What did it mean to be a man or woman in the post-Civil War United States? Was being a man the same as being a citizen? If African-American men were to be fully embraced as both men and citizens in the aftermath of slavery, where did that leave women, white and black? Why did a nation built on immigration become so hostile to certain groups of immigrants during this period? In this course, we consider how the meanings and experiences of womanhood, manhood, citizenship, and equality before the law changed from the period immediately after the Civil War until the present day. We look at political battles over the meaning of citizenship, the use of terror to subdue African Americans politically and economically, and the fears of white Americans that they would lose their political and economic dominance to immigrant groups they deemed irreconcilably different from themselves. We also consider the repercussions of these conflicts for medical, legal, and economic efforts to regulate the bodies of women, children, poor people, immigrants, working class laborers, military men, and African Americans. Throughout the course, we will follow the state's changing use of racial, sexual, and economic categories to assess the bodily and intellectual capacities of different groups of citizens. We will also note some of the popular cultural expressions of manhood, womanhood, and citizenship. The lectures and reading assignments are organized around a series of historical problems, dynamic leaders, and controversies that illuminate these issues.
AFRC 346 - Bodies, Race and Rights: Sex and Citizenship in Modern American History
GSWS 346 - Bodies, Race and Rights: Sex and Citizenship in Modern American History