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Women, Race & Class

School: Seattle Central Community College
Professor: Tracy Lai

Winter 2004, 5 credits
Office: Room 4132, Phone (206) 587-6958
Office Hours: MTW 12-12:50 p.m. and by appointment
M, T, Th, F Room 4144
W Lab 3167
E-mail: tralai {at} sccd.ctc(.)edu

COURSE DESCRIPTION: HIS 145 Women, Race & Class is an interdisciplinary examination of the historical institutions, forces and movements that have shaped the status, identities and conditions of multicultural women. While many of the assigned readings are based in the United States, we will also look at global connections and contexts. We will emphasize relationships between theory, practice/action and multiple perspectives.

COURSE OBJECTIVES:
• to build a learning community in which we are each actively engaged in critical thinking and discovering possible interpretations;
• to value and understand the diversity of women's experiences in the U.S.;
• to locate ourselves in relation to the historical web of race, class and gender;
• to bring together theory and practice through service learning;
to listen and communicate effectively about ideas/perspectives with which we are
unfamiliar or uncomfortable.

Course Methods & Format
This course relies upon collaboration among class members and inquiry as a process for developing historical understanding. Class weekly schedule will include 1-2 lecture/discussions on main questions and themes. Other days include seminar, computer lab, guest speakers and videos.

Learning Philosophy
I view learning as a collaborative learning experience. My approach to the study of history is thematic and emphasizes working people and social movements: their organizations, visions, and the struggle to realize democracy and equality. This course complements your other coursework by providing an opportunity to develop a perspective on our contemporary assumptions, and concerns.

Required Texts:
Kirk, Gwyn and Margo Okazawa-Rey. Women's Lives: Multicultural Perspectives. Ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2004.

ATTENDANCE & WITHDRAWAL
Good attendance is highly correlated with high gradepoints. Students are NOT automatically dropped from courses. Drop-class forms are available in room 1104 and 4128. If turned in by January 16, no instructor's signature is needed. February 27 is the last day to withdraw; instructor's signature required and a "W" (withdrawal) appears on your transcript. Without the completed form, a "0.0" is assigned.

STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES
By week 2, try to complete the reading by the beginning of the week. Skim for main themes and take notes to organize and develop your ideas, as well as sharpen discussion. It is unnecessary to memorize all the dates and details. Focus on expressing your understanding in your own words. Please make at least one appointment during the quarter with the instructor to discuss your progress.

WEEK TENTATIVE TOPIC / READING ASSIGNMENT DUE
1. 1/5-9 Introduction & Framework
Chapter 1 Integrative Frameworks for
Understanding
Mini-biography
2.1/12-16 Chapter 2 Identities & Social Locations Service Learning
proposal/placement due
3. 1/20-23 Chapter 3 Women's Bodies
Chapter 4 Women's Sexuality
4. 1/26-30 Chapter 5 Women's Health
Chapter 6 Violence Against Women
Essay 1
5. 2/2-6 Chapter 7 Relationships, Families & Households;
Chapter 8 Work, Wages & Welfare
Mid-quarter Evaluation
6. 2/9-13 Chapter 9 Living in a Global Economy Essay 2
7. 2/17-20 Chapter 10 Women, Crime & Criminalization
Service Learning
journals/reflection due
8. 2/23-27 Chapter 11 Women & the Military, War & Peace;
Chapter 12 Women & Environment
9. 3/1-5 Chapter 13 Creating Change: Theory, Vision, and Action Essay 3
10. 3/8-12 Essay Portfolio (includes final self-evaluation) due
11. 3/15-19 Service Learning journal s/reflection due

No Finals March 22-24

Tentative list of documentaries: Doubles, Public Hearing/Private Pain, Girls Like Us, The Global Assembly Line, The Woman Outside, Rachel Carson/Silent Spring.

Grades & Assignments: Grades will be based on evaluation of 3 areas. The percentage of the final gradepoint is in parentheses:

Participation (30%)
Readings & Connections Portfolio (40%)
Service Learning (30%)
Self-evaluations
Consistent engagement in course activities
Co-facilitation questions for each book (3 total)
Computer lab assignments
Week 4: Essay I
Week 6: Essay 2
Week 9: Essay 3

Short essays that synthesize course materials, especially applying Parts I (theory) and V (creating change).

Week 2: Proposal
Week 7: Journals & Reflections for first half
Week 11: Journals & Reflections for second half

Service Learning

Service Learning is one of the major assignments for this class. The goal of this service learning experience is to experience an organization's efforts to address issues/themes at the center of this course. These issues/themes are expressed in the syllabus and text (table of contents and chapter overviews).

Although members of the class will have different sites for their service learning hours, we will periodically discuss these experiences to examine the ways in which text and other course information may relate to what people are observing and experiencing.

In addition to the actual on site hours (try to schedule a minimum of 20 hours total), the following writings are required:

30 points: a proposal which includes
1. site location and your contact person
2. description of organization's mission/program
3. why you have chosen this group
4. initial questions that you hope to explore during your service learning (the "reflection"
questions in the chapters might be helpful)
5. how you hope to connect this work to HIS 145

40 points: journal entries on your service learning activities & comments based on in-class discussion of your experiences Entries should approximately correlate to your hours. One paragraph for an 8 hour block of time would not be sufficient! The journal entries will be submitted for the first half (about 10 hours) and the second half (first half = 20 points; second half = 20 points).

30 points: reflection essays for first half and second half (2 short essays; 2 pages
each).
As you are reading our text, keep notes on readings/writers/quotations that seem especially relevant to your service learning. You can incorporate these ideas into your reflections about your goals, questions, "practice" and theories that we are studying.

NOTE: the syllabus indicates due dates and we will confirm these in class

Western Regional conferences have been STELLAR; the best service-learning conferences to occur!"

-California State University, Monterey Bay