Gender and the American South -- first year undergraduate suggested readings


From the H-SAWH Discussion Logs (September 2007):

Question originally posed:
dear all,
i am putting together a seminar for first-year students on gender and the
american south and would love to hear your recommendations for readings,
films, or other resources
. (the course looks at masculinity and femininity from
colonial period to present and is designed for first-semester college students,
straight out of high school).

many thanks!
laura puaca

UNC-Chapel Hill

Responses
A handful of suggestions of sources that I think would be highly
readable:
 
Secondary:
 
Jennifer Ritterhouse's Growing Up Jim Crow
Elsa Barkley Brown's articles
Evelyn Higginbotham, African American Women's History and the
Metalanguage
of Race; and/or Righteous Discontent
Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, Revolt against Chivalry:  Jessie Daniel Ames and
the
Women's Campaign against Lynching
 
Memoirs and fiction always work well with students:
 
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Growing Up in Mississippi
Warriors Don't Cry
Blood Done Sign My Name
Portions of Du Bois's Souls of Black Folk and Anna Julia Cooper's A
Voice
from the South
James Weldon Johnson, The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man
Sarah Haardt's Little White Girl or other essays, maybe also Julia
Peterkin?
 
There is the amazing George Stoney documentary produced to train black
midwives called All My Babies but along with that on the newly
re-released
DVD might be a shorter documentary even more interesting from a gender
perspective: Palmour Street (1949)--a guide to proper family relations
which documents the lived experiences of Jim Crow.
 
I'll look foward to seeing suggestions from others.
 
Susan Bragg, PhD
Visiting Assistant Professor
Department of History, University of Utah
 
 
I took this class in graduate school and having just recently moved, and
found my syllabus, this is what Bill Harris (UNH) assigned. (And
obviously won't all be accessible to undergrads, but I think much of it
is appropriate.)

Kathleen Brown, "Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anxious Patriarchs"
Sherwood Bonner, "Like Unto Like"
Wilbur J. Cash, "The Mind of the South"
Catherine Clinton, ed. "Half Sisters of History"
Laura Edwards, "Gendered Strife and Confusion"
Glenda Gilmore, "Gender and Jim Crow"
Tera Hunter, "To 'Joy My Freedom"
Zora Neale Hurston, "Their Eyes Were Watching God"
Lee Ann Whites, "The Civil War as a Crisis in Gender"
Nancy MacLean, "Behind the Mask of Chivalry"
Stephanie McCurry, "Masters of Small Worlds"
Margaret Mitchell, "Gone With the Wind"
Allen Tate, "The Fathers"
Marlie Weiner, "Mistresses and Slaves"
Betram Wyatt-Brown, "Honer and Violence in the Old South"
Eugene Genovese, "Our Family, Black and White"
Nina Silber, ed. "Divided Houses"
Jane Turner Censer, "A Changing World of Work: North Carolina Elite
Women, 1865-1895" (in North Carolina Historical Review)
Joel Williamson, "A Rage for Order"
Anne Firor Scott, "The Southern Lady: From Pedestal to Politics"

And, I'd like to add a book that I have contributed to recently, one of
the very, very few on white women involved in the CRM:
Gail S. Murray, ed., Throwing off the Cloak of Privilege: White Southern
Women Activists in the Civil Rights
Era, The University Press of Florida, May 2004.

There are a few others in the works on black women civil rights
activists in the Confederate states, as well as a book on women at
Newcomb College in New Orleans.

I too look forward to seeing list suggestions.
Best,
Shannon


Shannon Frystak, PhD
Assistant Professor of African-American History
East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania
Department of History
East Stroudsburg, PA 18301