Course Schedule & Readings

January 27 | Week 1


Tara Isabella Burton, “Dangers of Traveling While Female,” Salon (2013).

February 3 | Week 2:

Bodies, Cities, Gender

Elizabeth Grosz, “Bodies-Cities,” in Sexuality and Space, ed. Beatriz Colomina   (Princeton, NJ: Princeton Architectural Press, 1992), 241-53.

Joan Wallach Scott, “Gender: A Useful Category of Analysis,” American Historical     Review 91.5 (December 1986): 1053-1075.

Christine Stansell, City of Women: Sex and Class in New York, 1789- 1860 (University of Illinois Press, 1987), xi-xiv and 3-37 (Introduction and Chapters 1-2).

In-class Film Screening Part 1: “Chicago, City of the Century” (2003)

February 10 | Week 3:

Into the Streets: Finding Chicago’s City of Women

Michel de Certeau, trans. Steven Rendall, “Walking in the City” and “Spacial Stories,” The Practices of Everyday Life (University of California Press, 1984), 91-130.

Suellen Hoy, “Caring for Chicago’s Women and Girls: The Sisters of the Good Shepherd, 1859-1911,” Journal of Urban History 23.3 (March 1997): 260-94.

Karen Sawislak, “Relief, Aid, and Order: Class, Gender, and the Definition of Community in the Aftermath of Chicago’s Great Fire,” Journal of Urban History 20.1 (November 1993): 3-18.

In-class Film Screening, Part 2: “Chicago: City of the Century” (2003)

February 17 | Week 4:

Sex and Work

John D’Emilio “Capitalism and Gay Identity,” (1983) in The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader (Psychology Press, 1993), 467-476.

Joanne Meyerowitz, “Sexual Geography and Gender Economy: The Furnished Room Districts of Chicago, 1890-1930,” Gender & History 2.3 (Autumn 1990): 274-296.

February 24 | Week 5:

Chicago 1893 (& class visit to Ryerson & Burnham Libraries)

Rachel E. Bohlmann, “Our ‘House Beautiful’: The Woman’s Temple and the WCTU Effort to Establish Place and Identity in Downtown Chicago, 1887-1898,” Journal of Women’s History 11.2 (1999): 110-134.

Judy Sund, “Columbus and Columbia in Chicago, 1893: Man of Genius Meets Generic Woman,” Art Bulletin 75.3 (September 1993): 443-466.

[skim] World’s Columbian Exposition Official Catalogue Part XIV. Woman’s Building (Chicago: W.B. Conkey Co., 1893), via Internet Archive.

[note: Start Sister Carrie]

March 3 | Week 6:

The Pleasures and Dangers of the City (& Class walk to the Walnut Room)

Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie (Doubleday, 1900), via Internet Archive.

March 10 | Week 7:

Reforming the City

Jane Addams, Twenty Years at Hull-House: With Autobiographical Notes (New York: The MacMillan Company, 1911) via Internet Archive. Read Preface (p. vii-ix) and Chapters IV, V, VI (p. 65-153).

Maureen A. Flanagan, “The City Profitable, the City Liveable: Environmental Policy, Gender, and Power in Chicago in the 1910s,” Journal of Urban History 22.2 (January 1996): 163-190.

In-Class Film Screening: “The Women of Hull-House” (1992)

March 17 | Week 8:

At Home in the City (& class visit to Robie House)

Lizabeth Clemens, “Encountering Mass Culture” in Making a New Deal: Industrial Workers in Chicago, 1919-1939 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990), 99-158.

Dolores Hayden, “What Would a Non-Sexist City Be Like?” in Women and the American City, ed. Catharine R. Stimpson (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981), 167-184.

March 24 | Week 9:

Black Metropolis, Urban Renewal

Hazel Carby, “Policing the Black Woman’s Body in an Urban Context,” Critical Inquiry 18 (Summer 1992): 738-55.

Sylvia Hood Washington, “Mrs. Block Beautiful: African American Women and the Birth of the Urban Conservation Movement, Chicago, Illinois, 1917-1954,” Environmental Justice 1.1 (2008): 13-23.

Sarah Potter, “Family Ideals: The Diverse Meanings of Residential Space in Chicago during the Baby Boom,” Journal of Urban History 39.1 (January 2013): 59-78.

In-class Film Screening: “Raisin in the Sun” (1961)

March 31 | Week 10:

The Girls in 3B (& Class Visit to Flaxman Library Special Collections) 

Valerie Taylor, The Girls in 3B (Beacon Books, 1959; reissued by the Feminist Press, 2003)

April 7 | Week 11:

The Death and Life of a Chicago Edifice (& Class Visit to the Mecca exhibit, Chicago Cultural Center)

“The Mecca: Chicago’s Showiest Apartment Has Given Up All but the Ghost,” Life Magazine (November 19, 1951), via Google Books. 

Gwendolyn Brooks, In the Mecca: Poems (New York: Harper and Row, 1968), selections.

Daniel Bluestone, “Chicago Mecca Flat Blues,” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 57.4 (December 1998): 382-403.

April 14 | Week 12:

Women’s Liberation and Feminist Responses in the City

Anne Enke, Finding the Movement: Sexuality, Contested Space, and Feminist Activism (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2007), 1-101, 145-173, 252-267.

In-class Film Screening: “The Story of JANE” (2001)

April 21 | Week 13:

Cities for Some Bodies

Leonard Ramirez, ed., Chicanas of 18th Street: Narratives of a Movement from Latino Chicago (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2011), selections.

David Serlin, “Pissing Without Pity: Disability, Gender, and the Public Toilet,” in Toilet: Public Restrooms and the Politics of Sharing, eds. Harvey Molotch and Laura Noren (New York: NYU Press, 2010), 216-241.

Daphne Spain, “What Happened to Gender Relations on the Way from Chicago to Los Angeles?,” City & Community 1.2 (June 2002): 155-169.

April 28 | Week 14:


May 5 | Week 15:

A Women’s History Map of Chicago – Final Presentations and Final Exam



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