History of the Women’s Suffrage Movement

HNR 260 - History of the Women's Suffrage Movement

MySlice Info:

Term: Spring 2016
Class #: 32698
Section: M001
Credits: 3

Sally Roesch Wagner

Counts toward:
HNR Soc Sci, Public Presentation, Collaboration

Course Time(s):
W 6:45 - 9:45 pm


Course Description:

In the area where the woman's rights movement had its origin, we'll trace the history of its development. Videos, field trips, readings, individual research, practical experience, web searches, and classroom lecture/ discussions will be the vehicles for our pursuit. The foreground focus will be on Matilda Joslyn Gage, a woman equally important with her more recognized counterparts, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. She will be the lens through which we explore the backdrop, the standard historical analysis of 19th century U.S. feminism. Students will learn about Gage through primary sources, primarily her correspondence, which has never been published. Veteran feminist activist Dr. Wagner will provide contrasting reflections from her experience in the 1960-70’s second wave of feminism. Requirements include a presentation based on a project to present the ideas and issues of Matilda Joslyn Gage to the world. We will explore

  • why Gage got written out of history by challenging religious fundamentalists and their effort to destroy religious freedom;
  • the campaign of non-violent civil disobedience for the vote which Gage masterminded;
  • her influence on her son-in-law, L. Frank Baum’s writing of his 14-volume Oz books;
  • how the woman’s rights movement took form in the territory of the Haudenosaunee, the six nations of the Iroquois confederacy, where women live with far greater status and authority than in the non-native world.
The legacy of radical reform in this region will provide a context for understanding the woman’s movement. We'll look for the passion of the movement. What inspired these women and their male allies to stand up to the dictates of church and state alike in their demand that the world be transformed; where did they get their courage? How did they hold up under the ridicule, resistance and backlash? What were they like personally? You’ll also have an opportunity to be part of the creation of history as, working in partnership with the other students, you will use your knowledge and skills to bring awareness of Matilda Joslyn Gage. This course will include a visit to the Matilda Joslyn Gage House in Fayetteville, the Women's Rights National Historic Park and the Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls and the Susan B. Anthony House in Rochester. Counts as Critical Reflections and Writing Intensive for the Arts & Sciences Liberal Arts Core.