Women Activists Course/Disc. Nov 1997


Query From Catherine Badura cbadura@valdosta.edu 25 Nov 1997

...I am in the second year as historian of the U.S. Women's history at Valdosta State University in south Georgia, and have the enviable opportunity of designing four women's history courses. I am now planning one for spring quarter and would appreciate comments, suggestions, fore-warnings, etc from the readers of H-Women. (Here at VSU we go on semesters Fall of '98, so the course will have to be redesigned then to accommodate the change.)

The title to the course I am planning for spring quarter is something like "History of U.S. Women Radicals, Activists and Reformers." (I can't recall exactly what I titled it originally when I created it for the catalog.)

In any event, I intend for the focus to be on activism, and importantly, am planning to incorporate a service learning component as an option (a very attractive option--they can write on their own experience in an area non-profit agency or they can produce a 35 page library research paper.) In addition to allowing field work, I would like to focus on the works of six to ten women activists from the time of the first woman's rights movement in the mid-nineteenth century to the civil rights movement in the 1960s. My list of possibilities is, not surprisingly, overwhelming. I am also looking at two additional works as texts on contemporary activists: _Women Activists: Challenging the Abuse of Power_, Anne Witte Garland, Ed., and _Crazy for Democracy: Women in the Grassroots Movements_ by Temma Kaplan. In addition to any comments on the above, I would really appreciate help with the following:
1)names of appropriate films/documentaries/videos; 2)suggestions for speakers (the budget is small, but I'm learning how to beg effectively)
3)suggestions for names of activists on whom to focus, with accessibility of the activists' written works and diversity as criteria; 4)any comments on ways to make the field work effective toward the end of enhancing understanding of the possibilities of making a difference through activism;
5)Web sites that might help with any related information....

Responses:

From Genevieve G. McBride gmcbride@csd.uwm.edu 26 Nov 1997

The course on women activists sounds wonderful. I took one entitled "Women Reformers, 1890-1920" at Madison from Ellen DuBois and Linda Gordon, which changed not only my doctoral research but my life....

Re: videos to recommend, nothing has so much impact on my undergrad or grad students (in media history, but I make the course my own...) as one called "Crusader for Justice: Ida B. Wells-Barnett," part of the PBS American Experience series. Paula Giddings is one of the historians in it, so you might want to also use her _When and Where I Enter_ for a larger examination of the work of many African-American women activists.

From Maria Elena Raymond M_Raymond@compuserve.com 26 Nov 1997

In addition to the many responses I expect you to receive from list members, please take a look at the H-Women website. Check the bibliographies, discussion threads, syllabi sections, as well as the links to other sites. There may be some helpful information there for you. The site is http://h-net.msu.edu/~women

From Deb Engelke keptwo@northnet.org 26 Nov 1997

You must be aware that the sesquicennial of the Women's Rights Convention at Seneca Falls, NY is rapidly approaching (summer of 1998). Many, many important women will be figured in the discussions there. You might seek web information regarding this event, and link your course to information that had transpired there. A course designed to show how much has "changed, yet remains the same," (who said that?) would lead to dense and provocative discussion, I'm sure.

From Tracye Matthews matthews@chicagohistory.org 01 Dec 1997

You might also try locating the film "Fundi: The Story of Ella Baker." I'm not sure who distributes it, but check California Newsreel.

From various list members:

The video "Ida B. Wells: A Passion for Justice," can be ordered through William Greaves Production, Inc., 230 West 55th Street, New York, NY 10019. (212)265-6150 or (800) 874-8314. Fax: (212) 315-0027.

Re: Ida B. Wells video: ..."look in the PBS catalog..." "shop PBS" at www.pbs.org