Course Overview and Requirements

WomenLeaders

Course Overview

            This course will address and examine issues related to gender, race, and class as substructures which shape the leadership of women in Modern America. One of the focuses of the course will be to critique meanings of leadership particularly as we study the meaning of freedom in American society within the context of the civil rights and women’s movements.  Drawing upon a myriad of primary sources including speeches, autobiographical accounts, newspapers, television and film programs, we will highlight how several contemporary American historiographies situate women as activists versus leaders and the significance of this projection.

Specifically, we will examine the differences among women leaders and offer critiques of their socio-political contexts. One of the focuses of the course will be to critique meanings of leadership particularly as we study women’s creation of a unique culture of struggle and resistance as they sought to give meaning to freedom in contemporary American society.

Course Requirements

Students are required to attend all lectures, participate in class discussions, complete the oral presentation and paper assignments.   During the course, students will prepare one written paper (5-7 pages) on major themes, events, issues, personalities or organizations discussed in the course and a final paper (15-20 pages).  The papers should be based on a combination of primary and secondary sources, and are expected to have proper footnotes or endnotes.  Each paper must be an original piece of work written by the student for this class. The papers are designed to assess mastery of lectures, reading assignments, and the topics explored during the course.  The lectures and discussions will illuminate particular dimensions of history, culture and social movements, and the lives and experiences of key leaders during this era.

Throughout the course students will be challenged to think critically and analytically about the intersections of race, gender, and class.  We will also pay attention to the changing status of women and their struggle for freedom during the twentieth century.  A great deal of time and space is devoted to understanding the complexities of leadership paradigms which emerge in the context of American protest movements.

Grading of assignments is as follows:

Paper in lieu of final exam…………………………………………………………. 40%

Paper in lieu of midterm …………………………………………………………… 30%

Oral Presentation ……………………………………………………………………. 15%

Class participation……………………………………………………………………. 15%

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