 261-272 (on reserve);   Findlen, pp. 205-211 
4/9  Cultural Borderlands 
  • Discussion of Borderlands/La Frontera 
  • Critical essay on Anzaldua due  
4/14   Morrison 
  • Reading: Hearing transcripts; excerpts from Race-ing Justice; Christine Stansell, "White Feminists and Black Realities"; Manning Marable, "Clarence Thomas and the Crisis of Black Political Culture"
  • Video: Frontline on the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas hearings 
4/16   Morrison 
  • Reading: From Race-ing Justice; Gayle Pemberton, "A Sentimental Journey"; Wahneema Lubiano, "Black Ladies, Welfare Queens";  Kimberle Crenshaw, "Whose Story Is It, Anyway?" 
  • Final draft of text panel due 
4/21   Welfare and "Reform" 
  • Reading: Disch, pp. 351-359 
4/23   Violence Against Women 
  • Reading: Disch, pp. 452-492; 498-512; Findlen, pp. 185-191 
4/28   Violence Against Women 
  • Video: Girls Town
  • Class begins at 8:00 a.m. 
4/30   Grassroots Activism 
  • Reading: Women: Images, and Realities, pp. 450-461; 464-466 (on reserve); Findlen, pp. 192-204 
5/5   Final projects 

5/7   Response portfolios due in class

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