Using American Herstory to Teach American History

Numerous primary sources by and about women, from every era of American history, are now widely available. Even so, curricular and standardized test demands, as well as time constraints, can make it difficult for teachers to authentically incorporate the history of women into the larger historical narrative of the typical U.S. survey course. This seminar introduces participants to a variety of short, provocative, historically significant texts pertaining to women, from each major period in U.S. history. Teachers will find these texts particularly useful for: deepening students’ understanding of the impact of women (and related gender- and race-based issues) in American history; illuminating and reinforcing other historically significant themes and events in the nation’s history; and helping motivate students to improve their skills of textual analysis and interpretation. Over the course of the morning we will discuss and analyze a variety of sources from each major era in U.S. history, and think together about how best to use them in the classroom. Participants will also receive a select collection of primary sources, as well as a bibliography of secondary sources that can be particularly helpful for those who work with middle and high school students.