History 3180: History of American Women

Clemson University, Fall 2022

Course Details

Fall 2022
Clemson University
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday

Meets in person unless noted otherwise.

3 credit hours.
Meets: 11:15-12:05pm
Location: Hardin Hall 101

Instructor Info

Instructor: Dr. Amanda Regan
aeregan (at) clemson.edu

Pronouns: She/Her

Office Location: Hardin Hall 004

Office Hours: My office hours are flexible and you can schedule a time to meet with me. Make an appointment for Office Hours here.

Course Overview

Today, it may seem, women are more publicly visible than they have ever been. We have a female vice president, several women sit on the Supreme Court, and women are the executives of major corporations, superheroes, scientists. This course will chart how we got here and what has changed for women as well as the challenges that continue to face women in our society and culture.

Beginning in early America and ending in the modern day, we will endeavor to understand the social, political, economic, and cultural histories of women in the United States. Approaching U.S. history as women’s history, we will examine how gender has shaped key events in American history such as the formation of the early republic, reform movements, slavery, war and race relations. We’ll work together to answer questions such as: How did women’s lives vary throughout different eras in history? How did women shape their lives? What does it mean for a woman to act “politically” and how have women attempted to influence their world in non-traditional ways? How does U.S. history differ when viewed from a woman’s perspective and why is this a valuable endeavor?

Searching for the “hidden figures” in American history we’ll attempt to recover the voices of those who may have been overshadowed. We will also approach this history with an awareness that women are not a monolithic group and we will explore the ways that women have been divided by class, race, and ethnicity.

Learning Objectives:
  • Students will leave this course with an understanding of how women and gender have shaped key events in the history of the United States.
  • Students will recognize the influence that class, race, and ethnicity have had on women’s varying experiences in American history.
  • Students will engage with primary and secondary sources relating to women’s history and learn to question the silences in the historical record.
  • Students will develop research and analytical skills and use these skills to develop an online exhibit about a person or theme within American women’s history.
Required Texts:

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge for everyone and we will need to continue to deal with it throughout the Fall semester. Our class is scheduled to be fully in person in Fall 2022.

Our class will take place not only in the middle of a global pandemic but also in the midst of yet another rise in COVID-19 cases due to new variants. There is a possibility some of you may miss class due to isolation/quarantine or illness. Please know that I want you to succeed in this course and I will make every possible accommodation should you need to miss class due to a pandemic related issue. In order to be flexible as circumstances surrounding the pandemic continue to evolve, we will deal with potential absences, make up assignments, and other exceptions or accommodations on a case-by-case basis as we need to.

It is very important that if you do need to miss class for any amount of time due to isolation/quarantine, illness, or any other reason (covid related or not) that you let me know using the notification of absences module on the Clemson University website.

Assignments & Grades

Grades will be based on the assignments listed below.

Assignment Percentage of Grade
Participation 10%
Reading Response Posts 25%
Paper 25%
Women’s History Digital Exhibit 40%

  • Participation (10%): This category encompasses participation in class lectures, activities, and discussions. Our time in class is the opportunity to actively engage with the material we are exploring. Participation during class is crucial because it is an important avenue for learning. I encourage you to be active in every class session. This participation grade serves as a way to credit you with the effort and work you are putting into the class - both in and out of the classroom. I recognize that we all have different levels of comfort regarding speaking in class. Participation can take numerous forms such as speaking to the whole group, working in smaller groups during class, and completing in-class activities.
    • Although attendance is not formally graded, it is crucial to earning a good participation grade. You can only participate fully if you are in regular attendance and you cannot pass this class without coming to class regularly. That being said, we are in the midst of a pandemic and I do not want students who feel ill to come to class. If you any symptoms at all, please DO NOT come to class and get in contact with me to schedule make up work. You will not be penalized for missing class due to illness. If you do need to miss class (for any reason) I ask that you please report your absence through the university’s notification of absences module. This helps the office of Student Advocacy track and identify students who may need extra help and it sends me an official notice of your absence.
  • Reading Responses (30%): Throughout the semester you will complete numerous short reading responses. There are two main goals for these responses. 1) To encourage you to think critically about the readings. 2) To allow you to demonstrate that you’ve been keeping up with the readings. Typically, you will have a response each week and they are due before the start of class on Friday. Each response should be at least 300 words or as long as you need to address the guiding questions. Remember, the goal of these is to demonstrate to me that you’ve not only read the material but that you’ve also thought about it within the context of course lectures and the material from previous weeks. Guiding questions for each response will be posted in Canvas and at the end of the semester I will drop your lowest grade in this category.
  • Paper (25%): You will write a paper based on Jill Lepore’s The Secret History of Wonder Woman. Your paper should be 3-4 pages and it should analyze Lepore’s work. You’ll receive further instructions and a prompt in class. Papers are due Friday, November 11th by 11:59pm.
  • Women’s History Digital Exhibit (40%): Together as a class we will build a website that features digital exhibits about important people, events, and themes within women’s history. Each student will choose a topic and build a digital exhibit composed of primary sources and a historical narrative about the topic. Further details, potential topics, and exhibit requirements will be provided in a handout in class. Although this assignment isn’t due until the end of the semester, your grade will be broken up into several milestones across the semester to help you pace yourself and your work. These milestones include:
    • An exhibit proposal (5% due October 3rd by 11:59pm)
    • First Draft of your exhibit and Peer Review of a Classmates Exhibit (5% due November 28 by 11:59pm)
    • Class Presentation of your exhibit (5% December 13th at 8am)
    • The Final Exhibit (25%, due December 13th at 8am)
Grading System

Final grades will follow Clemson’s percentage-based grading scale. Please note that I will round up only if you fall within .5% of the next grade up. So, for example, I will round up a grade that is a 89.51% or higher. Please do not ask me to round your grade up if you don’t fall within that range.

  • A: 90-100%
  • B: 80-90%
  • C: 70-79%
  • D: 60-69%
  • F: 0-59%

Policies & Procedures

Please note that this syllabus may be updated online as necessary. The online version of this syllabus is the only authoritative version.

Late Work

Due dates for all assignments are listed on the course syllabus and in the schedule for the class. They are also posted on Canvas. Unless otherwise stated, assignments are due on those days. If you submit an assignment late, I will deduct 10% for every day that it is late. Assignments submitted more than 7 days after the due date will not be accepted. However, sometimes shit happens – and I understand that. We’re in the middle of a pandemic, life is stressful, and I believe in flexibility. Therefore, if you need an extension on an assignment just ask. For most assignments, I’m more than likely to grant it. My only criteria is that you ask ahead of the due date. You can exercise the extension clause once during the semester. If you are out with COVID for an extended period and need to miss an assignment, we’ll make special arrangements catered to your circumstances.

Technology in Class

You are welcome to use a personal device such as a laptop, phone, or tablet to take notes during class. You may find it useful to have the course readings accessible during class. However, if the device becomes a distraction and you are doing other things on it I will ask you to take notes by hand instead.

In at least one class session we’ll use an online tool to learn to make timelines. You’ll need a laptop or tablet for this class however if you don’t have access to one talk to me before class and we’ll set you up with a rental from the library.

A note on laptops for taking notes. While you are welcome to use your laptop to take notes in class, I would encourage you not to do so. Studies have found that students who take notes by hand are better able to conceptually recall information later compared to those who typed notes. During class you may want to use your laptop to open the lecture slides at your desk, pull up the readings, etc but I’d encourage you to refrain from using your laptop to type notes.

Classroom Conduct

In order to learn, we must be open to the views of people different from ourselves. In the time we share together over the semester, please honor the uniqueness of your fellow classmates and appreciate the opportunity we have to learn from one another. Please respect each others’ opinions and refrain from personal attacks or demeaning comments of any kind. Anyone who engages in hostile or antagonistic rhetoric will be asked to leave the classroom immediately.

Academic Integrity

As members of the Clemson University community, we have inherited Thomas Green Clemson’s vision of this institution as a “high seminary of learning.” Fundamental to this vision is a mutual commitment to truthfulness, honor, and responsibility, without which we cannot earn the trust and respect of others. Furthermore, we recognize that academic dishonesty detracts from the value of a Clemson degree. Therefore, we shall not tolerate lying, cheating, or stealing in any form.

All infractions of academic dishonesty by undergraduates must be reported to Undergraduate Studies for resolution through that office. In cases of plagiarism instructors may use the Plagiarism Resolution Form.

See the Undergraduate Academic Integrity Policy website for additional information and the current catalogue for the policy.

Please keep in mind that if you are copying and pasting text that you did not write yourself, you might be plagiarizing. If you are using copied text, whether pasted or retyped manually, you must be sure to accurately cite the information. Text is accurately cited when: 1) pasted text is surrounded by quotation marks or offset as a block quote and 2) the pasted text is attributed to its author and source and 3) the pasted text is cited in a footnote, endnote, or bibliography.

Student Accessibility Services

Clemson University values the diversity of our student body as a strength and a critical component of our dynamic community. Students with disabilities or temporary injuries/conditions may require accommodations due to barriers in the structure of facilities, course design, technology used for curricular purposes, or other campus resources. Students who experience a barrier to full access to this class should let the instructor know and make an appointment to meet with a staff member in Student Accessibility Services as soon as possible. You can make an appointment by calling 864-656-6848, by emailing studentaccess@lists.clemson.edu, or by visiting Suite 239 in the Academic Success Center building. Appointments are strongly encouraged – drop-ins will be seen if at all possible, but there could be a significant wait due to scheduled appointments. Students who have accommodations are strongly encouraged to request, obtain and send these to their instructors through their AIM portal as early in the semester as possible so that accommodations can be made in a timely manner. It is the student’s responsibility to follow this process each semester.
You can access further information at the Student Accessibility website. Other information is at the university’s Accessibility Portal.

Commitment to Diversity

“Clemson University aspires to create a diverse community that welcomes people of different races, cultures, ages, genders, sexual orientation, religions, socioeconomic levels, political perspectives, abilities, opinions, values and experiences.” - The Clemson University Title IX statement regarding non-discrimination

Clemson University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, pregnancy, national origin, age, disability, veteran’s status, genetic information or protected activity in employment, educational programs and activities, admissions and financial aid. This includes a prohibition against sexual harassment and sexual violence as mandated by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. This Title IX policy is located on the Campus Life website. Ms. Alesia Smith is the Clemson University Title IX Coordinator, and the Executive Director of Equity Compliance. Her office is located at 223 Brackett Hall, 864.656.0620. Remember, email is not a fully secured method of communication and should not be used to discuss Title IX issues.

Emergency Preparedness

Emergency procedures have been posted in all buildings and on all elevators. Students should be reminded to review these procedures for their own safety. All students and employees should be familiar with guidelines from the Clemson Police Department. Visit here for information about safety.

Clemson University is committed to providing a safe campus environment for students, faculty, staff, and visitors. As members of the community, we encourage you to take the following actions to be better prepared in case of an emergency:


Note: Unless stated otherwise, all reading should be completed before class for the day that it is listed.


  • Wednesday, August 24
  • Friday, August 26
    • In class activity and discussion

Colonial Worlds

  • Monday, August 29
    • Reading:
      • DuBois & Dumenil, 48-70.
      • Hall, Chapter 1
  • Wednesday, August 31
    • Reading:
      • DuBois & Dumenil, “Primary Sources: Newspaper Advertisements,” 88-89.
      • Hall, Chapter 2
  • Friday, September 2
    • In Class Activity

Revolutionary Women

  • Monday, September 5
    • Reading:
      • DuBois & Dumenil, 102-133.
      • Hall, Chapters 3-5.
  • Wednesday, September 7
  • Friday, September 9
    • In class activity/discussion.

Women in Antebellum American

  • Monday, September 12

    • Reading:
      • DuBois & Dumenil, 156-174
      • DuBois & Dumenil, Primary Sources, “Godey’s Ladys Book,” 204.
      • Hall, Chapters 7-8
  • Wednesday, September 14

    • Guest Speaker, Dr. Sara Collini in class to discuss enslaved Midwives.
    • Reading:
      • DuBois & Dumenil, 175-185.
      • DuBois & Dumenil, “Mothering under Slavery,” 196-203.
      • Hall, Chapters 9-10.
  • Friday, September 16

    • Workshop: Digital Exhibits in Omeka. Bring your laptop.

Reform, Expansion, & Civil War

  • Monday, September 19
    • Reading:
      • DuBois & Dumenil, 222-248.
      • Lepore, Chapter 1-5.
  • Wednesday, September 21
    • Reading:
      • DuBois & Dumenil, 248-255.
      • DuBois & Dumenil, Primary Sources: “Women on the Civil War Battlefields,” 273.
  • Friday, September 23
    • Dubois, Primary Sources: “Women’s Rights Partnership,” 266.

Reconstruction & the Gilded Age

  • Monday, September 26
    • Reading:
      • DuBois & Dumenil, 290-302
      • DuBois & Dumenil, Primary Sources: “Ida B. Wells ‘Race Woman’”, 325-330.
      • Lepore, Chapter 6-9.
  • Wednesday, September 28
  • Friday, September 30
    • In class activity/discussion

Progressive Era Politics

  • Monday, October 3
    • Reading:
      • DuBois & Dumenil, 418-426
      • Lepore, Chapters 10-14
    • Exhibit Proposals DUE in Canvas by 11:59pm
  • Wednesday, October 5
    • Reading:
      • DuBois & Dumenil, 427-433
      • Maureen A. Flanagan, “Gender and Urban Political Reform: The City Club and the Woman’s City Club of Chicago in the Progressive Era” in The American Historical Review (available on Canvas).
  • Friday, October 7
    • In class activity/discussion

Suffrage & Feminism

  • Monday, October 10
    • Reading:
      • DuBois & Dumenil, 434-440
      • DuBois & Dumenil, Primary Sources: “Parades, Picketing, and Power: Women in Public Space”
      • Lepore, Chapters 15-20
  • Wednesday, October 12
    • Reading:
      • DuBois & Dumenil, 440-453
      • DuBois & Dumenil, Reading into the Past: Margaret Sanger, Women and Birth Control, 442-3.
  • Friday, October 14
    • Viewing and Discussion, Iron Jawed Angels

The “Roaring Twenties”

The Great Depression

  • Monday, October 24
    • Reading:
      • Lepore, Chapters 25-28.
      • DuBois & Dumenil, 495-500.
      • DuBois & Dumenil, Reading into the Past: Mary McLeod Bethune, Letter to President Roosevelt (1940)
  • Wednesday, October 26
    • Reading:
      • Lepore, Chapter 29
      • DuBois & Dumenil, Reading into the Past: Genora Johnson Dollinger and the General Motors Sit-Down Strike (1936-37), 504-6.
      • DuBois & Dumenil, Primary Sources: Dorothea Lange Photographs Farm Women of the Great Depression, 535-541.
  • Friday, October 28
    • In class activity/discussion

Women in World War II

  • Monday, October 31
    • Reading:
      • Lepore, Chapter 30 and Epilogue.
      • DuBois & Dumenil, 508-519
      • DuBois & Dumenil, Voices of “Rosie the Riveter,” 542-548.
  • Wednesday, November 2
    • Reading:
      • Primary Sources from the Office of War Information - to be provided on Canvas.
  • Friday, November 4
    • In class discussion/activity.

Post-War Family Life and the Problem with No Name

  • Monday, November 7
    • Fall Break
  • Wednesday, November 9
    • Reading:
      • DuBois & Dumenil, 550-571
      • Coontz, Author’s Note, Introduction, and Chapters 1-2
      • Friedan, The Feminine Mystique (excerpt on Canvas)
  • Friday, November 11
    • In class discussion/activity
    • Lepore Papers Due by 11:59pm

Civil Rights

  • Monday, November 14
    • Reading:
      • Coontz, Chapters 3-4.
      • DuBois & Dumenil, 572-80 and 584-586
      • DuBois & Dumenil, Reading into the Past: Casey Hayden & Mary King, Women in the Movement, 580-83
      • DuBois & Dumenil, Primary Sources: Women in the Civil Rights Movement, 611-619
  • Wednesday, November 16
    • Reading:
      • DuBois & Dumenil, 623-643
      • DuBois & Dumenil, Primary Sources: Women’s Liberation, 672-686
  • Friday, November 18
    • In class discussion/activity

Civil Rights (cont’d)

  • Monday, November 21
    • Reading:
      • Coontz, Chapters 5-7.
  • Wednesday, November 23 & Friday, November 25
    • Thanksgiving Break

Feminism, Equality, & Backlash

  • Monday, November 28
    • Reading:
      • Coontz, Chapters 8-9
      • DuBois & Dumenil, 644-659.
      • DuBois & Dumenil, Primary Sources: Feminism & the Drive for Equality in the Workplace
    • Exhibit Draft DUE by 11:59pm
  • Wednesday, November 30
  • Friday, December 2
    • Exhibit Peer Reviews

The 90s and Now

Final Exam Week

  • Tuesday, December 13 8-10am
    • Exhibits DUE by 8am.
    • In Class Exhibit Presentations