FALL 2012 –3390, Section 18963






Preferred Method of Contact:

e-mail:  nancy.sims@gmail.com

Twitter:  nancylsims

Blog:  www.nancysims.com (Syllabus posted under Professor tab)

Facebook:  Facebook.com/nancysimsPR


713-627-2223 (at Pierpont Communications)

Office Hours:  By Appointment



Course Description:


This course will examine the role of Women in Politics.   We will engage in a historical overview of women in the area of governing and examine the path to suffrage and its immediate results.  We will review the women’s movement and its impact on women in politics.  We will study the roles of women in campaigns and the electoral process.   We will evaluate the number of women in political office in America today and their impact on policy. We will discuss the role of women in politics and its impact on the broader workplace.  We will explore a wide variety of topics in this course.  We will discuss current events and the course may be adapted to focus on relevant news of our time. 


Learning Outcomes:







Required Texts:


The Struggle for Women’s Rights,  Margaret Klosko and George Klosko 


Optional:  Women, Politics and American Society, Nancy McGlen, Karen O’Connor, Laura Van Assendelft, and Wendy Gunther-Canada


There may be additional handouts and assigned readings.


News:  This class will discuss current event topics – from Dilma Rousseff to Roza Otunbayeva to Pratibha Patil, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman, Mayor Annise Parker and many more.  You are expected to read and access news sources on a daily basis. 


Grading Scale


A = 94-100

A- = 90-93

B+ = 87-89

B = 84-86

B- = 80-83

C+ = 77-79

C = 74-76

C- = 70-73

D+ = 67-69

D = 64-66

D- = 60-63

F = 59 or below


Course Requirements:


A mix of examinations, a paper, and class participation will determine your grade.

Exams compose 50% of your grade.  Term papers are worth 25% and the oral presentation on your research is worth 15%.  Class participation is worth 10%.


Exams:  There will be a mid-term and a final exam.  They will consist of short answer and essay questions.  Each exam will be worth 100 points.  These exams will account for 50% of your total grade.    Exams will be on October 11 and Dec. 6.  Make-up:  Make-up exams will only be allowed with a valid excuse.  You will need to speak with me personally to arrange for a make-up exam.


Paper:  You will be required to write a comprehensive research paper for this course and to make an oral presentation on your topic.  The paper will comprise 25% of your total grade and the oral presentation will be worth 15%.   The topics for papers in this course are limitless.  You may choose a topic of interest to you.  You may write your paper on an individual, a process or a theoretical question of debate.  For every topic, the writer is encouraged to look at all viewpoints.  Your research must be about women and about politics.  This paper will include a personal touch as well.  You must have your topic approved by the Professor.  You will also be required to submit an outline of your paper.  These are the elements that will need to be included in your paper:


  1. Subject relevant to women and politics:  Your paper will need to be on a topic related to the course.  There are a wide variety of topics.  You may decide to research a historical perspective on Queen Mary or analyze the challenges faced by women candidates.   You are encouraged to examine all viewpoints on your topic.  Your research should be thorough and well documented.


  1. Oral Presentation:  You will present your research to your classmates in the form of an oral presentation with a group of your classmates.  This presentation should be approximately 5-10 minutes long and provide a clear understanding of your topic. You will be a part of a group and your grade will include your cooperation with your presenting team.  During this time, you will be the teacher of the class.  Final Exam questions may reflect research presented in the oral presentations.


  1. Personal perspective:  Your paper must include your personal perspectives.  Your own thoughts and points of view should be incorporated throughout the paper.  Why did you select this topic?  What have been your own experiences relative to the examination of your topic?  These thoughts should tie your research to your own philosophy on the subject matter.  Use of the word “I” is expected in your paper.


Paper Guidelines:  Your paper should be a minimum of 3000 words.  Papers must be submitted with bibliographies.  Sources must include at least one hard copy source – i.e. - a book.  You may quote Internet sites but should not rely totally on the web.  Do not quote sources such as Wikipedia or other minimal sources.  They will not be accepted.   Papers should be submitted in at least a 12-point font and the Professor prefers 14-point font.  Please use Calibri or Ariel.  Fancy fonts do not enhance your grade.   No folders, plastic covers or other coverings will be accepted.  Simply staple the paper and submit it.  A hard copy of your paper must be submitted to Professor Sims and an electronic copy of the paper submitted to www.turnitin.com  (see below for more details.)


Your paper topic must be approved by September 27.  The outline for your paper will be due October 25.  Oral presentations will be from Nov. 4 - 18. Your Final paper must be submitted in hard copy by Nov. 20 to Professor Sims.     You will also be required to submit your paper to www.turnitin.comThe class ID is 5299628 and the password is:  equality.  Your paper MUST be submitted to the website no later than Nov. 20.







WARNING:  You are upper level students.  It is expected that you will personally conduct your research.  Of course, relevant subject matter may exist on the Internet.  However, if you are caught presenting a paper authored by someone else, you may be expelled from the University.  Just as you can purchase a paper on the web, we can identify these sources.  You will be required to submit your paper in electronic format for scanning against plagiarism.  Please create your own work.


Class Participation:  Attendance in this course is required.  If you do not attend class, you will miss important information.  Throughout the semester, we will have various assignments, discussions, and other in-class activities.  Students will be called upon to share an opinion or answer a question.  If you have done your readings for the class, you should be prepared.  This class is interactive.  Sharing your thoughts and opinions are welcome and expected.  Additionally, keeping up with the news of the world as it relates to women is appreciated.  Class Participation will comprise 10% of your overall grade.


Course Etiquette:


This class will be interactive and discussion oriented.  You are expected to be respectful and attentive during class.  Disruptions will not be tolerated.  You should arrive on time and remain throughout the class period.  Cell phones and other electronic devices must not be disruptive.  If they sound during class, you will be asked to leave.  Please respect your Professor and your fellow students. 


Course Outline:  (Please note that this is an outline only.  It is subject to change.  We may have guest speakers in this class and current events may dictate discussion topics.  At the end of each class, we will review the assignments for the next class. If you miss class for some reason, you may want to check with your Professor or a classmate to confirm assignments.)


Aug. 28 – Welcome, review syllabus and introduction


Aug. 30 -  Historical Overview

Christine de Pisan, Sor Juana de la Cruz and earliest era


Sept. 4 & 6  – Rousseau and Wollstonecraft

Read:  Struggle – Rousseau, p. 19 – 25 & Wollstonecraft, p. 32 - 51


Sept. 11 – Sept. 20 - Suffragists and the march towards passage of the 19th Amendment

Read: Struggle – Section II. 


Sept. 25 – Sept. 27 – Achieving Suffrage 


Sept. 27 - Paper topics must be submitted for approval (via email)


Oct. 2 – Oct. 4 - The ERA, Gloria Steinem & Phyllis Schlafly

 Oct. 9 – Review


October 11 – Mid-term Exam


Oct. 16 – 18 - Reproductive Debates


Oct. 23 – Oct. 25 - Women in the Political Process Today – From volunteers to candidates, Money, Television


Oct. 25 – Paper Outlines Due (via email)


Oct. 30 – Nov. 1 – Women as Policymakers – Do women govern differently?


Nov. 6 – Election Day 2012


Nov. 6 – 29 – Oral Presentations


Nov. 20 – Final date for submission of written papers


Dec. 4 – What’s Next and The Glass Ceiling? 




Dec. 6 – FINAL EXAM  (TENTATIVE - subject to change)