Women in Non-Western Civilization

I.     Course Prefix/Number: HIS 237

       Course Name: Women in Non-Western Civilization

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course examines women’s roles and accomplishments in non-Western civilization from prehistory to the present.

IV.   Learning Objectives

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

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

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Introduction to Women’s History
  2. Pre-history
  3. Ancient Civilizations
  4. Women's Rule
  5. Early Modern Era
  6. Imperialism
  7. Colonialism
  8. Women and World War One
  9. Women in the 1920s and 1930s
  10. Women and World War Two
  11. Post-War Gender Roles
  12. 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, 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;
  7. Participate in in-class and out-of-class activities.

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.

Recommended Textbooks (instructor to select):

Allman, Jean. Women in African Colonial Histories. Indiana University Press, 2002.
Bullwinkle, Davis A. Women of Northern, Western and Central Africa: A Bibliography, 1976-1985. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1989.
Byrne, Pamela R. and Suzanne R. Ontiveros, eds. Women in the Third World: A Historical Bibliography (Research Guides Series No. 15). Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-Clio, 1985.
Chang, Leslie. Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China. Spiegel & Grau, 2008.
Chung Sei-wha, ed. Challenges for Women: Women's Studies in Korea. Trans. Shin Chang-hyun et al. Seoul, Korea: Ewha Women's University Press, 1986.
Cliggett, Lisa. Grains from Grass: Aging, Gender, and Famine in Rural Africa. Cornell, 2005.
Cornwall, Andrea. Readings in Gender in Africa. University of Indiana Press, 2005.
Haghighat-Sordellini, Elhum. Women in the Middle East and North Africa: Change and Continuity. Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.
Hicks, George. The Comfort Women: Japan's Brutal Regime of Enforced Prostitution in the Second World War. W. W. Norton & Company, 1997.
Hinsch, Bret. Women in Early Imperial China. Rowman & Littlefield 2010.
Jones, Alison. Bitter Sweet: Indigenous Women in the Pacific. Univ of Otago Press, 2000.
Jones, Rachel Bailey. Postcolonial Representations of Women: Critical Issues for Education. Springer, 2011.
Kousha, Mahnaz. Voices from Iran: The Changing Lives of Iranian Women (Gender, Culture, and Politics in the Middle East). Syracuse University Press, 2002.
Lean, Eugenia. Public Passions: The Trial of Shi Jianqiao and the Rise of Popular Sympathy in Republican China. University of California Press, 2007.
Lieberman, Judith. Sephardi Family Life in the Early Modern Diaspora. Brandeis, 2010.
Oyewumi, Oyeronke. Invention Of Women: Making An African Sense Of Western Gender Discourses. Univerity of MN Press, 1997. Oyewumi, Oyeronke. Gender Epistemologies in Africa: Gendering Traditions, Spaces, Social Institutions, and Identities. Palgrave, 2010. Roehrig, Catherine. Hatshepsut: From Queen to Pharaoh. Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005.
Sidikou, Aissata G.Women's Voices from West Africa: An Anthology of Songs from the Sahel. Indiana University Press, 2012.
Stephen, Lynn. Zapotec Women: Gender, Class, and Ethnicity in Globalized Oaxaca. Duke, 2005.
Taylor, Joan. Jewish Women Philosophers of First-Century Alexandria: Philo's 'Therapeutae' Reconsidered. Oxford, 2006.
Tyldesley, Joyce. Daughters of Isis: Women of Ancient Egypt. Penguin, 1995.

Instructor will either provide other handouts or students will be asked to download specific information throughout the course.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

At least two exams will be given in addition to other required papers and assignments.

XI.   Other Course Information

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.

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.