School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Spring 2014

Class # 1458 | Mondays 1:00pm – 4:00pm | Spertus 722

Historical Studies: Women in the City [link to syllabus PDF]

Instructor: Monica L. Mercado

Welcome to the Spring 2014 course website for Historical Studies: Women in the City. This course provides a social and cultural history of urban women in the U.S. context, from the early nineteenth century through the post-WWII “urban crisis” and women’s liberation movements. We will examine where urban life for men and women diverged and where it met, asking how gender has been negotiated in the confined space of the city. In particular, we will draw on Chicago’s rich history to illuminate how women have engaged with the city around them, and to ask how the city has shaped understandings of gender roles.

We will study these ideas through readings in both primary and secondary sources; in visits to libraries and historic sites; in in-class film screenings and class discussions; and in a series of short writing assignments.

Header image:

Mayor Richard J. Daley’s exhibit, “Chicago: Roads to Renewal,” at the Chicago Public Library (August 1956). Archival Photographic Files (#apf2-09469), Mildred Mead Photographs, University of Chicago LibrarySpecial Collections Research Center.

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