- Women, Gender, and American History
- Gender Frontiers and Early Encounters
- Manhood and the US Republican Empire
- Women and Conquest in the American West
- Women, Gender, Migration, and Modern US Imperialism
- Women, Unfree Labor, and Slavery in the Atlantic World
- Women, Power, and Families in Early Modern North America
- Women and Slavery in the Nineteenth Century
- Women’s Labors in Industrial and Postindustrial America
- Public and Print Cultures of Sex in the Long Nineteenth Century
- Interracial Sex, Marriage, and the Nation
- Reproduction, Birth Control, and Motherhood in the United States
- Sexual Coercion in America
- Gender, the Body, and Disability
- Transgender Representations, Identities, and Communities
- Women, Trade, and the Roots of Consumer Societies
- Gender and Consumption in the Modern United States
- Women at Play in Popular Culture
- Women, Gender, and Religion in the United States
- Religion, Reform, and Antislavery
- Women’s Rights, Suffrage, and Citizenship, 1789–1920
- Women, Gender, Race, and the Welfare State
- US Feminisms and Their Global Connections
- Sexual Minorities and Sexual Rights
- Women, Gender, and Conservatism in Twentieth-Century America
- Women, War, and Revolution
- Women, the Civil War, and Reconstruction
- Women and World War in Comparative Perspective
- Gender, Civil Rights, and the US Global Cold War
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter analyzes the methods, sources, and relationship between women’s and gender history, arguing American women’s and gender history is its own interpretation of American history, focused on how ideas about women and gender shaped people’s lives as they participated in the processes of migration, colonialism, trade, warfare, artistic production, community-building, and political mobilization. It explores the field as an integrated one that embraces tensions between women’s history and gender history, as well as intersectional analysis and new understandings of sexuality, to consider who counts as a “woman” and for what purpose. The field challenges the conventional chronology of the United States and the primacy of the nation as a unit of history. The field’s archive innovation excavates histories hidden in plain sight and scrutinizes silences in the historical record, challenging the nature of historical evidence and remapping what counts in historical interpretation of the past.
Ellen Hartigan-O’Connor is associate professor of history at the University of California, Davis. She is the author of The Ties That Buy: Women and Commerce in Revolutionary America (2009) and coauthor of Global Americans (2017). Her current project, America under the Hammer, investigates gender and capitalism within a history of auctioning and market culture in early America.
Lisa G. Materson is associate professor of history at the University of California, Davis. She is the author of For the Freedom of Her Race: Black Women and Electoral Politics in Illinois, 1877–1932 (2009). She is currently completing a political biography of Ruth Reynolds, a leading activist in the movement for Puerto Rico’s independence from the United States.
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