Revolutionary Women

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Moving from 19th-century struggles against slavery to recent uprisings against apartheid and global capitalism, this seminar explores women’s relationships to revolutions that have shaped the modern world. Although the course focuses largely on US history, we will also consider developments in Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. Topics include the revolutionary work of individuals such as Harriet Tubman, Aleksandra Kollontai, Yuri Kochiyama, Nawal El-Saadawi, Mamphela Ramphele, and Rigoberta Menchu; unsung women’s essential contributions to revolutionary movements around the globe; the ways in which revolutions have addressed—or failed to address—women’s demands for equality and self-determination; and the emergence of independent women’s movements within revolutionary contexts. Reading includes memoir, fiction, and political treatises, as well as historical scholarship. Open to graduate students, seniors, and juniors; open to sophomores with permission of the instructor.