War and Women: Civilians, Soldiers, Prostitutes & Pawns


War is traditionally portrayed as a masculine endeavor, but women live through war and fight in wars as well. War and Women: Civilians, Soldiers, Prostitutes and Pawns, a Spring 2014 course in the Women’s Studies Program at Kent State University (WMST-20095-001 ) will take an interdisciplinary approach to the gendered roles women play during wartime.

Using films, videos, and readings from literature, history, and the social sciences, we will look at women’s roles on the home front and the battlefront in wars ranging from World War I through this century’s Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.

Below are two flyers for the class. Each features a different image representing women’s roles in war. Which do you prefer and why? What role(s) are these women playing?

Register for the class. Check out the Storify. Download the flyer.

We will read the texts listed below, along with a few journal articles and/or chapter from related disciplines, including mass media, history and the social sciences. An optional text is Maneuvers: The International Politics of Militarizing Women’s Lives by Cynthia Enloe.

  • Sparta: A Novel by Roxana Robinson
  • Gone to Soldiers by Marge Piercy
  • Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  • Writing War: Fiction, Gender and Memory by Lynne Hanley

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