This course has the intersecting goals of surveying the history of women in the United states from the colonial period to 1870 and of considering how discourses of gender framed major issues such as colonization, nationalism, slavery, political ideologies, reform, race and class consciousness during this period. How does thinking about gender make our historical understanding of U.S. history during this period more nuanced; and how (if at all) does it challenge standard interpretations and the cultural assumptions with which we approach historical research itself? Throughout the semester, we will also be thinking about the peculiarities of women's history as a historical field. In what ways, if at all, can we talk about women as a historical group? If women constitute a problematic subject for study, is II gender" an all-encompassing substitute, or do the two subjects provide us with very distinct sorts of insights
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