Deborah Colleen Mcnally
Explores the history of everyday Americans (women, slaves, working people, farmers) of a variety of races, ethnicities, and citizenships in the context of the major cultural, social, and political changes that dramatically transformed their lives over the course of the nineteenth century.
In this class we study everyday Americans (women, slaves, working people, farmers) of a variety of races, ethnicities and citizenships in the context of the major cultural, social and political changes that dramatically transformed their lives over the course of the nineteenth century. Changes in forms of work, gender ideals and gender relations and citizenship will occupy much of our attention.
Student learning goals
Students will understand that social categories and norms, such as those ruling gender roles, marriage or property ownership, have changed over time in the American past.
Students will see the roots of contemporary American culture, society and problems in many 19th century developments.
Students will have the opportunity to learn to distinguish between source types and to read and interpret them critically.
Students will have the opportunity to debate and discuss the readings in verbal and written forms.
General method of instruction
Lecture, reading and discussion of the reading. A moderate amount of writing to reflect more deeply on course issues through primary sources.
Class assignments and grading
Students must be willing to read carefully, to discuss the readings openly, and to write thoughtfully.
Readings will consist of four books including Solomon Northup, Twelve Years a Slave; Stephanie Koontz, Marriage, A History: How Love Conquered Marriage; Kathy Peiss, Cheap Amusements: Working Women and Leisure in Turn-of-the-Century New York; Drew Gilpin Faust, Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War; and a small Course Pack.
Discussion, short writing assignments, examination grades.