|Women, Children and Men: Families in Historical
History 249/Feminist and Gender Studies 247--Block 6, 2012-13
Carol Neel (Palmer 233E, firstname.lastname@example.org, 719.389.6527)
The image at the left is by the early sixteenth-century German painter Lucas Cranach, and shows the baby Jesus with his parents, grandmother, little cousins and various male relations. Is this evidence for real German family relations in early modernity?
COURSE DESCRIPTION AND REQUIREMENTS
This course treats family structures, gender roles and perceptions of human development throughout the ancient Mediterranean, premodern European, and modern European and American pasts. It asks how human beings--women, children, and men--are defined by the biological, social, and/or cultural bond we label "family." It inquires further how notions of familial connection have changed across time and space, and how sexualities, marriage and childhood have in turn been shaped by differing family and household circumstances. In emphasizing the experience of women and children while viewing men in their familial context, this course will attempt to redress both the relative silence of non-males, non-elites and non-adults in the western historical record and historians' consequent neglect of the human majority.
This is is a huge task and we can here only make a beginning. First we will ask what "family" means in the early twenty-first century and how the recent past--the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries--has framed contemporary understandings of familial relations. We will then return to ancient Mediterranean models of gender and sexual behaviors, and survey major developments in the history of marriage and childhood in the European medieval and early modern periods. Finally, we will address the nurturance of children in modern America. Throughout our discussion, we will compare periods and cultural contexts with respect to the relationship between ideals and realities of household, marriage, and child-rearing. In all our conversations, we will note now the family historian reconsiders well-known sources and uncovers new evidence in order to describe the private lives of the past's ordinary people.
Common readings will gather students' varied historical experience in group discussion. Each class member will
Because this course is largely discussion-based, final assessment will be based on both in-class participation and written work, with discussion, research paper, and other written assignments (taken together) weighted equally. All written work must acknowledge the Colorado College Honor Code.
The following works are available for purchase in the Colorado College Bookstore and from internet sources.
Ballestracci, Duccio. The Renaissance in the Fields: Family Memoirs of a Fifteenth-Century Tuscan Peasant. University Park PA: Penn State U P, 1999. ISBN-10: 0271018798
Brucker, Gene. Giovanni and Lusanna: Love and Marriage in Renaissance Florence. Berkeley: U of California P, 2004. ISBN-10: 0520244958
Hanawalt, Barbara. Growing Up in Medieval London: The Experience of Growing Up in History. Oxford: Oxford U P, 1995. ISBN-10: 019509388
Herlihy, David. Medieval Households. Cambridge MA: Harvard U P, 1985. ISBN-10: 067456376X
Laurence, Ray. Roman Passions: A History of Pleasure in Imperial Rome. New York: Continuum Books, 2010. ISBN-10: 1441134859
Mintz, Steven. Huck’s Raft: A History of American Childhood. Cambridge MA: Belknap P, 2006. ISBN-10: 0674019980
Ozment, Steven. Ancestors: The Loving Family in Old Europe. Cambridge MA: Harvard U P, 2001. ISBN-10: 0674004841
The following further works will be available through the course's PROWL website:
Alcott, Louisa May. Transcendental Wild Oats and Excerpts from the Fruitlands Diary. 7th ed. Boston: Harvard Common Press, 1995.
Boswell, John Eastburn. "Expositio and Oblatio: The Abandonment of Children in the Ancient and Medieval Family." American Historical Review 89 (1986): 10-33.
Marie de France. "Le Fresne" and "Yonec." Lais of Marie de France. Trans. Robert Hanning and Joan Ferrante. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1995. Pp. 73-91, 137-53.
Stephen de Bourbon. De supersticione: On St. Guinefort. Internet Medieval Sourcebook. http://www/fordham.edu/halsall/source/guinefort.html.
Classroom discussion will open with viewing of the following film:
Armstrong, Gillian (dir.). Little Women (1994).
SCHEDULE OF CLASS DISCUSSIONS AND WRITTEN ASSIGNMENTS
On the first day of the block, class will meet in the morning (9am) in Palmer 233A. Thereafter, unless otherwise announced or noted below, it will meet at 9:30am. The instructor will introduce common readings, suggest appropriate study questions, and identify collateral reading for discussion leaders. All readings will be completed by the class session for which their discussion is listed; no written work will be accepted late without prior excuse. Entire works are assigned unless specific pages or sections are listed.
WEEK 1 (February 18): Discovering familes, finding children across time
Introduction: Doing family history
1pm FILM: Armstrong, Little Women
Discussion: Armstrong, Alcott
|Wednesday||Discussion: Mintz 1-74|
|Thursday||Discussion: Mintz 75-153|
SHORT ESSAYS DUE IN CLASS: In two crisp pages, critique Little Women OR Alcott's "Oats" fable OR her diary in view of our reading from Mintz.
WEEK 2 (February 25): Families and households in the European past
|Monday||Discussion: Laurence 87=164; Boswell|
|Tuesday||Discussion: Herlihy 1-78; Marie de France|
|Wednesday||Discussion: Herlihy 79-159; Stephen de Bourbon|
INDIVIDUAL RESEARCH REPORTS
BRIEF PROSPECTUS OF INDIVIDUAL RESEARCH PROJECTS DUE IN CLASS
Discussion: Hanawalt, ALL vii-22; GROUP 1 23-68; GROUP 2 69-88, 109-128; GROUP 3 129-172; ALL 199-222
WEEK 3 (March 4): Historical marriage, historical parenting
Discussion: Balestracci ix-61
|Wednesday||Discussion: Balestracci 62-114|
NO CLASS MEETING--WRITING DAY
5pm RESEARCH ESSAYS DUE
|Friday||Discussion: Ozment Ancestors|
WEEK 4 (March 11): Looking back from where we are
|Monday||Discussion: Mintz 275-309, 335-384|
NO CLASS MEETING--WORKGROUPS AND EXAM PREPARATION
1pm EXAM ESSAYS DUE FOR EXCHANGE WITHIN EXAM GROUPS
|Wednesday||SMALL-GROUP ORAL EXAMS|