Women in American History

I.     Course Prefix/Number: HIS 235

       Course Name: Women in American History

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

None

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course examines women’s roles and accomplishments throughout the history of the United States.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. Describe the major historical figures, events, and ideas associated with the history of women in the United States.
  2. Describe the achievements of American women in political, cultural, and social terms
  3. Explain the interrelationship between the political, economic, social and cultural institutions of the history of women in the United States.
  4. Analyze primary and secondary sources related to American women

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at
www.oakton.edu/studentlife/student-handbook.pdf

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Introduction to Women’s History
  2. American Settlement and Women
  3. Colonial and Revolutionary Women
  4. Women and Slavery
  5. Women and the Civil War
  6. Cult of Domesticity
  7. Women and Activism
  8. Early Suffrage and Seneca Falls
  9. Women and Work
  10. Women in the West
  11. Progressives
  12. Women and World War One
  13. Twentieth Century Suffrage
  14. Women in the 1920s and 1930s
  15. Women and World War Two
  16. Post-War Gender Roles
  17. Women’s Rights Movements
  18. Current Issues

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Classes will include a variety of instructional methods such as: lectures, in class discussions, group activities, document and film analysis, and the use of new technologies.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Students will be required to:

  1. Read a standard textbook and research materials;
  2. Write outside of class the equivalent of 15-20 double-spaced typed pages in the form of a term paper, book reviews, summaries of journal articles, short research papers, discussion board postings and/or other kinds of writing;
  3. Complete quizzes, worksheets, a midterm, and a final exam;
  4. Distinguish between primary and secondary sources as the foundation of modern historical scholarship;
  5. Interpret primary sources critically by analyzing their historical contexts;
  6. Formulate historical interpretations and defend them critically with reference to primary and secondary sources; and incorporate into historical interpretations as an understanding of historical causation knowledge of important figures and events and their chronological relationship to each other and an awareness of the contingent relationships using several variables;
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Texts will be selected from established texts, such as:

Through Women’s Eyes: An American History with Documents, by Ellen Carol DuBois
Women’s Magazines: 1940-1960, Gender Roles and the Popular Press by Nancy A. Walker

Supplementary readings will also be assigned as appropriate, and have been drawn from such texts as:

Hospital Sketches by Louisa May Alcott
The Subjection of Women by John Stuart Mill
Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft
Woman in the Nineteenth Century by Margaret Fuller
Woman’s Life in Colonial Days by Carl Holliday
Women and Economics by Charlotte Perkins [Stetson] Gilman
Writing Women’s Lives American History through Letters and Diaries

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

At least two exams will be given in addition to other required papers and assignments. Students will be required to respond to assigned assessments in a written essay or other format throughout the semester. Students will also be evaluated on a combination of other assignments and in-and out-of-class assignments.

XI.   Other Course Information

Support Services: Tutoring is available at the Learning Center.

Important Dates: *

XX/XX: Last day to withdraw and have course dropped from record
XX/XX: Last day to change to Audit
XX/XX: Last day for students to submit materials to make up incomplete from the previous semester
XX/XX: Last day to withdraw from classes with a "W"

*These dates differ for each semester. You'll find the correct dates on the Academic Calendar.



If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at www.oakton.edu/title9/.

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.