HIST 232: Modern European Women’s History

Fall Semester 2004, MWF 11:10am-12pm

Acland Seminar Room

Professor Eliza Ablovatski

Office:  Seitz 5

Office Hours: M 2-4:30pm, Th 9:30am-noon, and by appointment

Email: ablovatskie@kenyon.edu


In lectures and discussion we will cover European women’s history from the 18th century and the Enlightenment up through the late 20th century and the questions raised by the fall of the Soviet system.  We will look at women’s participation in the work force and in revolutionary movements, their fight for political emancipation and equality, and the changing ideas of womanhood, gender and family throughout modern European history.  A major theme will be the question of if there is a western vs. an eastern European feminism and the dialogue between women across Europe.


NOTE: This class satisfies a requirement for the Women's and Gender Studies major; please contact Mary Suydam, suydam@kenyon.edu, for more information.



2 Portfolio Projects (described below)

Conference presentation (described below)

Midterm and Final exams


Portfolio Projects:  each student will select a theme or issue raised by the readings and then using the library’s resources, will find at least 3 scholarly articles about that theme.  Using these new articles as well as the original assignments from class, the student will write a paper (length of first 5 pages, of second 8 pages) on the topic they chose.  The entire “portfolio” will be handed in: a description of the theme with the assignments it was drawn from, copies of all of the scholarly articles, as well as the student’s own paper.


European Women’s Conference: in the final week of class we will hold a mock conference looking at issues facing European women today.  Students will work in groups and make presentations as delegates from various countries.  The conference will be divided into three general parts looking at Balkan countries and questions, post-Communism more generally and EU enlargement, as well as western European/EU issues. 


Grading:         Professionalism  (all semester)                           15%                                                     First Portfolio     (Oct.3)                                     15%                                                     Second Portfolio   (Nov. 16)                                        20%

                        Conference Presentation (final week of classes)             15%

                        Midterm           (Oct. 14)                                              15%

                        Final Exam       (Dec 16, 6:30 p.m.)                              20%

                                                TOTAL = 100%

Class Participation/Attendance: are mandatory; we are covering a wide amount of material and will be moving quickly.  In addition, students should be prepared to discuss the themes and issues raised in the readings.  Please email me if you are going to miss class or have missed a class.  Missing more than 2 classes will affect your grade.


Honor Code and Lateness Policy: All graded work must be handed in hard copy to me.  No emailed attachments will be graded.  Late work will be marked down one-third of a grade per day unless you have a valid reason and have gotten an extension from me in advance of the due-date. The midterm and final may not be postponed or rescheduled.


Please read the Kenyon College policy “Academic Honesty and Questions of Plagiarism” in the Course of Study carefully.  It is expected that all work that you turn in for this course is your own and that you will follow the general guidelines of academic honesty, as well as the norms of the historical profession for citation, when writing for this class. 


Professionalism:  Class Participation and attendance are mandatory; we are covering a wide amount of material and will be moving quickly.  In addition, students should arrive in class on time and prepared to discuss the themes and issues raised in the readings.  Students are expected to learn and follow the norms of historical scholarship, as well as the Kenyon Honor Code. They should show respect to classmates and the professor, turn in all work on time, address problems as they arise, locate the readings ahead of class or alert the library staff or professor if they have trouble finding them, and attend any out of class film screenings that we schedule.  Students should bring all assigned reading (print out a copy of online sources) with them to class to aid in discussion.





Required texts  are available for purchase at the bookstore (the following are required unless marked otherwise):


Other readings will be available on-line, on reserve at Olin Library (Eres and regular reserve) and in Seitz House, or will be handed out in class.  Note that many articles are available through EJC, JSTOR, or Ebscohost, electronic databases to which Kenyon subscribes.  You can access these articles from any network computer through the LBIS website.


Library:  We will schedule an opportunity for you to meet Mary Stettner, the history department liaison in the library.  Mary’s hours at the reference desk are: Mondays -- 6pm-10pm and Thursdays -- 2pm-4pm.  You may also email her at any time for help with history resources and ask any other librarians to help you.  Mary’s email is: stettnerm@kenyon.edu.



Note: If you have a disability and therefore may need some sort of accommodation(s) in order to fully participate in this class, please let me know.  In addition, you will need to contact Erin Salva, Coordinator of Disability Services (x5145).  Ms. Salva has the authority and expertise to decide what accommodations are appropriate and necessary for you. 





Schedule of Classes:




Week   1:  The Study of Women in History/Early Modern Europe


Monday, August 29:  Introduction – What does it mean to study women’s history?  Where is Europe?  East vs. West? Brief introduction to Kenyon LBIS resources.


Wednesday, Aug. 31: 

·        “Introduction,” to Becoming Visible (1-13)

·        Joan Wallach Scott, “Gender:  A Useful Category of Analysis,” American Historical Review 91/5 (Dec. 1986), 1053-1075, available online, [JSTOR].

·        Gisela Bock, “Women’s History and Gender History: Aspects of a Debate,” Gender and History, vol.1, no. 1 (1989), pp. 7-30.  (on Eres)


Friday, September 2: 

·        Susan C. Karant-Nunn, "The Reformation of Women," in Becoming Visible (BV)

·        Mary Wiesner, “Nuns, Wives and Mothers: Women and the Reformation in Germany,” in Sherrin Marshall, ed., Women in Reformation and Counter-Reformation Europe: Public and Private Worlds (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1989), 8-28. (on Reserve)






Week 2:  Women in Pre-Industrial Society:  Social Roles, Households, and Work  


Monday, Sept. 5:

·        Malleus Maleficarum, “Concerning Witches Who Copulate With Devils." (online at: http://www.malleusmaleficarum.org/part_I/mm01_06a.html)

·        Carolyn Matalene, “Woman as Witch,” International Journal of Women’s Studies (Nov./Dec 1978): 573-587. (on Eres)

·        Valerie Kivelson, “Through the Prism of Witchcraft: Gender and Social Change in Seventeenth-Century Muscovy” in Russia’s Women: Accommodation, Resistance, Transformation                       


Wednesday, Sept. 7: 

·        Merry E. Wiesner, “Spinning Out Capital:  Women’s Work in Pre-industrial Europe,” Becoming Visible (BV).

·        Deborah Valenze, The First Industrial Woman – Chapter 2: “Economies of Survival: Laboring Women and Agricultural Change 1750-1800”


Friday, Sept. 9:

·        Olwen Hufton, “Women and the Family Economy in Eighteenth-Century France, French Historical Studies, vol. 9, no. 1 (Spring l975), 1-22,  available online,  [JSTOR]

·        Deborah Valenze, The First Industrial Woman – Chapter 4: “The Quarrel with Women’s Work: Spinning and the Displacement of Female Labor”



Week   3:  Enlightenment, French Revolution and the Question of Rights


Monday, Sept. 12:

·        Dena Goodman, “Women and the Enlightenment,” in Becoming Visible. (BV)

·        Londa Schiebinger, “Skeletons in the Closet:  The First Illustrations of the Female Skeleton in Eighteenth-Century Anatomy,” Representations 14 (Spring, 1986), 42-82, available online, [JSTOR]


Wednesday, Sept. 14:

·        Mary Wollstonecraft, Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Chaps. 1-4, 9.  (Skim Chap. 5 for argument).

·        Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emile, Book Five, “Sophie, Or the Wife”  (available online: http://www.ilt.columbia.edu/pedagogies/rousseau/Contents2.html) – read about 15-20 pages


Friday, Sept. 16:

·        Darlene Levy and Harriet Applewhite, “A Political Revolution for Women? The Case of Paris?” (BV)

·        Olympe de Gouges, “Declaration of the Rights of Woman.” (in Levy, Applewhite and Johnson, Women in Revolutionary Paris, 1789-1795, Section II: document 10 (on Reserve)


FILM: Sunday, Sept. 18: “Danton” (Andrzej Wajda)



Week  4: Revolution in Politics and Society/Science?


Monday, Sept. 19:

·        Darlene Gay Levy, Harriet Branson Applewhite, and Mary Durham Johnson, eds., Women in Revolutionary Paris, 1789-1795: read the general introduction, the introductions to each of the six sections, and the conclusion; then read the following documents:

o       Section I: 1, 3, 4,

o       Section II: 1, 2, 8

o       Section III: 3

o       Section IV: 1, 6, 7, 8, 21

o       Section V: 2, 7, 11, 13

o       Section VI: 9, 11


Wednesday, Sept. 21:

·        Annette Rubinstein, “Subtle Poison: The Puerperal Fever Controversy in Victorian Britain,” Historical Studies [Australia] 20/80 (1983), 420-438.


Friday, Sept. 23:  Library Introduction with Mary Stettner – come with a paper topic written down!



Week   5: Women and Work in the Industrial Age


Monday, Sept. 26: ***Bring Articles for Portfolio to Class***

·        Laura L. Frader, “Doing Capitalism’s Work:  Women in the Western European Industrial Economy,” in Becoming Visible (BV).

·        Deborah Valenze, The First Industrial Woman, chapter 5, “A New World of Work: Female Labor and the Factory System”


Wednesday, Sept. 28:


Friday, Sept. 30:




Week   6: Gender, Class, and Race in the Women’s Movements


Monday, Oct. 3: ***1st Portfolio Due ***


Wednesday, Oct. 5:


Friday, Oct. 7:

·        Cynthia Paces, “Rotating Spheres: Gendered Commemorative Practice At The 1903 Jan Hus Memorial Festival In Prague,” Nationalities Papers 28/3  (Sept. 2000), 523 – 539, available online through CONSORT/Ebscohost

·        J. Malečková, “Nationalizing Women and Engendering the Nation: the Czech National Movement,” in Blom, Hagemann, Hall, Gendered Nations. (NY: Berg, 2000) (on Eres)



Week   7:  Imperialism, Nationalism and Women


Monday, Oct. 10:  ***NO CLASSES!   Reading Day***


Wednesday, Oct. 12: 


Friday, Oct. 14: ***MIDTERM in class***


FILM: Sunday, Oct. 16: “Passage to India” (selections)



Week   8:  Feminism and Socialism


Monday, Oct. 17:


Wednesday, Oct. 19:





Friday, Oct. 21: (AWAY?)




FILM: Sunday, October 23, “Rosa Luxemburg” (Margarethe von Trotta)



Week   9:  War and Revolution


Monday, Oct. 24:


Wednesday, Oct. 26:


Friday, Oct. 28:



Week   10:  Fascism, Racism, Gender


Monday, Oct. 31:


Wednesday, Nov. 2:


Friday, Nov. 4:


Sunday, November 6: FILM, “Rosenstrasse” (Margareta von Trotta)



Week   11:  Women in WWII and the Holocaust


Monday, Nov. 7:



Wednesday, Nov. 9:


Friday, Nov. 11: 








Week   12:  Post-WWII Europe (State Socialism East and West?)


Monday, Nov. 14:


Wednesday, Nov. 16: *** 2nd PORTFOLIO DUE ***


Friday, Nov. 18:  ***Assign Countries for Conference***



Week  13:  THANKSGIVING VACATION (Read Baranskaya/Vrkljan)



Week   14: Post-Communist Feminism – A New Cold War?


Monday, Nov. 28:


Wednesday, Nov. 30: Guest Speaker: Courtney Brkic


Friday, Dec. 2: ***3 Conference Resolutions Due***


Week   15: Last class and European Women’s Conference 2005


Monday, Dec. 5:


Wednesday, Dec. 7 - European Women’s Conference


Friday, Dec. 9 - European Women’s Conference

·        Part II:  Women in the EU



Week   16:  European Women’s Conference Last Day


Monday, Dec. 12:  Part III:  the Balkans, ethnicity, war




FINAL EXAM: Friday, December 16, 6:30 p.m.