The Microhistory Assignment

by Prof. Hangen - March 19th, 2018

After we return from Spring Break, you’ll be developing a final paper topic – a “microhistory” of a single (non-famous) person or organization. See the Research Paper tab above for full details.

Monday 3/26 – Bring laptops & meet in the Library instruction area (Children’s Book Area) on the main floor of the library. Today and Friday we will work with Ross Griffiths, University archivist and reference liaison for history.

Wednesday 3/28 – our discussion day will focus on an article by Jill Lepore (Harvard University) called “Historians Who Love Too Much” (posted as PDF in Blackboard).

Discussion Questions –
How does Lepore define “microhistory”?
What is the difference between biography and microhistory?
What is microhistory’s value, especially for studying people who left us little record?
What are Lepore’s four propositions, and how will you apply them to your upcoming research project?

Friday 3/30 – a second library day to refine and explore your topics one more time with both Ross and myself. Your topic and source list are due via email by midnight.

American Women, 1940-1960

by Prof. Hangen - March 9th, 2018

This week we’ll be jumping into the mid-20th century and looking at women’s lives in the 1940s-1960s. Continue reading →

University Snow Day for Wed March 7

by Prof. Hangen - March 6th, 2018

We will not meet in person for class on Wed, March 7 due to the snowstorm. Wednesday’s class will be moved online instead.

Everyone: Please post your thoughts about the assigned reading on a discussion thread under “Discussions” on Blackboard (the 01 green sidebar Blackboard shell) sometime on Wednesday, and also check out the *revised* Digital Project guidelines on the course website, due FRIDAY March 9 by midnight.

Honors: Remember there is a discussion thread this week hosted by Kyra on the ZinnBlog (in the Discussions on the H1 purple sidebar Blackboard shell) about Chapter 6 – make sure you participate before SUNDAY March 11th at midnight.

Everyone: there are some upcoming events in our department related to Women’s History Month for which you can get extra credit since they’re related to our current course unit, so watch for that newsletter coming in your inboxes later today.

Thanks, see you Friday in class! ~ Dr. Hangen

Women’s History: Separate Spheres in the 19th Century

by Prof. Hangen - March 2nd, 2018

This unit’s first case study concerned one notable woman who has entered both the public record and national mythology, and the trouble of sorting fact from myth. Our second case study looks at groups of women in the early 19th century whose lives have informed the field of gender theory and women’s history. Continue reading →

Unit 2 / The Other Half: Social History as Women’s History

by Prof. Hangen - February 25th, 2018

I daresay this painting by John Trumbull, hanging in the Capitol rotunda, partially defines your image of early America. Who’s missing?


Women, of course, were entirely absent from this event (the signing of the Declaration of Independence), and, all too frequently, from history of early America itself.

In our first unit, we defined social history as the study of the American working class and we defined American workers as authentic nationbuilders whose lives careful social historians have patiently resurrected, reconstructed, and salvaged through deft historical investigation.

Now, we look through the early American past through the lens of gender and look for evidence of women–especially the “invisible” ones who left little historical record. Continue reading →