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HIS 156 — The History of Modern Feminism in the United States: 1960s Through Today

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Wednesdays
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 5 weeks
Date(s): Jan 31—Feb 28
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm
Drop Deadline: Feb 13
Unit: 1
Tuition: $305
Instructor(s): Margo Horn
Status: Open
7:00—8:50 pm
Jan 31—Feb 28
5 weeks
Drop By
Feb 13
1 Unit
Margo Horn
The history of US feminism is still being written today, as the struggle for gender equality continues, arguably now with renewed vigor. This course will take a close look at the history of feminism in the United States, particularly in our modern times. Students will dive deeply into the Second and Third Wave feminist movements starting in the 1960s and consider the following questions: We will look at the writing of Second Wave feminists such as Pauli Murray, Susan Brownmiller, and Audre Lorde and explore how the agenda for Second Wave feminism was shaped. What thwarted the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, and what effects resulted from that defeat? What strides did the Second Wave make for reproductive rights, and what was left unfinished? From there we will focus on the conditions that sparked the Third Wave in the early 1990s, and read the ideas of a new generation of feminist activists, including Rebecca Walker’s “Becoming the Third Wave,” and Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards’s Manisfesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future. How have these Third Wave activists redefined feminism, and how have they broken the boundaries of the Second Wave? What is the current agenda of feminists, and is there a nascent Fourth Wave in the making? Finally, how can history help us speculate about the future of US feminism?

Margo Horn, Lecturer in History, Stanford

Margo Horn is a social historian specializing in the history of women, the history of family, and the social history of medicine and psychiatry. Her current research projects concern the history of women in 20th-century America, and mental illness in America during the same period. She is the author of Before It’s Too Late: The Child Guidance Movement in the United States, 1922–1945. She received an MA and a PhD from Tufts.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Ruth Rosen, The World Split Open (ISBN 978-0140097191)