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2018/19 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

HIST5964M Race and Second Wave Feminism in the US

30 creditsClass Size: 10

Module manager: Dr Gina Denton

Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable

Year running 2018/19

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module offers students the opportunity to study the US's Second Wave feminist movement through the prism of multiracial and anti-racist feminist activism. It will review and re-think the dominant historiographical narrative of the movement, which emphasises the roles of white-dominated groups, by focusing on Chicana, American Indian, African American and multiracial feminist thinking and praxis. It will examine national organisations, such as the National Black Feminist Organization and Women of All Red Nations; grassroots groups, such as the Combahee River Collective; significant figures, such as Audre Lorde, Gloria AnzaldĂșa, and Barbara Smith; key campaigns like that against sterilization abuse; and the significant debates that defined the movement and shape its historiography, such as the question of reform versus revolution. The module will also consider why and how feminist oral history methods have shaped Second Wave historiography.


- To study the history of US Second Wave feminism, from the 1960s-80s, through the prism of multiracial and anti-racist feminism activism.
- To examine and compare the thinking and activism of American Indian, Chicana, African American and multiracial feminists.
- To review key historiographical debates related to race and US feminist movements.
- To assess major historical approaches to Second Wave feminism with an emphasis on oral history.
- To explore the historical relationship between feminist histories and oral history methods.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of the module, students will be able to demonstrate:
- A broad understanding of multiracial and anti-racist feminist thinking and practice within Second Wave feminism in the US.
- An ability to think critically about dominant historiographical narratives.
- Knowledge of feminist oral history methods, as well as an ability to use these methods in their own research.
- An ability to apply an interdisciplinary approach to the historical study of race and feminism.
- An understanding of historical approaches to studying race and gender relations.

Skills outcomes
This module will allow students to refine their scholarly skills in independent research, essay writing, historiographical analysis, and interdisciplinary study. In addition it will give them the opportunity to develop their skills in designing and conducting oral history research projects.


- Introduction: Women's History and Oral History
- Bored Housewives and Student Agitators?: The Dominant Narrative
- Indigenous Feminism: American Indian and Chicana Feminisms
- Black Feminist Groups: Reform versus Revolution
- Workshop on Oral History
- White Allies Part 1: Anti-imperialist Feminists
- Sterilization Abuse and Abortion: Reproductive Rights Issues
- Welfare Rights as Women's Rights
- Audre Lorde, Gloria AnzaldĂșa and Feminist of Color Literature
- White Allies Part 2: Teachers, Trainers and Writers
- Womanism

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours278.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

Set reading for seminars, as well as broader independent research/reading for weekly seminars; set reading around oral history practice and feminist oral history methods, as well as research into feminist oral history projects; designing and completing an oral history project; and researching and completing another essay.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be monitored through performance on the two assessments, through class discussions and contributions, and through informal, one-on-one meetings with students.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 2,000-word essay due by 12 noon Monday of exam week 267.00
Assignment1 x 2,000-word essay or 1 x 2,000-word oral history project33.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/04/2018


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