Assignment #1


Paper #1

Due: February 2

Write a 3-5 page paper on one of the following topics:

  • Carefully analyze the conflict between the African-American reformer Ida B. Wells and the white temperance crusader Frances B. Willard discussed in Southern Horrors and Other Writing. What does the conflict between these two major reformers reveal about the ways in which race divided American women around the turn of the century? (In addition to the assigned pages, you may want to consult pages 174-75 of the book, where Wells briefly discusses the episode in her autobiography.)
  • Jane Addams and Florence Kelley were among the leading progressive reformers of their times. They especially advocated on behalf of poor and immigrant families who suffered from terrible working and living conditions in urban areas. However, in many ways Kelley and Addams promoted quite conservative ideas about women and gender roles, even when advocating for woman’s suffrage. Consider Kelley’s “Married Women in Industry” (1910) and Addams’s “Why Women Should Vote” (1915). Based on these documents, how did Kelley and Addams understand women’s role in society, and why were they not bolder in challenging the dominant gender ideology of their time?