HIST 495 Women and World War II

Women and World War II: Film in History" The role of women in World War II has traditionally been celebrated with the familiar image of Rosie the Riveter, the romanticized icon of the female industrial worker. Besides new opportunities in industry, the war created new demands for women in agriculture, the military, the sciences, and the entertainment industry, to name a few areas in which women were recruited and served as important wartime assets. While we may understand something of the importance of women to the war effort, we understand far less about what participation in the war effort meant to women. In this course, we will look at a wide variety of doors that were opened to women by the demands of war and how wartime experiences reshaped both the image and the reality of America's women and provided a foundation for change in the decades to follow. As an important element of the course, we will explore how film functioned both during and after the war to shape society's understanding of women's place in the nation. This course is writing intensive.