UC Santa Barbara > History Department > Prof. Marcuse > Courses > Grads > Prelim Reading List 3rd Field

My Ph.D. students have asked whether I can provide them with sample reading lists and questions for their pre-dissertation qualifying examinations. The ones I have most easily available are my own, which I make available here with some reservations--they are dated and very tailored to my own exam, but illustrative nonetheless.

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Harold Marcuse
Prelims reading list
27 July 1988

Prelims reading list: U.S. Women's History, Colonial Times to the Present
[3rd field]


General (back to top)

  • Karen ANDERSON, Wartime Women: Sex Roles, Family Relations and the Status of Women During World War II (Westport/CT: Greenwood, 1981).jj
  • Nancy COTT, The Bonds of Womanhood: "Woman's Sphere" in New England, 1780-1835 (New Haven & London: Yale University, 1977).
  • Nancy COTT, Elizabeth PLECK (eds.), A Heritage of Her Own: Toward a New Social History of American Women (NY: Simon & Schuster, 1979).
    -Gerda Lerner: "The Lady and the Mill Girl"
    -C.Smith-Rosenberg: "The Female World of..."
    -Kessler-Harris: "Where are the Organized..."
    -Judith Smith: "Our own Kind: Fam.& Com. Netw."
    -R.Milkman: "Women's Work & Econ. Crisis: Depr."
  • Carl N. DEGLER, At Odds: Women and the Family in America from the Revolution to the Present (New York & Oxford: Oxford Univ., 1980).
  • Barbara L. EPSTEIN, The Politics of Domesticity: Women, Evangelism and Temperance in Nineteenth-Century America (Middletown,CT: Wesleyan Univ., 1981).
  • Estelle B. FREEDMAN, "Sexuality in Nineteenth-Century America: Behavior, Ideology, and Politics", Reviews in American History (Dec.1982),196-215. cp
  • Maurine Weiner GREENWALD, Women, War, and Work: The Impact of World War I on Women Workers in the United States (Westport: Greenwood, 1980). ck,jj
  • Nancy HEWITT, Women's Activism and Social Change: Rochester, New York, 1822-1872 (Ithaca: Cornell, 1984).
  • Carol KARLSEN, The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Witchcraft in 17th Century New England (NY: Norton, 1987).
  • Carol KARLSEN, Laurie CRUMPACKER (eds.), The Journal of Esther Edwards Burr, 1754-1757
  • Linda KERBER, Women of the Republic
  • Mary Beth NORTON, "The Evolution of White Women's Experience in Early America", AHR 89(1984),593-619.
  • Mary Beth NORTON, Liberty's Daughters
  • NORTON, Review article to Esther Burr
  • Mary RYAN, Cradle of the Middle Class: The Family in Oneida County, New York, 1790-1865 (Cambridge, London, New York, etc.: Cambridge Univ., 1981).
  • Christine STANSELL, City of Women: Sex and Class in New York, 1789-1860 (New York: Knopf, 1986).

Women and Work (back to top)

  • Susan Porter BENSON, Counter Cultures: Saleswomen, Managers, and Customers in American Department Stores, 1890-1940 (Urbana: Illinois, 1986). rhn,holl,ck
  • Ileen A. DEVAULT, Sons and Daughters of Labor: Class and Clerical Work in Pittsburgh, 1870s-1910s (Yale Univ., Dec. 1985). cp
  • Thomas DUBLIN, Women at Work: The Transformation of Work and Community in Lowell, Massachusetts, 1826-1860 (NY: Columbia, 1979).
  • Faye DUDDEN, Serving Women. Household Service in 19th Century America (Middletown: Wesleyan, 1983). cp
  • Dana FRANK, "Housewives, Socialists, and the Politics of Food: The 1917 New York Cost-of-Living Protests", Feminist Studies 9(1985),255-285. ck,cp
  • Carol GRONEMAN, Mary Beth NORTON (eds.), "To Toil the Livelong Day": America's Women at Work, 1780-1980 (Cornell, 1987).
    -Mary Blewett: "Sexual Div. of Labor..."
    -K.Mason: "Feeling the Pinch: Kalamazoo.."
    -D.Janiewski: Black women and Unions
    -P.Palmer: "Housewife & Household Worker..."
  • Alice KESSLER-HARRIS, Out to Work: A History of Wage-Earning Women in the United States (NY: Oxford, 1982).
  • Susan KLEINBERG, "Technology and Women's Work: The Lives of Working-Class Women in Pittsburg, 1870-1900", Labor History 17(1976),58-72. cp
  • Ruth MILKMAN, Gender at Work
  • Leslie TENTLER, Wage-earning Women
  • Lynn WEINER, From Working Girl to Working Mother: The Female Labor Force in the United States, 1820-1980 (North Carolina, 1985). rhn,ck
  • Literature on SEARS case: RHR 35(1986),57-79= Alice Kessler-Harris, "EEOC vs. Sears".

Gender and Race (back to top)

  • Angela Yvonne DAVIS, Women Race and Class (New York, 1981, 21983).
  • Bell HOOKS, Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism (Boston: South End, 1981).
  • Dolores JANIEWSKI, Sisterhood Denied: Race, Gender, and Class in a New South Community (Temple, 1985). ck
  • Jacqueline JONES, Labor of Love, Labor of Sorrow: Black Women, Work and the Family, From Slavery to the Present (NY: Vintage, 1985).
  • Suzanne LEBSOCK, The Free Women of Petersburg: Status and Culture in a Southern Town, 1784-1860 (New York & London: W.W. Norton, 1984).
  • Carole SHAMMAS, "Black Women's Work and the Evolution of Plantation Society in Virginia" Labor History 26(1985),5-28. cp
  • Deborah Gray WHITE, Ar'n't I a Woman: Female Slaves in the Plantation South (Norton, 1985). ck,cp

Theory (back to top)

  • Jeanne BOYDSTON, "To Earn her Daily Bread: Housework and Antebellum Working-Class Subsistence", in: RHR 35(Apr.1986),7-25.cp
  • Capitalist Patriarchy and the Case for Socialist Feminism, Zillah EISENSTEIN (ed.), (NY: Monthly Review, 1979).
    -Bridges, Weinbaum: Other Side of Paycheck
    -J.Gardiner: "Women's Domestic Labor..."
  • Linda GORDON, Woman's Body, Woman's Right: A Social History of Birth Control in America (NY: Grossman, 1976).
  • Mary S. HARTMANN, Lois BANNER (eds.), Clio's Consciousness Raised: New Perspectives on the History of Women (NY: Harper & Row, 1974). ckt
    -L.Gordon: "Voluntary Motherhood..."
  • Nancy HEWITT, "Beyond the Search for Sisterhood: American Women's History in the 1980s", Social History 10(1985),299-322. cp
  • Sherry ORTNER, "Is Female to Male as Nature is to Culture?,in: Michelle Z. ROSALDO, Louise LAMPHERE (eds.), Woman, Culture, and Society (Stanford, 1974),67-87.
  • Sherry ORTNER, Harriet WHITEHEAD, "Introduction: Accounting for Sexual Meanings", in: Sexual Meanings: The Cultural Construction of Gender and Sexuality (Cambridge: Cam.U., 1981),1-27.
  • Michelle Z. ROSALDO, "The Use and Abuse of Anthropology: Reflections on Feminism and Cross-cultural Understanding", Signs, 5(1980),
  • Joan SCOTT, "Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis", AHR 91(1886),1053-1075. csst
  • Wally SECCOMBE, "Patriarchy Stabilized: The construction of the Male Breadwinner Norm", in: Social History 11(1986),53-76.
  • Carroll SMITH-ROSENBERG, Disorderly Conduct: Visions of Gender in Victorian America (Knopf, 1985). rhn
  • Barbara WELTER, "The Cult of True Womanhood", American Quarterly 18(1966),151-174.
  • Frances C. WHITE, "Listening to the Voices of Black Feminism", in: Radical America 18(1984):7-25.

5 September 1988

Suggested Questions for Prelim field: US Women's History (focus: work)
(back to top)

  1. What was the nature and status of women's work in the North American colonies/18th century U.S.? How did they relate to the social and economic organization of the time?
  2. How did better-situated women's work change during early industrialization (early 19th c.)? What ideological change accompanied the material reorganization? Did women gain or lose due to these changes ("decline thesis")?
  3. What opportunities were open to women in the early manufacturing industries?
  4. What role did women's paid and unpaid work play in the broader transition to industrial capitalism?
  5. How did Black women's work, both under slavery and for freed and free women, differ from white women's work? Have divisions across race or gender (or class) lines tended to be more significant for Black women?
  6. What was/is the "family wage"? How can it be assessed in the context of women's role in the industrial labor force?
  7. How did war affect paid women's work? How did it affect gender relations at the workplace? Were there differences during the different wars (Civil, WWI, WWII)? What happened after the wars?
  8. Trace the origins/history of the feminist movement. What theories have been put forth to explain its rise and the critical junctures? What are the different orientations of different groups within it?
  9. Review the basic paradigms of US women's history during the past two decades. What are some of the directions future research might take?

document author: Harold Marcuse, June/Sept. 1988; uploaded by H. Marcuse, Oct. 9, 2005, last updated: 2/29/08
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