HIS 321 — Women and War: Warriors, Victims and Peacemakers
This discussion based course seeks to explore the topic of women and war throughout history from three distinct perspectives. The first section of the course focuses on women as warriors. From the ancient myth of the Amazons to television’s Xena, the image of the female warrior has captivated the imagination. We will explore the myth and reality of women warriors and wartime leaders, including Joan of Arc and modem wartime heads of state such as Indira Gandhi, Golda Meir and Margaret Thatcher. Second, we will examine women as victims in war, beginning with the sack of Troy in ancient times. We will conclude with an exploration of women’s role as peacemakers throughout history. The unique potential of women as peacemakers was first recognized in the satirical Greek play Lysistrata, and throughout history groups like Women’s Strike for Peace have often been in the vanguard of movements to rid the world of the scourge of war. We will conclude with a discussion of the age old question: if women had the power traditionally wielded by men, would the world be a more peaceful place?
Requirements and Prerequisites
Junior or senior status.