To what extent do you see evidence of women’s roles shifting? Are women gaining greater access to traditional male arenas—politics, professional employment, sports, etc.? Are women questioning or upholding traditional ideas about gender roles? How do these questions play out on both the national stage, as well as the more homogenous environment of a single college campus? Should historians revise the idea of the years “between the waves” as a relative pause between two waves of feminist activism? If so, how?
Initial Project Steps:
1) Browse the following timelines. What are the key milestones in women’s history writ large? Where are women making inroads into new arenas of American society? The broad national context is important for understanding the circumstances of local action.
NATIONAL WOMEN’S HISTORY ALLIANCE:
NORTH CAROLINA MUSEUM OF HISTORY:
3) Survey local Guilford Sources
Available on DigitalNC (https://www.digitalnc.org/) are Guilford College C
atalogs, Yearbooks, and copies of the Guilfordian. Divide up with your group members the work of a comprehensive survey of these materials. Read and take notes, paying attention to explicit discussions of gender, as well as hidden evidence of gender relations on campus. Where do you see women’s participation and inclusion on campus, both in academics and extracurricular activities? Where do you see their absence or exclusion? Do you see evidence that students and faculty were evaluating women’s status on campus? Do you see evidence of resonance between local events and state/national politics and trends? Share the work you produce with each other via Google Docs. (NOTES: Be sure to share your google doc with me and indicate on the doc who contributes what material. Also, include citations in your notes, so that your fellow group members can properly cite your work.)
“Graduates of Last Year Continue to Study and Work” Guilfordian, 3 November 1934, p. 4
Notes that nine members of the class of 1934 are doing graduate work. Of these, three are women; one in chemistry, one in psychology, one in an unspecified field.
4) Contextualize Your Local Research with Additional Primary and Secondary Sources
You will need to use at least three secondary sources and three primary sources (other than Guilford-related sources) to place your Guilford research in a broader context. As you read your Guilford sources, be thinking about questions that come up that you’d like to explore in additional sources. We will work on this together during a trip to the library, but here are some thoughts on places to look.
Library Catalog, J-Stor
Also, I have two women’s history textbooks on reserve at the library.
New York Times
Hege Library provides full access to the New York Times Archive back to 1851. However, during the date range 1923-1980, users are limited to 5 accesses per day.
North Carolina Newspapers
Databases Available Through Hege:
--NC Live (Historic North Carolina Digital Newspaper Collection)
Examples of Popular Periodicals:
“Censoring the Conduct of College Women” The Atlantic (1930)
“Women in Politics” Good Housekeeping (1940)
“Politics is a Pretty Personal Thing with Women” Colliers (1956)