U.S. Women After 1940 Bibliography


Query From Ingrid Winther Scobie f_scobie@twu.edu 09 Nov 1998

Although I have taught American women's history survey for years, I never seem to get far into the 20th century. For the first time I am going to focus on the period 1940 to the 1970s, with some material bringing the time period up to the 1990s. I would very much appreciate any suggested syllabi, ends of syllabi that cover the period, etc. Texas Woman's University has an excellent women's Collection, so I have a sense of the research project direction. But I am open to all ideas including music, art, videos and readings. Our students do best with 3-4 books supplemented with articles. Thanks in advance for your help!

Responses:

From Margaret Manchester mmanch@providence.edu 09 Nov 1998

My students have always raved about Anne Moody's COMING OF AGE IN MISSISSIPPI. This last semester, I also assigned LAKOTA WOMAN, the autobiography of Mary Crow Dog--Students were really impressed with the similarities between the African-American experience and that of Native-Americans. They had also never read anything about Native-am. life on the Reservations in modern times, or about the American Indian Movement. These two readings created great opportunities for examining issues of racism and sexism, developing a feminist consciousness, recapturing cultural identity, getting involved in an activist movement and the costs that female activists have to pay as well as providing a wider base on which to compare and contrast with white middle class experiences.

From Kathryn Tomasek ktomasek@wheatonma.edu 09 Nov 1998

For the past few years, I have used Wini Breines's _Young, White, and Miserable_ as a window into the dominant culture's ideology during the postwar period and as background for white middle-class women's feminism. In addition to great discussions of both mothers' and daughters' experiences, Breines is good on what she calls the "other fifties"--the myriad experiences that did not fit the consensus view of the postwar U.S.--so her book also provides a good opening into discussion of women and the Civil Rights movement. This in turn sets up discussion of the many varieties of feminist and womanist activism that emerged in the 1970s. The end of Paula Giddings' _When and Where I Enter_ provides a good overview for the Civil Rights movement. I also like JoAnn Gibson Robinson's _Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Women Who Started It_. And Anne Moody's _Coming of Age in Mississippi_ is a very powerful book.

For visuals on the "white" fifties, there is a good CD-ROM called "You Can't Get There From Here" that includes some wonderful clips from ephemeral films on such topics as dating and domesticity. These are short enough to show in class and can spark some good discussion, especially if used along with Breines's book.

The best video I know on women and the Civil Rights movement is "Fundi: The Life of Ella Baker." I use it every year.

From Maria Elena Raymond M_Raymond@compuserve.com 20 Dec 1998

Please check out the H-Women website in the syllabi section, as well as the bibliographies section. The URL is http://h-net.msu.edu/~women. I know you will find many sources there to help you. Best wishes,

Maria Elena
Co-Editor, H-Women Website