Activists and Intellectuals: A Cultural and Political History of Women in the United States, 1775-1975

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Through activism and organizing of all kinds—through fiction, memoir, poetry, and cultural criticism; through dance, visual art, and sport—American women have expressed their ideas and their desires, their values and their politics. This course will approach US history through the words and actions of all kinds of American women from the late 18th century through the late-20th century. Using a variety of primary sources, mixed with histories narrow and broad, we will analyze the ways in which women worked to intervene in the cultural and political world. Themes will include race, class, ethnicity, immigration and migration, sexuality, and, of course, gender. This is not a classic survey but, rather, readings in the cultural history of the nation framed with political and social history.