Women and Politics Syllabus, Spring 2019

Professor Ruth O’Brien

Office: Room 5200.01, CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue

Office Hours: M 12:00-12:30 and 3:15-3:45

robrien@gc.cuny.edu

This course examines over half the population — women — and American politics.  It is not women in politics because there are not enough of them to study formally; women constitute the margin of error.  It focuses on women and America politics from the foundation of the political system in early America to the 2016 election, when a woman first won the presidential nomination of one of the two major parties in the United States.  

Women from all races, ethnicities and sexualities have been a force in American politics.  They participate as caregivers, parents, citizens, activists, voters, politicians and unelected officials in interest groups and voluntary associations and social movements.  They have also faced great obstacles when they tred to obtain positions of power, in what some have called the backlash. What is more, sex, gender and sexuality — as concepts — help shape the very form of our political institutions, including its social, economic and political soft and hard norms, laws, and public policies.  

The goal of this course is to show how women in their different roles and concepts help us understand political processes and outcomes in the United States. We will also cover how institutional rules, formal and informal, inhibit women’s influence.  How does the media cover female candidates? What barriers inhibit female candidates to running? How do voters view their candidacies?

Finally, women seek political equality in an age of deep economic inequality.  The gap has widened greatly with women and the dependents they care for put in the most peril.  This course will explore how the different economic inequalities impact women and policies that serve women and children, a large majority of the population.

Required Books: 

Burrell, Barbara C., Women and politics: a quest for political equality in an age of

economic inequality (New York: Routledge, 2018) 1st edition.

ISBN: 978-1-138-85654-7 (hbk)

ISBN: 978-1-138-85655-4 (pbk)

ISBN: 978-1-315-71953-5 (ebk)

O’Brien, Ruth, ed., Telling Stories Out of Court: Narratives about Women and Workplace Discrimination (Cornell University Press, 2008)
Recommended Book for Paper:
The Rise of Neoliberal Feminism, by Catherine Rottenberg (Oxford University Press, 2018)

Pedagogy:

*This syllabus will be updated by early February to reflect student interests.  Paulo Frere’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed is the teaching style I follow. This class includes guest speakers and research in the classroom CUNY1st style, including blogging, pods and vods.

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Grading:

Weekly Participation

Midterm

Short Paper (book review) 1000 to 1200 words book review of Catherine Rottenberg, The Rise of Neoliberal Feminism (New York: Oxford University Press, Heretical Thought book, 2018)
Final 

PART I. CONCEPTS

1. Mon. Jan. 28 Introduction, Syllabus Handout, Defining Concepts

• None

2. Mon. Feb. 4 Overview and Concepts

Required Reading: Chapter 1 Introduction 

Further Reading:

• Candace West and Don H. Zimmerman, “Doing Gender,” Gender & Society 1 (1987), 125-151.

3. Mon. Feb. 11 

Required Reading: Chapter 2 The 1st and 2nd Women’s Rights Movements
Further Reading: Intersectionality

• Valerie Chepp and Patricia Hill Collins, “Intersectionality,” in The Oxford Handbook of Gender and Politics, Georgina Waylen, ed., 57-87.

• Ange-Marie Hancock, “When Multiplication Doesn’t Equal Quick Addition: Examining Intersectionality as a Research Paradigm,” Perspectives on Politics 5 (2007), 63-79.

Mon. Feb. 18 NO CLASSES

PART II. INEQUALITIES, IMPRESSING PUBLICS or PUBLIC OPINION

4. Mon. Feb. 25 Economic Inequalities

Required Reading: Chapter 3 Women’s Political Voice and Economic Inequality; Introduction to Telling Stories Out of Court

Further Reading: 

Judith Apter Klinghoffer and Lois Elkis, “The Petticoat Electors: Women’s Suffrage in New Jersey, 1776-1807,” Journal of the Early Republic 12 (1992), 159-193.

Susan Zaeske, “Signatures of Citizenship: The Rhetoric of Women’s Antislavery Petitions,” Quarterly Journal of Speech 88 (2002), 147-168.

5. Mon. March 4 Public Opinion

Required Reading: Chapter 4 Gender, Voting, Electioneering, and Public Opinion

Further Reading: Kathleen Dolan, “Gender Stereotypes, Candidate Evaluations, and Voting for Women Candidates. What Really Matters?” Political Research Quarterly 67 (2014), 96-107.

Johanna Dunaway, Regina G. Lawrence, Melody Rose, and Christopher R. Weber, “Traits versus Issues: How Female Candidates Shape Coverage of Senate and Gubernatorial Races,” Political Research Quarterly 66 (2013), 715-726.

6. Mon. March 11 Parties

Required Reading: Chapter 5 Political Parties: Bringing Women into the Electoral Arena

7. Mon. March 18 Midterm

PART III. GENDERED INSTITUTIONS & FEMINIST POLICIES?

8. Mon. March 25 Race-Gendered Institutions

Required Reading: Chapter 6 “Doing Politics”: Women’s Empowerment and Community Activism

Further Reading:

• Mary Hawkesworth, “Congressional Enactments of Race-Gender: Toward a Theory of Raced-Gendered Institutions,” American Political Science Review 97 (2003), 529-550.

9. Mon. April 1 Social Policy, Institutions and Gender

Required Reading: 7 Women’s NGOs: Advocating for Global Women’s Rights

Further Reading: 

Nancy Fraser and Linda Gordon, “A Genealogy of Dependency: Tracing a Keyword of the U.S. Welfare State,” SIGNS 19 (1994), 309-336.

PART IV. ELECTORAL HURDLES & OBSTACLES

10. Mon. April 8 Running for Office

Required Reading: Chapter 8 Women’s Candidacies for Elected Office

Further Reading: 

Rachel Silbermann, “Gender Roles, Work-Life Balance, and Running for Office,” Quarterly Journal of Political Science 10 (2015), 123-153.

Johanna Dunaway, Regina G. Lawrence, Melody Rose, and Christopher R. Weber, “Traits versus Issues: How Female Candidates Shape Coverage of Senate and Gubernatorial Races, Political Research Quarterly 66 (2013), 715-726.

Michael Barber, Daniel M. Butler, and Jessica Preece, “Gender Inequalities in Campaign Finance,” Quarterly Journal of Political Science 11 (2016), 219-248.

11. Mon. April 15 Stereotypes and Running 

Required Reading: Chapter 9 The 2016 Presidential Election and the First Woman President?

Further Reading: 

Kathleen Dolan, “Gender Stereotypes, Candidate Evaluations, and Voting for Women Candidates. What Really Matters?” Political Research Quarterly 67 (2014), 96-107.

Joseph E. Uscinski and Lilly J. Goren, “What’s in a Name? Coverage of Senator Hillary Clinton during the 2008 Democratic Primary,” Political Research Quarterly 64 (2011), 884-896.


Mon. April 22 NO CLASSES — SPRING RECESS — Paper Due

12. Mon. April 29 Stereotypes and Running 

Required Reading: Chapter 10 Public Policy on Women’s Rights and Equity Issues

Further Reading: Cathy J. Cohen and Sarah J. Jackson, “A Conversation with Cathy J. Cohen on Black Lives Matter, Feminism, and Contemporary Activism,” SIGNS 42 (2016), 775–792.

13. Mon. May 6 Do Parties or Campaign Finances Keep Women Out?

Required Reading: Chapter 11 Women’s Political Participation in a Comparative Perspective

14. Mon. May 13 Review

FURTHER READING:

CONCEPTS

Mary Hawkesworth, “Sex, Gender and Sexuality: From Naturalized Presumption to Analytical Categories,” in The Oxford Handbook of Gender and Politics, Georgina Waylen, ed., 31-56.

Judith Grant, Fundamental Feminism: Contesting the Core Concepts of Feminist Theory; Chilla Bulbeck, Re-orienting Western Feminisms; and Susan Stanford Friedman, Mappings: Feminism and the Cultural Geographies of Encounter.

HISTORY

Laurel Ulrich, “‘Daughters of Liberty’: Religious Women in Revolutionary New England,” in Women in the Age of the American Revolution, Ronald Hoffman and Peter Albert, eds., 211-243.

Jacqueline Jones, “Race, Sex and Self Evident Truths: The Status of Slave Women during the Era of the American Revolution,” in Women in the Age of the American Revolution, Ronald Hoffman and Peter Albert, eds., 293-337.

Kathleen Brown, “Engendering Racial Difference, 1640-1670,” in Good Wives, Nasty Wenches & Anxious Patriarchs, 107-136.

Faye Dudden, “Kansas” in Fighting Chance: The Struggle over Woman Suffrage and Black Suffrage in Reconstruction America, 108-132.

Martha Jones, “Right Is of No Sex: Reframing the Debate through the Rights of Women” in All Bound Up Together: The Woman Question in African American Public Culture, 1830-1900, 59-86.

Martha Jones, “Make Us a Power: Churchwoman’s Politics and the Campaign for Women’s Rights,” in All Bound Up Together: The Woman Question in African American Public Culture, 1830-1900, 151-172.

INSTITUTIONS  & POLICIES

Mary Hawkesworth, “Congressional Enactments of Race-Gender: Toward a Theory of Raced-Gendered Institutions,” American Political Science Review 97 (2003), 529-550.

Corrine McConnaughy, “Coalitional Impossibilities: Race, Class, and Failure,” in The Woman Suffrage Movement in America: A Reassessment, 170-207.

Ann Orloff, “Gender in the Welfare State,” Annual Review of Sociology 22 (1996), 51-78.

POLITICS

Gloria Steinem, “Women are Never Front Runners,” New York Times, January 8, 2008, Online.

Estelle C. Jelinek, ”Introduction: Women’s Autobiography and the Male Tradition,” in Women’s Autobiography: Essays in Criticism, Estelle C. Jelinek, ed., 1-20.

Brenda DeVore Marshall and Molly A. Mayhead, “Women’s Autobiography as Political Discourse” in Telling Political Lives: The Rhetorical Autobiographies of Women Leaders in the United States, Brenda DeVore Marshall and Molly A. Mayhead, eds., 7-14.

Sarah Palin, “Going Rogue,” in Going Rogue: An American Life, 230-279.

Richard L. Fox and Jennifer L. Lawless, “Entering the Arena? Gender and the Decision to Run for Office,” American Journal of Political Science 48 (2004), 264- 80.

Brenda DeVore Marshall “Getting from There to Here: Political Rhetoric and African American Orality in Barbara Jordan: A Self-Portrait,” in Telling Political Lives: The Rhetorical Autobiographies of Women Leaders in the United States, Brenda DeVore Marshall and Molly A. Mayhead, eds., 7-54.

Andrew S. Fullerton and Michael J. Stern, “Racial Differences in the Gender Gap in Political Participation in the American South, 1952–2004,” Social Science History 37 (2013), 145-176

Connie Bruck, “Hilary the Pol,” The New Yorker, May 30, 1994. Online.

Ronnee Schreiber, “Gender Roles, Motherhood, and Politics: Conservative Women’s Organizations Frame Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann,” Journal of Women, Politics & Policy 37 (2016), 1-23.

Tali Mendelberg, Christopher F. Karpowitz, and Nicholas Goedert. “Does Descriptive Representation Facilitate Women’s Distinctive Voice? How Gender Composition and Decision Rules Affect Deliberation,” American Journal of Political Science 58 (2014), 291–306.