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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: Feminist Histories of Work from 1750 to WWII (HIST10471)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits40 ECTS Credits20
SummaryWe all experience work as gendered beings, in a world structured by racial capitalism and the legacy of imperialism. Yet the mainstream historical narratives of economy and labour still resist a serious engagement with gender. This course will provide you with alternative (feminist) conceptual frameworks within which to study the past and present issues of labour, production, value, cultures of work, inequality, and skill.
Course description This course provides students with a comparative global history of feminist approaches to work, broadly defined, from 1750 to WWII. It starts from the premise that mainstream economic history has consistently failed to integrate gender into its conceptual frameworks and relied on male-centric, narrow definitions of value and skill. This year-long course presents an alternative paradigm that a) expands the concept of "work" to incorporate all activities that generate use value, thus problematising the productive/reproductive work binary, and b) de-centres Europe as "the" location of capitalist work relations by drawing on cases from a wide range of historical contexts.

The course starts with an exploration of recent trends in global histories of work, and feminist critiques of the fundamentals of economic thought. It continues with a sector-by-sector, in-depth analysis of the ways in which new forms of work emerged and were assigned value within capitalist economies, and of the ideological and cultural assumptions that shaped these processes. In encompassing nearly two hundred years that played a crucial role in shaping modern relations of production, as well as a vast geography stretching from Peru to China, the course provides students with the means to interrogate the historical origins of the division and hierarchies of labour in key sectors of contemporary capitalist economies.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass or passes in 40 credits of first level historical courses or equivalent and a pass or passes in 40 credits of second level historical courses or equivalent.

Before enrolling students on this course, Personal Tutors are asked to contact the History Honours Admission Secretary to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 504030)
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Situate various strands of the historical scholarship on work in capitalist economies within a comparative, world-historical context
  2. Analyse and appraise the fundamentals of mainstream economic thought through a gender-critical lens
  3. Demonstrate, by way of coursework,an in-depth command of the feminist scholarship on wages, the gendered division of labour, protective legislation, and discrimination at work
  4. Utilise non-textual resources such as sounds, images, and objects to overcome gaps in conventional sources
  5. Demonstrate a high degree of intellectual autonomy and integrity, and an ability to critically evaluate and improve the work of peers
Reading List
1. Judith M. Bennett, History Matters: Patriarchy and the Challenge of Feminism (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006).
2. Janice Peterson and Margaret Lewis, The Elgar Companion to Feminist Economics (Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, 1999).
3. Karin Hofmeester and Marcel Van Der Linden, Handbook Global History of Work (Berlin: De Gruyter GmbH, 2017).
4. Els Hiemstra-Kuperus et al., eds., The Ashgate Companion to the History of Textile Workers, 1650-2000 (2016).
5. Amy Stanley, "Maidservants' Tales: Narrating Domestic and Global History in Eurasia, 1600-1900", The American Historical Review 121 (2016): 437-60.
6. Akram Fouad Khater, Inventing Home: Emigration, Gender, and the Middle Class in Lebanon, 1870-1920 (University of California Press, 2001).
7. Donald Quataert, Ottoman Manufacturing in the Age of the Industrial Revolution (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993).
8. Samita Sen, Women and Labour in Late Colonial India: The Bengal Jute Industry (Cambridge University Press, 1999).
9. Madhavi Kale, Fragments of Empire: Capital, Slavery, and Indian Indentured Labour Migration in the British Caribbean (Philadelphia University Press, 1998).
10. Sonya O. Rose, Limited Livelihoods: Gender and Class in Nineteenth-century England (London: Routledge, 1992).
11. Gillian Sutherland, In Search of the New Woman: Middle-Class Women and Work in Britain, 1870-1914 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015).
12. Elif Mahir Metinsoy, Ottoman Women During World War I (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Hatice Yildiz
Tel: (0131 6)50 2378
Course secretaryMiss Marketa Vejskalova
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