2012-13 Catalog

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Offering Description

Reading Between the Lines: U.S. Women of Color in the 20th Century


Spring 2013 quarter

Frances V. Rains Native American studies, history, women's studies
Fields of Study
American studies, gender and women's studies and history
Preparatory for studies or careers in
women's studies, 20th century U.S. history, literature and cultural studies

The 20th century has not been the exclusive domain of Euro-American men and women in the U.S. yet it often requires reading between the lines to realize that women of color have also existed at the same time. Repeatedly, women of color [e.g., African American, Native American, Asian American, Latina/Chicana] have been stereotyped and have endured multiple oppressions, leaving them seemingly voiceless and invisible.

Such circumstances have hidden from view how these same women were active agents in the context of their times, who worked to protect their cultures, languages and families. These women of color often resisted the passive victimization associated with them. Gaining an introduction to such women of color can broaden and enrich our understanding of what it has meant to be a woman and a citizen in 20th century North America.

Drawing upon autobiographies, poetry, short stories, essays and films, we will explore the ways in which women of color defied the stereotypes and contributed to the economic, social, political and cultural life of the contemporary United States. We will critique how feminist theory has both served and ignored these women. We will analyze how 20th century U.S. women of color survived, struggled, challenged barriers, and forged their own paths to make life a little easier and better for the next generation of women and men.

Students will develop skills as writers and researchers by studying scholarly and imaginative works and conducting research. Through extensive reading and writing, dialogue, films and guest speakers, we will investigate important aspects of the life and times of women of color in the 20th century.

Online Learning
Enhanced Online Learning
Greener Store
Offered During

Program Revisions

Date Revision
February 20th, 2013 This program now accepts enrollment for all class levels (Freshmen through Seniors).
March 7th, 2012 New program added.