Course Syllabus

Phyllis Wheatley, American Poet

History 18.1 Syllabus

Santa Rosa Junior College                                        Fall 2023

Anne Donegan                                                  

Office 1552-A                                                             phone 524-1812                    

Office hours: Zoom:  Wednesdays, 9:30-10:30

                      In person:  Mondays:  4:30-5:15.  Thursdays 10:30-11:00


Course Description: This course is a selective survey of U.S. history from the perspective of women that analyzes the key political, social, and economic developments through Reconstruction.


Required Texts:     Carol Hymowitz & Michaele Weissman, A History of Women in America


History of Women in America


Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Book Cover of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs

Student Learning Outcomes:
At the conclusion of this course, the student should be able to:
1.  Analyze the political, economic, cultural, and social developments in U.S. history from the
     perspective of women from pre-colonial times until Reconstruction.
2.  Compare and contrast the experiences of European American women to those of
     Native American, African American, and immigrant women.
3.  Analyze the causes and effects of particular historical events.



Regular class attendance and note taking are expected and recommended.   When you are absent, it is very important that you get notes from a classmate.  


 Course Requirements:

A. Homework:  A typical class will be a combination of lecture and discussion, as well as the occasional film.   For success in the class, regular attendance and note taking are critical.   If you are absent, you must get the notes from another student.   Turning in 5-7 pages of homework, being prepared for discussions and/or in class writing or quizzes will be worth 100  points of your final grade.

B.  Exams:  There will be two examinations. Both exams will be worth 100 points. Tests will be based on all assigned materials and on material presented in class. Each exam will have include an essay and objective questions.   The material to be covered on the tests will be discussed prior to each test date.    Make up exams are possible only in cases of extreme emergency or serious illness.   If you do not notify me prior to the scheduled exam date, an automatic 10 points will be deducted.

C. Analytical Essay:  There will be a 4-6 page essay on Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, by Harriet Jacobs worth 100 points.

Classroom Principles:

1.  Ask questions if something doesn't make sense.  

2.  Agree and Disagree with one another with respect.   Keep an Open Mind.

3.  Be engaged in class.      In class, phones should be put away, unless you have an important reason to keep it out.   If you need access to your phone during class, talk to me at the start of class.   If you use your phone during class without checking with me first, I will ask you to leave the class.

4.  Be engaged in class (part 2)!  Come to class awake and ready to go!   If you fall asleep in class, I will ask you to go home and get some much needed rest.  

5.  Visit Office Hours.  These times are dedicated to students asking questions, about ANYTHING!!!


Extra Credit:  

  1. Students may pass in a short essay explaining how a current news story, film, TV show, or campus event relates to a topic discussed in class.   Each essay needs to 1-2 typed pages long and will be worth 0-3 points.   Please include a copy of the article if applicable.
  2. 15 points can be earned by volunteering 20 hours at an approved not-for-profit agency. In order to be eligible for this you must return a completed application by September 5th.  Applications can be found on the Canvas page.


No more than 20 extra credit points will be accepted.      No extra credit will be accepted after December 5th.

                                                        Course Outline

Module 1:  Weeks 1-8                                                   8/15-10/5

Lecture & Discussion Topics                               Assigned Reading

Pre-colonial America                                        Hymowitz & Weissman, ch 1-2

Colonization and Slavery                                 H & W, ch. 4

The Struggle for Independence                       H & W ch. 3 & 6

The Industrial Revolution                                  H & W ch. 5 & 8

8/17      No Classes:  I am out of Town

9/3               Last Day to Drop w/o a “W”

9/5                Community Service Applications Due

10/5                Exam #1

Module II:  Weeks 9-17                                        10/10-12-14                

Lecture & Discussion Topics                              Assigned Reading

Religion & Reform                                             H & W, ch. 7

The South, Slavery, & War                                H & W, ch. 9-10

Women in the West                                           H & W, ch. 11


11/2                Discuss Jacobs

11/12                  Last Day to Drop w/o a “W”   

11/21               No Class, but I will be in class if you want to discuss your paper, grade, anything

11/23             College is Closed--Fall Break 

11/28                      Jacobs Essay Due                          

12/5                    Last day for any extra credit

12/14                      Exam # 2 at 7am-9:45am

Assignments & Examinations may be Subject to Change by the Instructor

Course Summary:

Date Details Due