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Upper Level Courses

300-400 level courses are on special topics and are more advanced. They often presuppose some basic knowledge in the field and should be more difficult courses than courses at the 1-199 levels. The department is trying to insure that some 400 level courses, although substantially more difficult, are also small in size; they thus may be suitable for graduate students.

HIST 346 Gender in Modern America: Sex, Citizenship, and Culture in an Imperial Nation

Brown

Taught as schedule allows (consult the Course Directory)

The Civil War set the stage for a national debate about citizenship. Who should be included in the category of citizen? If newly freed slaves were admitted, what would be the fate of white women? For the next one hundred years, activists struggled to secure the rights that had been granted in theory to African American men; meanwhile, white women's organizations maneuvered to gain voting rights by whatever means they could. But as these organizations—which included clubs, religious missions, labor movements, and widespread social movements—gathered strength and momentum, the meanings of manhood and womanhood were undergoing profound change. Studies of human sexuality emphasized the differences between “normal” and “abnormal” desires and behaviors. White women moved steadily into the paid labor force throughout the twentieth century, closing the employment gap with their African-American counterparts. At the same time, U.S. imperial ambitions created new opportunities for defining manhood on both a national and imperial stage. The exclusions of African-American men from public life, moreover, and the common depiction of their maleness as pathological and threatening to both white men and women, sustained a narrow racial portrait of masculinity. The twentieth century also saw the emergence of new sexual habits and gender expectations as each generation mobilized gender and sexual expression to fashion itself as modern: the Victorian ways of an older generation of suffragists gave way to the pleasure-seeking of the flapper; the domestic pressures on 1950s housewives produced the criticisms of third wave feminists; the stalwart “greatest generation” of World War II veterans found their values challenged by anti-war activists who refused the nation's claim on their military service. By the end of the twentieth century, definitions of marriage, family, reproduction, and even sexual identity itself all came into question.