Stewart-Winter, Spring 2012 Syllabus

HIST 26:510:554 / AMST 26:050:521


Class Location: Conklin 448

Class Meeting Time: Tuesdays 5:30-8:10PM


Professor Timothy Stewart-Winter

Office: 314 Conklin Hall

Office Hours: Tuesdays 2-4PM and by appointment




Gender is a central dimension of modern life, constantly present and endlessly contested, and a major analytic category in studies of modern U.S. culture and politics. This graduate seminar will explore a variety of topics, methods, and research questions in the history of men and women, sex and gender, emphasizing the politics of everyday life since the early twentieth century. Topics will include war and militarism; marriage and reproduction; sexual politics and sexual revolutions; social movements for suffrage, birth control, welfare rights, and workplace justice; and transsexuality and transgender politics.





Attendance and Participation:

As a graduate seminar, this course depends on your willingness to come to class having completed the assigned readings and ready to discuss them thoughtfully.  The expectation is that you will not miss class, and that you will be an active participant while also allowing your classmates to have their voices heard. If you have questions about how best to participate in class, please ask.



By noon on the day of each class, all students must post on Blackboard either a short reaction to the assigned reading, 1-2 paragraphs in length, or several short discussion questions sparked by the week’s readings.


Each week, one or two students (depending on enrollment) will be responsible for (1) preparing a short annotated bibliography, situating the book in the context of other related scholarship, and (2) facilitating our initial discussion by posing a couple of key questions for discussion. This bibliography should contain 5-6 entries, with 1-2 paragraphs summarizing, discussing, and assessing each entry as it relates to the others; it must be sent to me at least 24 hours before class (i.e., by 5:30pm on Monday), and posted on Blackboard by noon on the day of class.


Film Paper

Each student will choose either (1) a Hollywood movie released before about 1965, or (2) a recent Hollywood film that takes place in the the 1900-1965 period, and write a 5-7 page paper analyzing how gender is represented in the film. More detailed instructions will be distributed in class on February 14. A one-paragraph proposal for this paper (including your choice of film) is due on Friday, February 24. The paper is due on Friday, March 23.


Final Historiographical Essay

Each student will complete a 15-20 page historiographical paper, choosing one of several questions that will distributed later in the semester. It will be possible to substitute an original research paper stemming from material covered in this course, but only upon consultation with me and my subsequent approval. A one-paragraph proposal for this paper is due on Friday, April 13. The paper is due on Wednesday, May 9.



Attendance and participation: 50%

Written assignments: 50%





The following books are available for purchase at the Rutgers Bookstore (or will soon be), or elsewhere online.


  • Gail Bederman, Manliness and Civilization: A Cultural History of Gender and Race in the United States, 1880-1917(Chicago, 1995)
  • Nancy Cott, Public Vows: A History of Marriage and the Nation (Harvard, 2000)
  • Alice Kessler-Harris, In Pursuit of Equity: Women, Men, and the Quest for Economic Citizenship in 20th-Century America (Oxford, 2001)
  • Ruth Feldstein, Motherhood in Black and White: Race and Sex in American Liberalism, 1930-1965 (Cornell, 2000)
  • Joanne Meyerowitz, How Sex Changed: A History of Transsexuality in the United States (Harvard, 2002)
  • Elizabeth Fraterrigo, Playboy and the Making of the Good Life in Modern America (Oxford, 2009)
  • Jane Gerhard, Desiring Revolution: Second-Wave Feminism and the Rewriting of American Sexual Thought, 1920 to 1982 (Columbia, 2001)
  • Felicia Kornbluh, The Battle for Welfare Rights: Politics and Poverty in Modern America (Penn, 2007)
  • Beth Bailey, Sex in the Heartland (Harvard, 1999)
  • Natashy Zaretsky, No Direction Home: The American Family and the Fear of National Decline, 1968-1980 (North Carolina, 2007)
  • Mary Romero, Maid in the U.S.A. (Routledge, 1992)
  • David Valentine, Imagining Transgender: An Ethnography of a Category (Duke, 2007)


Assigned articles are available either via Blackboard under course information, or through Rutgers digital library resources (JSTOR, Project Muse, etc.). You must print out hard copies of articles and bring them to class. The course schedule and articles assigned are subject to change.





WEEK 1 – Tue, Jan 17



WEEK 2 – Tue, Jan 24

  • Jan Lewis, “The Republican Wife: Virtue and Seduction in the Early Republic,” William & Mary Quarterly 44:4 (Oct 1987), 689-721
  • Amy Dru Stanley, “Home Life and the Morality of the Market,” in The Market Revolution in America: Social, Political, and Religious Expressions, 1800-1880, ed. Melvyn Stokes and Stephen Conway (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1996), 74-96
  • Paula Baker, “The Domestication of Politics: Women and American Political Society, 1780-1920,” American Historical Review 89:3 (Jun 1984), 620-647
  • Joan Scott, “Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis,” American Historical Review 91:5 (Dec 1986), 1053-1075
  • Frank Costiglia, “‘Unceasing Pressure for Penetration’: Gender, Pathology, and Emotion in George Kennan’s Formation of the Cold War,” Journal of American History 83:4 (Mar 1997), 1309-1339
  • Cathy J. Cohen, “Punks, Bulldaggers, and Welfare Queens: The Radical Potential of Queer Politics?” GLQ 3:4 (Jan 1997), 437-465


WEEK 3 – Tue, Jan 31

  • Bederman, Manliness and Civilization
  • George Chauncey, introduction to Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940 (Basic, 1994), 1-31


WEEK 4 – Tue, Feb 7

  • Cott, Public Vows


WEEK 5 – Tue, Feb 14


  • Kessler-Harris, In Pursuit of Equity
  • Margot Canaday, “Building a Straight State: Sexuality and Social Citizenship under the 1944 G.I. Bill,” Journal of American History 90:3 (Dec 2003), 935–57


WEEK 6 – Tue, Feb 21

  • Feldstein, Motherhood in Black and White




WEEK 7 – Tue, Feb 28

  • Meyerowitz, How Sex Changed


WEEK 8 – Tue, Mar 6

  • Fraterrigo, Playboy and the Making of the Good Life in Modern America
  • Whitney Strub, “The Clearly Obscene and the Queerly Obscene: Heteronormativity and Obscenity in Cold War Los Angeles,” American Quarterly 60:2 (Jun 2008), 373-398




WEEK 9 – Tue, Mar 20

  • Kornbluh, The Battle for Welfare Rights


Fri, Mar 23 – FILM PAPER DUE


WEEK 10 – Tue, Mar 27

  • Gerhard, Desiring Revolution


WEEK 11 – Tue, Apr 3

  • Bailey, Sex in the Heartland
  • Paula A. Treichler, “AIDS, Homophobia, and Biomedical Discourse: An Epidemic of Signification,” October 43 (Winter 1987), 31-70


WEEK 12 – Tue, Apr 10

  • Zaretsky, No Direction Home


Thu, Apr 12, 9:30AM-4:30PM – Conference on domestic labor, commemmorating the 20th anniversary of Mary Romero’s book Maid in the USA, Essex Room, Robeson Center




WEEK 13 – Tue, Apr 17

  • Romero, Maid in the USA


WEEK 14 – Tue, Apr 24

  • Valentine, Imagining Transgender