History 3180: History of American Women

Clemson University, Fall 2023

Course Details

Fall 2023
Clemson University
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday

Meets in person unless noted otherwise.

3 credit hours.
Meets: 11:15am-12:05pm
Location: Hardin Hall; 201

Instructor Info

Instructor: Dr. Amanda Regan
aeregan (at) clemson.edu

Pronouns: She/Her

Office Location: Hardin Hall 004

Office Hours: My office hours are flexible and you can schedule a time to meet with me. Make an appointment for Office Hours here.

Today, it may seem that women are more publicly visible than they have ever been. We have a female vice president, several women sitting on the Supreme Court, and women holding executive positions in major corporations. They are also represented as superheroes and scientists. This course will explore the journey that led us here and examine the changes that have occurred for women, as well as the challenges that still persist in our society and culture.

The course is divided into four thematic units, where we will strive to understand the social, political, economic, and cultural histories of women in the United States. Topics covered will include women’s work and labor, reproductive rights and sexuality, politics, popular culture, and technology. Throughout the course, we will emphasize the importance of intersectionality, recognizing that women’s experiences are influenced by factors such as class, race, and ethnicity. By embracing a diverse range of perspectives, we aim to provide a comprehensive understanding of women’s history.

Additionally, this class focuses on digital history, which involves the application of technology to the study of history. Each thematic unit will culminate in a digital project where students will use primary sources and digital methodologies to analyze aspects of women’s history. For instance, students will map suffrage events, use text analysis to study punk rock zines and lyrics, create a dataset and visualizations related to women’s work during the Great Depression, and compile a database of locations from lesbian travel guides. The course will conclude by shifting to modern times and discussing how technology has both contributed to and hindered gender equality in the United States.

Learning Objectives:
  • Students will leave this course with an understanding of how women and gender have shaped key events in the history of the United States.
  • Students will recognize the influence that class, race, and ethnicity have had on women’s varying experiences in American history.
  • Students will engage with primary and secondary sources relating to women’s history and learn to question the silences in the historical record.
  • Students will develop research and analytical skills and learn to use digital methodologies to analyze information.
Required Texts:

Assignments & Grades

Grades will be based on the assignments listed below.

Assignment Percentage of Grade
Participation & In Class Assignments 15%
Digital History Mini-Assignments (4 @ 15% each) 60%
Reading Responses 20%
Final Reflection 5%

  • Participation (10%): Our time in class is the opportunity to actively engage with the material we are exploring. I encourage you to be active in every class session. This participation grade serves as a way to credit you with the effort and work you are putting into the class - both in and out of the classroom. I recognize that we all have different levels of comfort regarding speaking in class. Participation can take numerous forms such as speaking to the whole group, working in smaller groups during class, and completing in-class activities.
    • Although attendance is not formally graded, it is crucial to earning a good participation grade. You can only participate fully if you are in regular attendance and you cannot pass this class without coming to class regularly. That being said, we have all learned a lot from the pandemic and I do not want students who feel ill to come to class. If you any symptoms at all, please DO NOT come to class and get in contact with me to schedule make up work. You will not be penalized for missing class due to illness. If you do need to miss class (for any reason) I ask that you please report your absence through the university’s notification of absences module. This helps the office of Student Advocacy track and identify students who may need extra help and it sends me an official notice of your absence.
  • Digital History Mini-Assignments (4 @ 15% each = 60%): Everyone will complete 4 mini digital history assignmnets.Each assignment will introduce a historical topic and related primary sources. Students will then use a digital methodology or software to analyze those sources and write a short paper analyzing what they found. More details about the specifics of each assignment will be provided in class. The four assignments are as follows:
    1. Creating & Visualizing Historical Data about Women, Recreation, and Jobs during the Great Depression (Due September 29th by 11:59pm)
    2. Text Analysis of ERA Pamphlets (Due October 23rd by 11:59pm)
    3. Mapping LGBTQ+ Rights and Travel Guides for Queer Women (Due November 17th by 11:59pm)
    4. Text Analysis of Riot Grrl Punk Rock Lyrics (Due December 8th by 11:59pm)
  • Reading Responses (20%): Throughout the semester you will complete 9 short reading responses. There are two main goals for these responses. First, to encourage you to think critically about the readings. Second, to allow you to demonstrate that you’ve been keeping up with the readings. Typically, you will have a response each week and they are due by 11:59pm each Friday. Each response should be at least 350 words or as long as you need to address the guiding questions. Remember, the goal of these is to demonstrate to me that you’ve not only read the material but that you’ve also thought about it within the context of course lectures and the material from previous weeks. Guiding questions for each response will be posted in Canvas. At the end of the semester I will drop your lowest grade in this category.
  • Final Reflection (10%): In place of a final, you will write a final reflection at the end of the semester. A prompt will be provided on canvas.
Grading System

Final grades will follow Clemson’s percentage-based grading scale. Please note that I will round up only if you fall within .5% of the next grade up. So, for example, I will round up a grade that is a 89.51% or higher. Please do not ask me to round your grade up if you don’t fall within that range.

  • A: 90-100%
  • B: 80-90%
  • C: 70-79%
  • D: 60-69%
  • F: 0-59%

Policies & Procedures

Please note that this syllabus may be updated online as necessary. The online version of this syllabus is the only authoritative version.

Late Work

Due dates for all assignments are listed on the course syllabus and in the schedule for the class. They are also posted on Canvas. Unless otherwise stated, assignments are due on those days. If you submit an assignment late, I will deduct 10% for every day that it is late. Assignments submitted more than 7 days after the due date will not be accepted.

That being said, sometimes shit happens – and I understand that. We’ve just emerged from a pandemic, life is stressful, and I believe in flexibility. Therefore, if you need an extension on an assignment just ask. For most assignments, I’m more than likely to grant it. My only criteria is that you ask ahead of the due date. You can exercise the “Shit Happens Extension” clause once during the semester. If you are out with COVID for an extended period and need to miss an assignment, we’ll make special arrangements catered to your circumstances.

Technology in Class

You are welcome to use a personal device such as a laptop, phone, or tablet to take notes during class. You may find it useful to have the course readings accessible during class. However, if the device becomes a distraction and you are doing other things on it I will ask you to take notes by hand instead.

In several class sessions we’ll use an online tool for our digital history mini-projects. You’ll need a laptop or tablet for this class however if you don’t have access to one talk to me before class and we’ll set you up with a rental from the library.

A note on laptops for taking notes. While you are welcome to use your laptop to take notes in class, I would encourage you not to do so. Studies have found that students who take notes by hand are better able to conceptually recall information later compared to those who typed notes. During class you may want to use your laptop to open the lecture slides at your desk, pull up the readings, etc but I’d encourage you to refrain from using your laptop to type notes.

Classroom Conduct

In order to learn, we must be open to the views of people different from ourselves. In the time we share together over the semester, please honor the uniqueness of your fellow classmates and appreciate the opportunity we have to learn from one another. Please respect each others’ opinions and refrain from personal attacks or demeaning comments of any kind. Anyone who engages in hostile or antagonistic rhetoric will be asked to leave the classroom immediately.

Academic Integrity

As members of the Clemson University community, we have inherited Thomas Green Clemson’s vision of this institution as a “high seminary of learning.” Fundamental to this vision is a mutual commitment to truthfulness, honor, and responsibility, without which we cannot earn the trust and respect of others. Furthermore, we recognize that academic dishonesty detracts from the value of a Clemson degree. Therefore, we shall not tolerate lying, cheating, or stealing in any form.

All infractions of academic dishonesty by undergraduates must be reported to Undergraduate Studies for resolution through that office. In cases of plagiarism instructors may use the Plagiarism Resolution Form.

See the Undergraduate Academic Integrity Policy website for additional information and the current catalogue for the policy.

Please keep in mind that if you are copying and pasting text that you did not write yourself, you might be plagiarizing. If you are using copied text, whether pasted or retyped manually, you must be sure to accurately cite the information. Text is accurately cited when: 1) pasted text is surrounded by quotation marks or offset as a block quote and 2) the pasted text is attributed to its author and source and 3) the pasted text is cited in a footnote, endnote, or bibliography.

Student Accessibility Services

Clemson University values the diversity of our student body as a strength and a critical component of our dynamic community. Students with disabilities or temporary injuries/conditions may require accommodations due to barriers in the structure of facilities, course design, technology used for curricular purposes, or other campus resources. Students who experience a barrier to full access to this class should let the instructor know and make an appointment to meet with a staff member in Student Accessibility Services as soon as possible. You can make an appointment by calling 864-656-6848, by emailing studentaccess@lists.clemson.edu, or by visiting Suite 239 in the Academic Success Center building. Appointments are strongly encouraged – drop-ins will be seen if at all possible, but there could be a significant wait due to scheduled appointments. Students who have accommodations are strongly encouraged to request, obtain and send these to their instructors through their AIM portal as early in the semester as possible so that accommodations can be made in a timely manner. It is the student’s responsibility to follow this process each semester.
You can access further information at the Student Accessibility website. Other information is at the university’s Accessibility Portal.

Commitment to Diversity

“Clemson University aspires to create a diverse community that welcomes people of different races, cultures, ages, genders, sexual orientation, religions, socioeconomic levels, political perspectives, abilities, opinions, values and experiences.” - The Clemson University Title IX statement regarding non-discrimination

Clemson University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, pregnancy, national origin, age, disability, veteran’s status, genetic information or protected activity in employment, educational programs and activities, admissions and financial aid. This includes a prohibition against sexual harassment and sexual violence as mandated by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. This Title IX policy is located on the Campus Life website. Ms. Alesia Smith is the Clemson University Title IX Coordinator, and the Executive Director of Equity Compliance. Her office is located at 223 Brackett Hall, 864.656.0620. Remember, email is not a fully secured method of communication and should not be used to discuss Title IX issues.

Emergency Preparedness

Emergency procedures have been posted in all buildings and on all elevators. Students should be reminded to review these procedures for their own safety. All students and employees should be familiar with guidelines from the Clemson Police Department. Visit here for information about safety.

Clemson University is committed to providing a safe campus environment for students, faculty, staff, and visitors. As members of the community, we encourage you to take the following actions to be better prepared in case of an emergency:


Unit 1: Introductions

  • Wednesday, August 23
  • Friday, August 25
    • Definitions and core concepts
    • Reading:
      • Ellen Carol DuBois and Lynn Dumenil, “Introduction for Students.” (see canvas)
      • Hall, Chapters 1-3

Unit 2: Women, Work, and Labor

  • Monday, September 18
    • Equal Employment Commission & Women’s Lib in the 1960s
    • Reading:
      • Trowbridge, David J., Gavin Thagard, and Clio Admin. “1970 Ladies Home Journal Sit-in.” Clio: Your Guide to History. January 30, 2018. Accessed July 27, 2023. https://theclio.com/entry/18334
      • Lynn Povich The Good Girls Revolt: How the Women of Newsweek Sued their Bosses and Changed the Workplace, (On Canvas).
  • Wednesday, September 20
    • Digital Assignment #1: Women, Recreation, and the Great Depression (Creating and Visualizing Historical Data)
  • Friday, September 22
    • Continue Digital Assignment #1

Unit 3: Women & Politics

  • Monday, September 25

    • What does it mean to act politically?
    • Tea and the American Revolution
    • Reading:
      • Benjamin Carp, A Defiance of Patriots, excerpt from Chapter 3: “Tea and Scandal.” (On Canvas)
      • Hall,Chapters 4-5.
  • Wednesday, September 27

  • Friday, September 29

    • Reform and Municipal Housekeeping
    • Reading:
      • Maureen A. Flanagan, “Gender and Urban Political Reform: The City Club and the Woman’s City Club of Chicago in the Progressive Era” in The American Historical Review (available on Canvas).

  • Monday, October 9
  • Wednesday, October 11
    • Phillys Shafly
    • Reading:
      • Donald T. Critchlow, Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservativsm: A Woman’s Crusade. Chapter 9: The ERA Battle Revives the Right pg 212- 227. (on canvas)
      • Schlafly, “Whats Wrong with Equal Rights for Women” (on canvas)
  • Friday, October 13
    • Digital Assignment #2: Text Analysis of ERA Arguments - due October 23rd.

  • Monday, October 16
    • Fall Break, no class.

Unit 4: Women, Bodies, and Sex

  • Wednesday, October 18th
    • Guest Lecture: Dr. Sara Collini on Midwives and Health in the 19th century
  • Friday, October 20th
    • Digital Assignment work days.

  • Monday, October 23
  • Wednesday, October 25
    • Birth Control and Managing Reproduction, pt 1
    • Reading:
      • Elaine Tyler May, America and the Pill, Chapter 1: Mothers of Invention. (Available online through the library).
  • Friday, October 27
    • Birth Control and Managing Reproduction, pt 2
    • Reading:
      • Elaine Tyler May, America and the Pill, Chapter 2: The Population Bomb. (Available online through the library).

  • Monday, November 6
    • Digital Assignment #3: LGBTQ+ Rights and Travel Guides for Queer Women
  • Wednesday, November 8
    • Digital Assignment #3 cont’d.
  • Friday, November 10
    • Women, Movies, and Television
    • Reading:
      • Susan J. Douglas, Where the Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media, Introduction. (On canvas)

  • Monday, November 20

  • Wednesday, November 22 and Friday, November 24

    • Thanksgiving Break

Unit 6: Women, Data, and Technology in the 21st Century

  • Monday, December 4
  • Wednesday, December 6
    • Data Feminism and Women in Tech cont’d Reading:
      • Caroline Criado Perez, “Introduction: The Default Male” in Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men (On canvas).
  • Friday, December 8
    • Wrap up and Catch up
    • Digital Assignment #4 Due by 11:59pm

  • Tuesday, December 12th
    • No Final Exam.
    • Final Reflection due by 10:30am