Europeanwomensyllabus2010 - 1 European Womens History Fall...

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1 European Women’s History Fall 2010, MW 11:20-12:50 HST 239, section 101 Instructor: Prof. Lisa Z. Sigel Office: Lincoln Park SAC439, x 1773-325-4723 Hours: Monday before and after class, Wednesday before class and by appointment. In this course we will examine the conditions that influenced women’s lives and explore how women negotiated the changing circumstances of European history. The enormous transformations in European society between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries include the French Revolution, the industrial revolution, the development of mass politics and mass society, the expansion of urban centers, the arrival of consumer culture, new gender and sexual identities, the first and second world wars, and the growth of the welfare state. These changes affected all Europeans whether they were peasants, members of the working class, the middling classes, or the aristocracy. However, these changes often affected women quite differently than they did men. The social expectations placed on women and their place in the center of the evolving family in many ways limited their ability to act equally during these “big events.” This inequality does not mean that women did not act. In fact, women have been central both to public and private life, productive and reproductive labor throughout the period. (Actually, women have been alive and kicking throughout history.) Women’s bodies, minds, and labors, though often in hidden ways, have allowed these enormous changes to occur. We will explore the ways that women lived and contributed to these “big events” by examining the ways that women fit into the class structure, the family structure, and the state structure between 1750 and 1950. We will explore when, how, and why women acted, including the manner in which they exploited the divisions of society for their own benefits. Lastly, we will discuss approaches to women’s history and evaluate whether traditional historical methodologies work in excavating the lives of those who have been “hidden from history.” Understanding the Past Learning Domain Information Note: This course carries Liberal Studies credit in the Understanding the Past Learning Domain. It belongs to the geographical category of Europe. Students may not take more than one U. P. course in any given geographical category. The central U. P. learning goal is to help students become literate about the past and the methods used to understand the past. DePaul considers that this learning goal is achieved if students are able to demonstrate the following learning outcomes in their written work, exams, and/or contributions to class discussions: that they have acquired knowledge of prehistoric or historical events, themes, and ideas; 1. that they can reason through analysis, evaluation, and/or synthesis of a range of primary and secondary source evidence; 2. that they understand that there are different perspectives on the past, whether those be historical or
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Europeanwomensyllabus2010 - 1 European Womens History Fall...

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