Sarah Lawrence College
Prof. Elisabeth Perry Spring 1995 North 4 M, Th 11-12:30 ext. 2402 or 2405 PAC #1
NOTE: this journal is NOT your reading notes! If you take notes, I can only read your comments. If you keep comments and notes in the same journal, that's fine, but please distinguish between them in some way, e.g., with brackets.
3. Class papers, attendance, and participation. There will be 3 short papers: the first, comparing Looking Backward and Herland; the second on a theme in Babbitt; the third, discussing in what ways the 'twenties continued or broke with the traditions and ideas of previous decades. Due dates will be announced.
Secondary sources/textbooks: Nell Painter, Standing at Armageddon: The United States, 1877-1919 (1987). William Leuchtenburg, The Perils of Prosperity, 1914-32 (1958). Thomas Schlereth, Victorian America: Transformations in Everyday Life 1876-1915 (1991). Alan Kraut, The Huddled Masses: The Immigrant in American Society, 1880-1921 (1982). Robyn Muncy, Creating a Female Dominion in American Reform (1991).
Primary sources: Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward 2000-1887 (1888). Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Herland (1915). Ellen Fitzpatrick, ed., Muckraking: Three Landmark Articles. Jane Addams, Twenty Years at Hull House (1910). Sinclair Lewis, Babbitt (1922). Walter Lippmann, Drift and Mastery (1914). Helen and Robert Lynd, Middletown (1929).
Jan. 23: Introductions, General discussion of "what is history"? Please come to the first class with a 1-2 pp. "thought piece" on the following topic: "what is history?" Here are some possible definitions or comments about the nature of history that you might think about as you write: "History is what happened in the past." "History is an art." "History is a science." "History is art and science." "Every generation rewrites its history."
Jan. 26: On the Brink of the Reform Era Read Bellamy, Looking Backward - think about: in writing this vision of the future, what is the author protesting about in his present time (1887)?
Jan. 30-Feb. 13: Period Overview--the Progressive Era Nell Painter, Standing at Armageddon Think about: what characterizes the work of this historian? What values and interests guide her principles of selection? Do you perceive a particular thesis or set of arguments in the way she presents the history of this era? How does she define "progressivism"?
To Feb. 20: From Victorianism to "Modernity"--The Nature of Everyday Life Thomas Schlereth, Victorian America Think about: what is "Victorianism"? What is changing between 1890 and 1915?
Feb. 24: Herland vs. Hisland Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Herland Think about: 1) With what assumptions about a) human nature, and b) the environment, does Gilman start her utopia? 2) Why does Gilman focus on WORK and MOTHERHOOD? Due: Feb. 27--750 word paper comparing some aspect of Bellamy's and Gilman's utopias.
March 2: The "Woman" Question Anne & Andrew Scott, abridged article from One-Half the People (handed out in previous class).
March 6-16: Women & Reform in the Progressive Era Muncy, Creating a Female Dominion in American Reform, chs. 1, 2. Think about: how do these readings alter your views of progressivism from what you read in Painter?
March 9: Addams, Twenty Years at Hull House, first 100 pp. March 13: Muncy, ch. 3, and next 100 pp. of Addams. March 16: finish Addams.
During Spring Break: Immigration Read Kraut, The Huddled Masses: The Immigrant in American Society, 1880-1921, entire. This will prepare you for the visit to Ellis Island on April 3. Discussion questions: What is the "thesis" of this book? Why did the immigrants come? What was their experience like? How did the U.S. government and its citizens react to their coming? What is the "assimilation" debate and how do you react to it?
April 6-10: The Muckrakers Read Ellen Fitzpatrick, ed., Muckraking: Three Landmark Articles, 1-59, by the 6th; finish it by the 10th. Think about: what is the place of the muckrakers in the development of Progressivism?
April 13: Drift & Mastery Read Walter Lippmann, Drift and Mastery (1914), intro & part One by today, the rest by April 17. For Monday, write a "thought piece" on: is the book an ultimate synthesis of "progressive" thought or a reaction against it? Other issues for discussion: the relationship between the book's structure and its content; Lippmann's "pluralism."
April 20: The Twenties--how "Roaring" Were They? Read Leuchtenburg, The Perils of Prosperity, 1914-32 (1958), Prologue and Chs. I-V. This should go pretty quickly, as it recapitulates material you read in Painter. Think about: how does Leuchtenberg's approach differ from Painter's?
Also, START Sinclair Lewis, Babbitt (1922). As you read, think about a prominent theme of the book that you would like to write a 3-4 pp. paper on, e.g. politics, labor/capital relations, gender issues, architecture & design, traditionalism vs. modernism, race & ethnicity, generational conflict, cultural "decline," etc. Paper due May 1.
Conference Work due May 11th!
May 15: finish Muncy Think about: what are the various ways in which the history of the Sheppard-Towner Act helps us understand the culture of the twenties?
May 18: Middletown Read the intro. to Helen and Robert Lynd, Middletown (1929), and part IV on recreation and leisure.
CONFERENCE WORK SCHEDULE
End of February: firm idea of topic.
Before spring break: turn in an annotated bibliography of books, articles, and/or primary sources. This means an alphabetized list (Author's last name, first name. Title. Place published: Publisher, date.) of sources already read or to be read, with 2-3 lines describing each item. If you are unsure of correct form to use for citations, consult a style manual, such as the Chicago Manual of Style or Kate Turabian.
After spring break: turn in a project prospectus. This means a 2-3 pp. double spaced description of your topic, the questions you are asking, what you hope/think you will find, and your research strategies for finding the answers. This prospectus forms the basis of a provisional oral report to the class on your project.
By mid- to late April, turn in a detailed outline or organizational scheme for your proposed project (double spaced, please, so that I can comment).
START WRITING! Remember, you don't have to finish all the work on a project before starting to write! Start on a section you are most comfortable with, or hand in a substantial part of the paper in rough draft as soon as possible in early May. THE FINAL WORK IS DUE THURSDAY, MAY 11, by 5 PM. NO EXCEPTIONS, PLEASE, EXCEPT MEDICAL OR OTHER MAJOR EMERGENCY.
[Preferred form for final submission: typed, double-spaced, in a folder with pockets; put the main part of the paper on one side, endnotes and annotated bibliography on the other. If you want me to mail it back to you with my comments, please include a large, stamped, self-addressed envelope. Thanks.]
READING JOURNAL SCHEDULE
First submission: Feb. 27
Second submission: April 17
Final submission: May 15 (please turn in the entire journal at this time--I will return them all on May 18, our last class.)
Elisabeth Israels Perry
Women's History Program, Sarah Lawrence College Bronxville NY 10708-5999
tel. 914-395-2402; fax 914-395-2663
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Patrick D. Reagan
Tennessee Technological University
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