Political Economy of Women
Sarah Lawrence College, 2017
This syllabus was originally taught in Fall 2017
Instructor: Kimberly Christensen
What determines the status of women in different communities? What role is played by women’s labor (inside and outside of the home)? By cultural norms regarding sexuality and reproduction? By racial/ethnic identity? By religious traditions? After some brief theoretical grounding, this course will address these questions by examining the economic, political, social, and cultural histories of women in the various racial/ethnic groups that make up the US today.
Schedule of Topics and Assignments:
I. Introduction; Conceptual framework for the course
II.A. Gender and Economics in the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) Confederation
II.B. Gender and Sexuality in the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) Confederation
III. White women in the colonial U.S. political economy
IV. African American women under slavery in the U.S. South
V. White women in the transition to capitalism in New England: Salem witchcraft trials
VII. Black and white women in the abolitionist movement; The birth of the US women's movement
VIII. Mexican American/Chicana women in the Southwest
IX. Women’s labor and anti-poverty activists
X. The U.S. economy in the late 1800s/early 1900s: The impact on women's economic roles
XI. Women in the Great Depression
XII. Women in the Great Depression vs. The Great Recession
XIII. World War II: Impact on women's economic and social roles
XIV. Feminism at mid-century
XV. The LGBT Movement from mid-century
XVI.A. Chinese American Women
XVI.B. Women from the Indian Sub-Continent
XVI.C. Women from Predominantly Muslim Countries
XVII. Puerto Rican women on the island and the mainland
XVIII. The Growth of the 20th c. Women's Movement(s)
XIX. Global feminism
- Amott, Teresa and Julie Mattheai, Race, Gender, and Work: A Multi-Cultural Economic History of Women in the U.S., 2nd ed., South End Press, 1999, ISBN 978-0896085374.
- Ruiz, Vicki, Unequal Sisters: An Inclusive Reader in US Women’s History, 4th ed., Routledge, 2007, ISBN 978-0415958417.
- Kessler-Harris, Alice, Out to Work: A History of Wage-Earning Women in the US, Oxford Univ. Press, 2003. ISBN 978-0195157093.
- Davis, Angela, Women, Race, and Class, 1983, Vintage. ISBN 978-0394713519.
- Evans, Sara, Personal Politics: The Roots of Women’s Liberation in the Civil Rights Movement and the New Left, 1980, Vintage, ISBN 978-0394742281.
- Hochschild, Arlie, The Second Shift: Working Families and the Revolution at Home, Penguin, 2012. ISBN 978-0143120339.
- Cobble, Dorothy Sue, The Other Women’s Movement: Workplace Justice and Social Rights in Modern America, Princeton Univ. Press, 2004. ISBN 978-0691123684.
- Eisenstein, Hester, Feminism Seduced, How Global Elites Use Women’s Labor and Ideas to Exploit the World, Paradigm Press, 2009. ISBN 978-1594516603.
- Stansell, Christine, The Feminist Promise: 1792 to the Present, Modern Library, 2011. ISBN 978-0812972023.
- Rosen, Ruth, The World Split Open: How the Modern Women’s Movement Changed America, Penguin, 2006, ISBN 978-0140097191.
- Lewis, Reina, and Sara Mills, Feminist Postcolonial Theory: A Reader, Routledge, 1999.
- McCann, Carole, and Seung-Kyung Kim, Feminist Theory Reader: Local and Global Perspectives, 3rd. ed., Routledge, 2013. ISBN 978-0415521024.
- Allen, Robert, Reluctant Reformers: Racism & Social Reform Movements in the US, Anchor Books, 1975.
- Ehrenreich, Barbara & Arlie Hochschild, Global Women: Nannies, Maids & Sex Workers in the New Economy, Holt, 2004. ISBN 978-0805075090.
- Karlsen, Carol, The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Witchcraft in Colonial New England, W.W.Norton, 1998. ISBN 978- 0393317596.
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Comment from our editors:
This syllabus is part of the Syllabi collection on International Association for Feminist Economics. This course is suitable for undergraduate students.