Lynn M. Thomas
Each seminar examines a different subject or problem. A quarterly list of the seminars and their instructors is available in the Department of History undergraduate advising office.
THE MODERN GIRL AROUND THE WORLD
The Modern Girl appeared around the world in cities from Tokyo to Berlin, Beijing to Bombay, Johannesburg to New York City in the 1920s and 1930s. Modern Girls were known by a variety of names including flappers, garconnes, moga modeng xiaojie, schoolgirls, vamps, and neue Frauen. By wearing provocative fashions, putting on make-up, pursuing romantic love, and smoking packaged cigarettes, the Modern Girl appeared to disregard the roles of dutiful daughter, wife, and mother. Contemporaries debated whether Modern Girls were looking for sexual, economic, or political emancipation. They also raised the possibility that Modern Girls were just a product of clever advertising campaigns and the new commodity culture.
Through exploring the history of the Modern Girl, students will learn to assess secondary sources, collect and analyze primary sources, develop a research proposal, and write a research paper.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Weekly seminar discussion with reading, writing, and research assignments.
No prerequisites; students who have taken Professor Poiger's HIST388 on the Modern Girl Around the World are encouraged to enroll. This is the capstone course for senior history majors.
Class assignments and grading
The class will meet once per week in a seminar format. Each student is expected to come to class prepared to discuss and debate the assigned readings. Grades will be assigned on the basis of participation, shorter writing assignments, and the final research paper.
Class participation (30%), three-page essays (two at 10% each), and research paper(s) (two six-page papers at 25% each or one thirteen-page paper at 50%).