Women's and Gender History: An Introduction to Theory, Methodology and Archives (M) (2017/18)

Course Description: 

Part of Mandatory “Foundations in Historical Methods and Theories” for Matilda students.

This course is designed to provide students with a basic understanding of the field of women’s and gender history and its main concepts, theories and approaches, and to familiarize them with the challenges and (hopefully) excitement of “finding women in the archives.”

We will address the history of the (sub)discipline of women’s and gender history, including the development of some of the main concepts and the debates around them. What is “women’s” history; what is “gender?” Does the concept of gender “work” everywhere? How have post-colonial perspectives influenced women’s history? What is the state of women’s and gender history in the region of Central and Eastern Europe? What in other parts of the world?

We will focus on research methodology, with a special emphasis on archives – both theoretically and practically. We will read and discuss recent literature that historicizes archives and approaches them as “artifacts of history” (Antoinette Burton, 2005, 6). And we will become acquainted with some of the main women’s archives worldwide – archives both in the conventional sense and digital archives.

Students will apply the knowledge acquired here by writing and presenting a research paper about the state of women’s history and/or finding women in the archives in a country or region of their choice.

Learning Outcomes: 

The course provides students with a basic knowledge of the discipline of women’s and gender history, its main concepts and challenges. Students will become acquainted with the work of scholars whose work is considered as foundational in the field. In terms of methods, they will practice how to “find women in the archives” and will apply this knowledge to the archival situation in a country or region of their choice.



Requirements and grading:

Your grade will comprise of the following elements:

  • Active participation in class which demonstrates your familiarity with the material assigned – 25% of the grade
  • One 2-page reaction paper – 25% of the grade
  • One class presentation of your research project – 25% of the grade
  • Research paper (around 15 pages, double spaced) – 25% of the grade

Your two papers have to pass in order for you to pass the course.