Spring 2022

Rebels and Reformers: Women in the Progressive Era

Listed in: American Studies, as AMST-219

Moodle site: Course


Wendy H. Bergoffen (Section 01)


This course examines the experiences of women from diverse backgrounds during the Progressive Era (1890-1920). During this period characterized by rapid industrialization, mass immigration, and contested civil rights, women advocated for reforms of all kinds. But they did not always share the same visions of progress. Course units on labor, settlement work, sexual and racial politics, education, and physical culture will put these competing visions in historical context. Who defined the terms and goals of progress? Elite reformers worked for the betterment of society, but in whose interests? And what about the anarchists, who refused to play by the rules? Primary course materials will include periodical literature, pamphlets, political tracts, and works of literature. We will also examine historical writing, visual art, and archival material in the Sophia Smith Collection of Women’s History at Smith College.

Limited to 25 students. Spring semester. Lecturer Bergoffen.

If Overenrolled: If overenrolled, preference will be given to American Studies majors.


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2022