History of Women in the United States and Great Britain

Course Details

Course Number
Section Number
Spring 2011
Prothro-Yeager Hall
Classroom Number
Days & Times

TR 9:30 - 10:50 am

Dr. Sharon L. Arnoult (view Profile)

Course Attachments


When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of Am
Gender and Power in Britain, 1640-1990.
Women and the American Experience: A Concise Histo
A Room of Ones Own.

Course Objectives

The purpose of this course is to provide an in-depth examination, at the graduate level, of the history of women in the United States and Great Britain from around 1600 to the present. Its central focus is how the factor of gender, along with other factors such as class and race, affected the historical experience of women. It is designed to develop high-level skills in critical reasoning and analysis through scholarly reviews of books on women’s history; the completion of an advanced, graduate-level research paper; and passing an oral exam on both lecture material and the required reading. While no prior knowledge of British history is required, it is presumed that the student has had at least the lower-division survey of U.S. history.

Course Expectations

Review of Reviews: looking through the book review sections of scholarly historical journals such as the American Historical Review, select 7 reviews of books that have something to do with women’s history, although these can be from any place or time period (in other words, you are not limited to American or British women between 1600 and the present. However, you may not pick a review for one of the monographs you chose to review.) Then write a paper in which you, essentially, review the reviews. What, in your opinion, makes these good reviews? What would you say defines these as "scholarly" reviews? Compare and contrast the styles, expertise, and effectiveness of these reviews. Include copies of the reviews. (10% of final grade)

3 book reviews (30%): For each of the two monographs that you select, you will write a book report, in which you must summarize the thesis; moreover, you must locate and read at least two scholarly reviews of each book, and must address any major comments or critiques made by the reviewer in the analysis of the book. This analysis, which will be written and handed in, is also to consider what type(s) of sources the author used and how the author utilized those sources.

Finally, you will write on Virginia Woolfe’s A Room of One’s Own, focusing particularly on one of the questions Woolfe poses: how would the view of women in history be different if women had been allowed to express themselves, instead of being represented by male authors?

Each such book project will count for 10% of the student’s final grade.

Research Paper (40%):

In this paper, you are to research and write about the life of a woman known to you, living or dead. This will most likely be a family history, either of a woman that you know/have known (for example, a mother, grandmother, aunt, etc.), or a woman (for example, a great-grandmother) that you have heard about but not known personally. Using oral history and primary sources (letters, legal certificates, etc.), you will construct this woman’s life history and put it in historical context. How was – or wasn’t – her life "typical" of her times? How did historical events and currents shape her life? An alternative to a family history is to profile in the same way a woman (teacher, coach, office holder, etc.) that you admire who is not a relative.

This paper counts for 40% of your final grade, and the quality of your research is a very important component in the grade you receive. The paper must meet graduate standards of research and writing.

Oral final exam (10%): Sometime during exam week (May 9 - 13), each graduate student will schedule an oral final exam with the instructor, which will last about 45 minutes and can include questions about the course work, the student’s paper, and/or books the student has written on. This will be the last 10% of the final grade.

Grading Standards

The paper must meet graduate standards of research and writing.

Standard 100 point scale is used.

Submission Format Policy

Paper must be typed and annotated.

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy

The paper is due Tuesday, April 28. Late papers will be penalized 5 points off for each weekday late and ABSOLUTELY NO PAPERS WILL BE ACCEPTED AFTER THURSDAY, MAY 5.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at