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Section 14 Course Description

Course Name: Soldiers, Sailors, Crusaders, and Spies: American Women and War
Section 14
Instructor: Melissa McEuen

Charleston, 1865.  Wilmington, 1898.  Madrid, 1937.  Manila, 1943.  Little Rock, 1957.  Birmingham, 1963.  Khe Sanh, 1968.  San Salvador, 1983.  Baghdad, 2003.  Kabul, 2013.  What do these have in common?  All were war zones with women at the front.  Some chose to be there; others did not.  In this course, we will explore the varied experiences and expectations of American women on war fronts and home fronts. 

What motivated the women who became journalists, nurses, soldiers, spies, and camp followers?  Why did others advocate for peace, march for equality, or create memorial associations?  What sacrifices did they make?  What opportunities did they seize as a result of shifting economies, politics, and values during wartime?  In what ways have women remembered and recreated war experiences, and how should we understand their stories?  To approach these questions, we will study diaries, memoirs, posters, photographs, Hollywood movies, oral histories, “Indian captivity” narratives, and critical essays.