Tuesdays & Thursdays, 11:00 a.m. to 11:50 a.m., E164 Lagomarcino


      Fridays, 8 a.m. to 8:50 a.m., 25 Ross Hall 

      Tuesdays, 8 a.m. to 8:50 a.m., 120 Ross Hall

      Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 9:50 a.m., 205 Bessey Hall 

      Thursdays, 12:10 p.m. to 1 p.m., 27 Ross Hall 

Amy Bix:

      Office hours: Tuesdays, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Wednesdays, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.; plus other   

                             times by appointment;

      Office: 633 Ross Hall, 294-0122

      E-mail: abix@iastate.edu

T.A.-  Megan Birk,  612 Ross Hall





        This course will survey social, economic, intellectual, and political aspects of women's changing place in American life from the colonial era to the present.  Issues covered include women's employment, education, political position, concepts of sexuality and gender roles, family life and the changing nature of the home.





        This course includes two full-group meetings per week, plus one weekly small-group discussion section, attendance at which is mandatory.  Sections will include discussions of assigned reading, viewing of films, and reviews for examinations, among other activities.  Sections are also opportunities to ask questions about course procedures and about readings or lecture material.

        There will be three exams in this course (two during the semester itself, plus a final). All students, including graduating seniors, are required to take all exams, including the final. Exams cover material presented in lectures, discussions, readings, and audio-visual material. Students must bring blue books and a pen to use on exams - points will be deducted for exams written in pencil or not in blue books!  Standard ISU policies on academic dishonesty will be applied. Students are responsible for ensuring they complete all exams by the proper dates. Any exam not completed by semester's end will automatically convert to a zero, and failure to take the final risks course failure. Students experiencing difficulty should first consult the professor and T.A., but may also wish to use ISU's Academic Learning Lab or Tutoring Services.  Before the first semester exam, we will distribute handouts giving helpful hints on how to study and prepare.

        Your grade in this class will also depend on a series of brief in-class quizzes.  During our Tuesday/Thursday lectures, on twelve occasions throughout the semester (unannounced ahead of time), we will pause for a five-minute quiz. These closed-book, closed-note quizzes will cover material from the current or previous week's reading assignment and from recent lectures.  The format will be short and simple, roughly five questions per quiz, usually in true/false, multiple choice, or fill-in-the-blank format. Quizzes may turn up at the beginning of a lecture period, the end, or in the middle.  There will be no make-up for any quiz missed, regardless of the reason; missed quizzes will receive a zero.  However, at the end of the semester, you will be permitted to drop your two lowest quiz scores; the remaining ten will amount to your total quiz grade.

       Each week's lecture includes overhead transparencies listing key concepts, names and dates, quotes, and other material. To save you frantic scribbling during class, this material will be put on the web (exact web address to be announced).  We will try to post each lecture's material on the web ahead of time (barring computer problems, etc.); some students find it useful to print copies and bring them to lecture, as an aid in taking notes. Please remember: having webnotes is no substitute for attending lecture yourself and taking your own notes on material covered they contain essential facts, but are NOT a full transcript of information and ideas!





1.  Class participation - 10% of final grade:

    a.  Attendance;

    b.  Constructive participation in class discussion and weekly section meetings; evidence of having

         completed reading assignments; and other section activities;


2.  In-class quizzes total quiz grade equals 10% of final grade.


3.  Two examinations (dates below) - 30% each:

    Each exam will be in two parts:

    Part I:  in-class, closed-book, short writing questions;

    Part II: take-home, open-book longer essay question;


4.  Final examination - 20% of final grade:

    Combination of short and long writing questions, closed-book, in-class.





These books can be purchased in paperback (some available used) at university bookstores.  Copies should also be available through library reserve.

1.  Woloch, Nancy; Women and the American Experience, THIRD EDITION; (McGraw Hill, 2000)

2.  Kerber, Linda and Jane Sherron De Hart, eds., Women's America: Refocusing the Past, FIFTH   

     EDITION; (Oxford, 2000)

3.  Norton, Mary Beth and Ruth M. Alexander, eds., Major Problems in American Women's History,   

     THIRD EDITION;(Houghton Mifflin, 2003)

Short additional readings may occasionally be handed out in class.





Tuesday, August 26 and Thursday, August 28 -

Course introduction; women in early colonial society;




Tuesday, September 2 and Thursday, September 4

Women in the Revolutionary era;

   ASSIGNMENT for week of 9/2:  

   - Woloch, p. 1-47; Kerber, p. 3-60 and 73-87;



Tuesday, September 9 and Thursday, September 11 -

Women and economic life in the early 1800s: farms and factories;

   ASSIGNMENT for week of 9/9:

   - Woloch, p. 52-96; Kerber, p.107-120; Norton, p. 61-100;



Tuesday, September 16 and Thursday, September 18 -

Legal rights and social reform;

   ASSIGNMENT for week of 9/16: 

   - Woloch, p. 103-153 and 159-174; Kerber, p.121-127 and 138-165;  Norton, p. 101-115;



Tuesday, September 23 and Thursday, September 25 -

Women in the Civil War era;

   ASSIGNMENT for week of 9/23:

   - Woloch, p.175-205; Kerber, p. 193-210 and 214-229; Norton, p. 133-138, 146-159, and 161-185;

   EXAMINATION #1 coming up on Tuesday, September 30 !



Tuesday, September 30 and Thursday, October 2 -

Separate spheres?: women's education, work, and organizations;

EXAMINATION #1 on Tuesday, September 30;

   ASSIGNMENT for week of 9/30:

-     Woloch, p. 209-254; Kerber, p. 229-238; Norton, p. 213-229 and 236-244;



Tuesday, October 7 and Thursday, October 9 -

The fight for suffrage;

   ASSIGNMENT for week of 10/7:

- Woloch, p. 260-306;  Kerber, 168-180;



Tuesday, October 14 and Thursday, October 16 -

Suffrage, radicalism, and WWI;

   ASSIGNMENT for week of 10/14: 

   - Woloch, p. 314-349; Kerber, p. 241-270 and 283-292; Norton, p.  246-262;



Tuesday, October 21 and Thursday, October 23 -

1920s: Taking the flapper seriously;

   ASSIGNMENT for week of 10/21:

   - Woloch, p. 349-387; Kerber, p. 294-308, 312-343 and 355-363;  Norton, p. 292-296;



Tuesday, October 28 and Thursday, October 30 -

Women in the Great Depression and New Deal political life;

   ASSIGNMENT for week of 10/28:

-     Woloch, p. 388-426 and 432-462; Kerber, p. 377-385; Norton p. 329-348;

EXAMINATION #2 coming up on Tuesday, November 4!



Tuesday, November 4 and Thursday, November 6 -

Rosie the Riveter: WWII women overseas and on the homefront;

EXAMINATION #2 on Tuesday, November 4;

   ASSIGNMENT for week of 11/4:

   - Woloch, p. 462-485; Kerber, p. 401-425 and 436-447; Norton, p.  358-366 and 384-392;



Tuesday, November 11 and Thursday, November 13 -

1950s: Cold War domestic ideals;

   ASSIGNMENT for week of 11/11:

   - Woloch, p. 492-519; Kerber, p. 448-453; Norton, p. 394-403 and 408-417;



Tuesday, November 18 and Thursday, November 20

1960s: youth culture, civil rights, and activism;

   ASSIGNMENT for week of 11/18:

   - Kerber, p. 462-506; Norton, p. 427-456.



Tuesday, November 25 and Thursday, November 27 no class


Tuesday, December 2 and Thursday, December 4 -

1970s: feminism and women at work;

   ASSIGNMENT for week of 12/2:

   - Woloch, p. 519-543; Kerber, p. 508-570;



Tuesday, December 9 and Thursday, December 11 -

1980s and 1990s: backlash? and century's end;

   ASSIGNMENT for week of 12/9:

   - Woloch, p. 550-597; Kerber, p. 580-615; Norton, p. 476-491;



Week of December 15 -

FINAL EXAMINATION WEEK FINAL EXAM at time to be announced.