Prof. Maryanne Horowitz
Herstory: Women in Western Culture
History 236, Spring 2002

Credit in History Dept., Women's Studies/Gender Studies Program, or Classical Studies Program. Credit in Cultural Studies both European and Premodern.

A feminist perspective on European history from ancient through modern times, tracing the fluidity of socially constructed gender roles. We shall evaluate the primary source evidence on women's condition in ancient Greece and Rome and in early modern Europe, and shall consider the changing issues of the debate about women to the present.

This course utilizes feminist histories, feminist theories, and primary source evidence to focus student thinking on 3 themes:
          Disarming the Dominating Theorists of Female Subordination
          Evaluating Alternative Feminist Theories from Antiquity to the 21st Century
          Understanding and Empathizing with Women's Lives in Diverse Contexts

Class Meets: T, Th 10:00-11:25 Johnson 104





Study for Final

Prof. Maryanne Horowitz
Office Hours, Swan 316: Tues 8:20-9:50, Wed. 12:30-1:25, Thurs. 1:00-1:25 & by appt. Any substitute office hour (due to a scheduled Occidental College meeting such as Dept. meeting) will be announced in class a week ahead and posted on office door.

Leave messages at, at office phone 323-259-2583, or at home fax 310-573-4160.

Horowitz homepage
Campus mail to Horowitz mailbox, 
Hist. Dept., S. Swan 

Secondary Sources by Current Feminist Historians:
Lerner, Gerda, The Creation of Feminist Consciousness, 1993. (R)                   Merry E. Wiesner, Women and Gender in Early Modern Europe, 1993         Primary Source Documents:
Jennifer Hurley, ed. Feminism: Opposing Viewpoints, 2001                           Lefkowitz, Mary and Maureen Fant, ed., Women's Life in Greece and Rome: A Source Book in Translation, 2nd. edition,1992 (R)
Henderson. Katherine & McManus, Barbara, ed., Half Humankind: Contexts and Texts of  the Controversy about Women in England, 1540-1640

Requirements   (Go to top)
10 % Attendance, participation, controversy
First Exam-- (30%) Thurs.. Feb. 28 Examination
Second Exam--(30%)  Tues. April 16 Examination
Final Takehome due Tues. May 7, 10 a.m., Swan 316. 5 pp. Typed Essay to include additional primary source readings (30%).

Lists days of class meetings and readings for discussion in class.

Th. Jan. 24 Introduction Feminism defined as a commitment to the improvement of women's  condition. Consider examples of "socially constructed gender roles."  Recommended, Joan Scott, Gender and the Politics of History, ch. 2 "Gender a Useful Category of Historical Analysis" (R)

Current Feminist Debate                                                                                            T. Jan. 29, Th. Jan. 31  Feminism: Opposing Viewpoints,  chs. 1-2. Lefkowitz: preface and browse; mark table of contents for topics of most interest to you. Thurs. signups for group on topics on women in antiquity (within 9 groups for presentations below)

T Feb. 5, Th. Feb. 7 Feminism: Opposing Viewpoints, chs. 3-4. Lerner, ch. 11 "The Search for Women's History"    Feb. 7 Bring Lefkowitz for working together in class.                         

Women and Gender Issues in  Ancient Greece and Rome                                    T Feb. 12, Th. Feb. 14  Lefkowitz : sections I-V. It is helpful to read the primary sources together with the notes at the back of the book.

a) Men's Opinions: I & II, pp. 10-37, 38-54; Female Poets 1-10. Ana Rosales
b) Athenian law vs. Spartan law: IV, pp. 58-89  Shaina Campbell, Eliza Burns
c) Changing status in Roman law--monarchy, republic, empire: V, pp. 94-119 Tammy Taylor, Emily Graham

T Feb 19, Th. Feb. 21 Lefkowitz, sections V1-VIII                                                    d) Public life--VI, 129-162 Darla Canon, Ann Nadjarian
e) Family life-- VII, 163-207 Patsy Bouvet, Heather Schuh
f) Occupations--VIII, pp.208-224   Molly Knapp, Rose Whelan                                                                            \

Group g on Medicine to present Th. Feb. 21. Ashley Opp, Abby Wheatley

Special event Wed. Feb. 27, 4-6 p.m. Morrison lounge. Prof. John Pocock, Professor Emeritus, Johns Hopkins University/Clark Visiting Professor, UCLA, speaking on "Indigenous History and Sovereignty: The Peoples of New Zealand and the Treaty of Waitangi" 

T. Feb. 26, Th. Feb. 28  Lefkowitz, sections IX-X
g)Medicine,225-272                                                                                                  h)Pagan goddesses, 273-285 and pagan ritual, 285-306   Valerie Leonard, Eleanor Godfrey                                                                                                                         i) Christianity, pp.307-334. 

Thurs.. Feb. 28 Examination

Creation of Feminist Consciousness

T March 5, Th. March 7.  Lerner, pp. 1-116

T. March 12, Th. March 14 Lerner 116-166

Women's History resources: from Oxy Library Home Page lower right to Librarian's Index, then to Women's History lower right.

Librarians Index
 --Librarian's Index:;query=Women+History;searchtype=subject

Medieval Feminist Index: Recommended for browsing

Check out of the library at least 1 (limit to 3) women's history or literature books in order to learn more about 3 individual women (one from period 100-1500, another from period 1500-1825, and another from period 1825-1945). I especially recommend that you read some writings by the women you choose.The takehome final will ask you to integrate your knowledge of 3 such women with your analysis of historical changes in approaches of feminists. Your choice of 3 women and your short bibliography (include at least 1 web resource) is due Thu. March 28.

Spring Break   Complete Lerner 167-283 Consider origins of feminist consciousness for some. Consider the reasons why others did not gain a femininist consciousness.

Women and Gender Debate in the Renaissance and Early Modern Europe         

Recommend:  Her Immaculate Hand (trans. from women's Latin writing of 15th century)  Film Dangerous Beauty. Joan Kelly "Did Women have a Renaissance?" lst or 2nd ed. of Becoming Visible (reserve)

T. March 26, Th. March 28  Wiesner, Intro, and Part I. Your choice of 3 women and your short bibliography (include at least 1 web resource) is due Thu. March 28.

T. April 2, Th April 4 Wiesner, Part II; Half Humankind, Part I.

Mosher 1 April 4, 2002, 6:30-9:30 "The Return of Martin Guerre" about a French peasant woman in 16th century, based on historian Natalie Davis's research into legal case and socio-cultural context.

T. April 8, Th. April 11Wiesner, Part III, Half Humankind, 133- 244.Read introduction to either Horowitz, Race, Gender and Rank  in Early Modern Europe  (R) or Horowitz, Race Class and Gender in Nineteenth-Century Culture( R). Discuss.

Tues. April 16 Examination  Thurs April 28 Discuss witchcraft (Wiesner). Presentation on decline in belief in witchcraft in late 16th and early 17th centuries.

Western Association of Women Historians meeting at Huntington Library weekend of April 19, 2002. See program at:  

T. April 23   Takehome exam given out. Student evaluations

Th. April 25 Presentation Half Humankind, Part II, 244-327. Takehome exam question given out Thurs., as well as Tues April 23.

Tues. April 30 Presentation, Half Humankind pp. 328-380

Th. May 2 Last Class   Discuss ways to interpret evidence for final essay--students to present part of their arguments.

Final Takehome due Tues. May 7, 10 a.m., Swan 316. 5 pp. Typed Essay to include additional primary source readings (30%).

         (Go to top)