THE HOUSE IN HISTORY
Professor Martha Carlin
Department of History
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
As a member of our campus community, you are expected to abide by the Panther Interim COVID-Related Health & Safety Rules:
- Self-check for COVID symptoms at https://uwm.edu/coronavirus/symptom-monitor/. Symptoms may include fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, loss of sense of taste or smell.
- If you test positive for or are diagnosed with COVID-19, complete this Dean of Students Office form: https://cm.maxient.com/reportingform.php?UnivofWisconsinMilwaukee&layout_id=4
- If you are ill or have COVID-19:
Do not come to campus or attend any in-person class if you have COVID-19, or if you are experiencing any other symptoms of illness.Contact me immediately to discuss options for completing coursework while ill or in quarantine.
- Class recording:
Our class sessions may be recorded for students who are unable to attend at the scheduled time. Students who attend class are agreeing to be recorded.
- Potential for switch to fully online instruction:
Changing public health circumstances for COVID-19 may cause UWM to move to fully online instruction at some point during the semester. In this event, UWM will communicate with students.
If our class moves online, we will use Zoom as our online class platform. You will access it from the course Canvas page, and I will send you full instructions for using Zoom.
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THE HOUSE IN HISTORY
This course will investigate the global history of the house from earliest times to the present.
Course description: What is a house? How is a house different from a home? Houses are not only physical structures, they can also be centers and symbols of social and civic identity, economic activity, family and clan, rank and status, gendered space, sacred space, tradition and innovation, inclusion and exclusion. Houses both shape and reflect the lives of their occupants, embodying past and present; necessities and choices; hopes, expectations, and compromises. What can houses tell us about their broader societies?
Email and internet access: You will require an email account and access to the internet for this class. All UWM students receive a free UWM email account, and have free internet access via UWM computer terminals and WiFi in UWM buildings. The History Department regularly contacts students via their assigned UWM email addresses. If you routinely use another email service provider (e.g., Gmail or Yahoo!) instead of your assigned UWM email, please go immediately into your UWM email account and put a “forward” command on it, to forward all incoming email messages to the account that you routinely use. This is your responsibility; the History Department reflectors use UWM e-addresses only. (To put a forward command on your UWM email account: enter your Office 365 account and click on “?” to open the Help app. Type “forward mail” and then follow the directions to forward email to your desired account.)
Papers: There is a required weekly submission of discussion topics on the assigned readings. There is also one required assignment listing three ranked paper topics (due in Week 3), and one 18-20-page research paper (due in Week 11). The written assignments are described at the end of this syllabus.
Oral presentations: There is one required formal oral presentation (Week 15), described at the end of this syllabus.
Exams: There will be no midterm or final exam.
Grading, deadlines, and attendance: Your final grade will be based on the following:
- Your attendance, active participation, and other work in class: 30%
- Your eight best weekly discussion topics: 24% (3% each)
- Your three ranked paper topics: 6%
- Your research paper: 30%
- Your oral presentation: 10%
All assignments are due on the dates specified in this syllabus. Late work will not be accepted, and absence from class will not be excused, except in cases of major illness or emergency (it is your responsibility to contact me immediately in such a case). Students who, during the first week of classes, do not attend class or contact me, may be dropped administratively.
Electronic devices in class: You may use a laptop, tablet, or similar device in class only for work related to this class, such as accessing assigned readings or taking notes. This is a zero-tolerance policy: any non-class use will result in the immediate forfeiture of the privilege of using such a device in class for the remainder of the semester. All other electronic devices, including phones, must be silenced and stowed away during class.
Disabilities: If you have a disability, it is important that you contact me early in the semester for any help or accommodation you may need.
Students in need: Any student who faces challenges securing food, housing, or technology, or is struggling with mental, physical, or emotional health, and believes this may affect their academic performance, is urged to contact the Dean of Students (email@example.com) for support.
Academic integrity at UWM: UWM and I expect each student to be honest in academic performance. Failure to do so may result in discipline under rules published by the Board of Regents (UWS 14). The penalties for academic misconduct such as cheating or plagiarism can include a grade of “F” for the course and expulsion from the University. For UWM’s policies and procedures on academic misconduct, see https://uwm.edu/deanofstudents/academic-misconduct-2/ and https://uwm.edu/deanofstudents/instructor-academic-misconduct-process/
UWM policies on course-related matters: See the website of the Secretary of the University at: http://uwm.edu/secu/wp-content/uploads/sites/122/2016/12/Syllabus-Links.pdf
There are two required textbooks:
Bryson, Bill. At Home: A Short History of Private Life. London: Doubleday, 2010. (Available from public libraries, and very inexpensively from Abebooks.com or Amazon.),
Moore, Jerry D. The Prehistory of Home. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012. (This book is available to read in full online and for partial download via UWM Libraries, at https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/uwm/reader.action?docID=867680. Inexpensive print copies are available from Abebooks.com or Amazon.)
Other required readings (all available online, or as .pdf from Canvas):
Beckerman, Gal. “Empty trash. Buy milk. Forge history. To trace the great arcs of civilization, historians tap the humble list.” Boston Globe, 5 June 2011. http://archive.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2011/06/05/empty_trash_buy_milk_forge_history/
Beecher, Catherine E. and Harriet Beecher Stowe. The American Woman’s Home, or Principles of Domestic Science. New York: J. B. Ford, 1869, Chapter 2, “A Christian Home,” pp. 23-42. http://digital.lib.msu.edu/projects/cookbooks/html/books/book_26.cfm
Braudel, Fernand. Civilization & Capitalism, 15th-18 Century, vol. 1: The Structures of Everyday Life. Trans. Siân Reynolds. New York: Harper and Row, 1981, pp. 285-302, with notes on pp. 588-589. [Available via Canvas; there are also copies of this volume in the library.]
Cowan, Ruth Schwartz. More Work for Mother: The Ironies of Household Technology from the Hearth to the Microwave. New York: Basic Books, 1983. [Free .pdf of entire volume available at: https://huntersocfamilies.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/ruth-schwartz-cowan-more-work-for-mother.pdf]
Ferguson, Eliza. “The Cosmos of the Paris Apartment: Working-Class Family Life in the Nineteenth Century.” Journal of Urban History 37 (2011): 59-67. [Available via Canvas; online access and .pdf download also available from UWM Libraries.]
Flanders, Judith. The Making of Home: The 500-Year Story of How Our Houses Became Our Homes. New York: Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martin’s Press, 2014, Chapter 1: “Home Thoughts: An Introduction,” pp.1-20, Plates 1-5, and endnotes on pp. 283-285. [Available via Canvas]
Foxhall, Lin. “House Clearance: Unpacking the ‘Kitchen’ in Classical Greece.” British School at Athens Studies 15 (2007): 233-242. [Available via Canvas or JSTOR]
Habe-Evans, Mito. “Everything You Own in a Photo: A Look at Our Worldly Possessions” (National Public Radio, 10 August 2010), with photos by Peter Menzel (Material World) and Ma Hongjie and Huang Qingjun (Family Stuff). https://www.npr.org/sections/pictureshow/2010/08/10/129113632/picturingpossessions
Kerrigan, Saoirse. “25 Ways to Build a House from Around the World: From Ancient Greece to Today,” Interesting Engineering (website), 17 April 2018. https://interestingengineering.com/25-ways-to-build-a-house-from-around-the-world-from-ancient-greece-to-today
Menzel, Peter. Material World (online gallery of 12 photos, from book published by Sierra Club in 1994). http://menzelphoto.com/galleries/material-world/
Oikonomides, Nicolas. “The Contents of the Byzantine House from the Eleventh to the Fifteenth Century.” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 44 (1990): 205-214. [Available via Canvas or JSTOR]
Pearce, Michael. “Approaches to Household Inventories and Household Furnishing, 1500-1650.” Architectural Heritage, 26 (2015): 73-86. https://www.euppublishing.com/doi/10.3366/arch.2015.0068
Penner, Barbara. “‘We shall deal here with humble things’,” Places Journal, November 2012. Accessed 27 Dec 2018, https://doi.org/10.22269/121113. https://placesjournal.org/article/we-shall-deal-here-with-humble-things/ – 0
TOPICS AND READINGS
WEEK 1 INTRODUCTION TO COURSE
6 Sept. Introduction: What is a house? How is a house different from a home?
Read in class, identify 2-3 discussion questions for each reading, and discuss:
Saoirse Kerrigan, “25 Ways to Build a House from Around the World: From Ancient Greece to Today,” Interesting Engineering (website),17 April 2018 (https://interestingengineering.com/25-ways-to-build-a-house-from-around-the-world-from-ancient-greece-to-today)
Gal Beckerman, “Empty trash. Buy milk. Forge history. To trace the great arcs of civilization, historians tap the humble list,” Boston Globe, 5 June 2011 (http://archive.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2011/06/05/empty_trash_buy_milk_forge_history/)
WEEK 2 GLOBAL CONCEPTS OF “HOME;” THE YEAR 1850 IN ENGLAND; AN IDEAL AMERICAN HOME, 1869
13 Sept. Moore, The Prehistory of Home, Chapter 1 (“The Prehistory of Home”), pp. 1-14
Bryson, At Home, 2 plans at front of book, “Introduction” and Chapter 1 (“The Year”), pp. 17-54
Catherine E. Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe, The American Woman’s Home, or Principles of Domestic Science (New York: J. B. Ford, 1869), Chapter 2, “A Christian Home,” pp. 23-42 (http://digital.lib.msu.edu/projects/cookbooks/html/books/book_26.cfm)
WEEK 3 THE EARLIEST HOUSES; DECODING THE EVIDENCE (LANGUAGE, ARCHIVES, ART); THE ENGLISH HOUSE AND HALL, 400-1600
20 Sept. PAPER TOPICS DUE IN CLASS
Moore, The Prehistory of Home, Chapter 2 (“Starter Homes”), pp. 15-31
Judith Flanders, The Making of Home: The 500-Year Story of How Our Houses Became Our Homes (New York: Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martin’s Press, 2014), Chapter 1: “Home Thoughts: An Introduction,” pp.1-20; Plates 1-5; endnotes at pp. 283-285. [Available via Canvas]
Bryson, At Home, Chapters 2 (“The Setting”) and 3 (“The Hall”), pp. 54-105
WEEK 4 KITCHEN, SCULLERY, LARDER, SERVANTS’ WORK
27 Sept. Bryson, At Home, Chapters 4 (“The Kitchen”) and 5 (“The Scullery and Larder”), pp. 106-166
Lin Foxhall, “House Clearance: Unpacking the ‘Kitchen’ in Classical Greece,” British School at Athens Studies 15 (2007): 233-42. [Available via Canvas and JSTOR]
Ruth Schwartz Cowan, More Work for Mother, pp. 53-62 [https://huntersocfamilies.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/ruth-schwartz-cowan-more-work-for-mother.pdf].
WEEK 5 HOUSES OF HUNTER-GATHERERS; HEAT AND LIGHT
4 Oct. Moore, The Prehistory of Home, Chapter 3 (“Mobile Homes”), pp. 32-47
Bryson, At Home, Chapter 6 (“The Fusebox”), pp. 167-200
Fernand Braudel, Civilization & Capitalism, 15th-18 Century, vol. 1: The Structures of Everyday Life. Trans. Siân Reynolds. New York: Harper and Row, 1981, pp. 298-302 (+notes on p. 589).
Ruth Schwartz Cowan, More Work for Mother, pp. 89-97 [https://huntersocfamilies.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/ruth-schwartz-cowan-more-work-for-mother.pdf]
WEEK 6 DRAWING ROOM AND DINING ROOM; WEALTH, COMFORT, FURNISHINGS
11 Oct. Bryson, At Home, Chapters 7 (“The Drawing Room”) and 8 (“The Dining Room”), pp. 201-277
Nicolas Oikonomides, “The Contents of the Byzantine House from the Eleventh to the Fifteenth Century,” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 44 (1990): 205-214 [Available via Canvas and JSTOR]
Michael Pearce, “Approaches to Household Inventories and Household Furnishing, 1500-1650,” Architectural Heritage, 26 (2015): 73-86 (https://www.euppublishing.com/doi/10.3366/arch.2015.0068)
WEEK 7 POSSESSIONS; BUILDING MATERIALS; CELLAR AND PASSAGE
18 Oct. Moore, The Prehistory of Home, Chapter 4 (“Durable Goods”), pp. 48-69
Fernand Braudel, Civilization & Capitalism, 15th-18 Century, vol. 1: The Structures of Everyday Life. Trans. Siân Reynolds. New York: Harper and Row, 1981, pp. 285-298 (+notes on pp. 588-589).
Mito Habe-Evans, “Everything You Own in a Photo: A Look at Our Worldly Possessions” (National Public Radio, 10 August 2010), with photos by Peter Menzel (Material World) and Ma Hongjie and Huang Qingjun (Family Stuff) https://www.npr.org/sections/pictureshow/2010/08/10/129113632/picturingpossessions
Peter Menzel, Material World (online gallery of 18 photos, from book published by Sierra Club in 1994):
(or, with 14 photos:)
Bryson, At Home, Chapters 9 (“The Cellar”) and 10 (“The Passage”), pp. 278-340
WEEK 8 GENDERED SPACE; SACRED SPACE; QUIET SPACE; VERMIN; GARDENS AND PARKS
25 Oct. Moore, The Prehistory of Home, Chapter 5 (“Model Homes”), pp. 70-92
Bryson, At Home, Chapters 11 (“The Study”) and 12 (“The Garden”), pp. 341-406
WEEK 9 COMMUNAL HOUSES
1 Nov. Moore, The Prehistory of Home, Chapter 6 (“Apartment Living”), pp. 93-115
Bryson, At Home, Chapters 13 (“The Plum Room”) and 14 (“The Stairs”), pp. 406-453
Ruth Schwartz Cowan, More Work for Mother, pp. 108-119 [https://huntersocfamilies.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/ruth-schwartz-cowan-more-work-for-mother.pdf]
New York City Tenement Museum tour, with Annie Polland. 14:17 min. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bymB7tip1KM (in this week’s discussion questions, please include one question about this video)
WEEK 10 SECLUDING WALLS; SEX AND MORTALITY
8 Nov. Moore, The Prehistory of Home, Chapter 7 (“Gated Communities”), pp. 116-140
Bryson, At Home, Chapter 15 (“The Bedroom”), pp. 454-485
WEEK 11 THE BATHROOM
15 Nov. RESEARCH PAPER DUE IN CLASS
Bryson, At Home, Chapter16 (“The Bathroom”), pp. 486-526
Barbara Penner, “‘We shall deal here with humble things,’” Places Journal, November 2012: https://placesjournal.org/article/we-shall-deal-here-with-humble-things/ – 0 (22 pp.)
WEEK 12 NOBLE HOUSES; SACRED SPACE; DRESSING
22 Nov. Moore, The Prehistory of Home, Chapters 8 (“Noble Houses”) and 9 (“Sacred Homes”), pp. 141-179
Bryson, At Home, Chapter 17 (“The Dressing Room”), pp. 527-565
WEEK 13 CHILDREN
28 Nov. Moore, The Prehistory of Home, Chapters 10-11 (“Home Fires;” “Going Home”), pp. 180-219
Bryson, At Home, Chapter 18 (“The Nursery”), pp. 566-604
Ferguson, Eliza. “The Cosmos of the Paris Apartment: Working-Class Family Life in the Nineteenth Century.” Journal of Urban History 37 (2011): 59-67. [Available via Canvas; online access and .pdf also from UWM Libraries]
WEEK 14 CONCLUSION
6 Dec. Bryson, At Home, Chapter 19 (“The Attic”), pp. 605-632
Moore, The Prehistory of Home, Chapter 12 (“Conclusion”), pp. 220-225
WEEK 15 ORAL PRESENTATIONS
3 ranked paper topics (due in class in Week 3), 6% of final grade:
Choose 3 topics for your research paper (ranked 1-3). For each, include images of your house and chosen room, and a brief paragraph in which you identify and date them. Cite the sources of the images, using the documentation format of the Chicago Manual of Style.
Weekly discussion topics, 24% of final grade:
Beginning in Week 2, bring to class in hard copy two discussion topics for each assigned reading. The discussion topics should address significant concepts, interpretations, or arguments in the reading, not purely factual information. A topic can be in your own words or a brief quotation from the text. For each reading, include the author and full title, two topics, and the relevant page references. Total length: 1-2 pages (double-spaced). You must submit at least ten weekly discussion topics. Your eight best will be worth 24% of your final grade (3% each).
Research paper (due in class in Week 11 — 30% of final grade):
“One House, One Room, and Ten Objects: [Sub-title]” [Identify your chosen house and room as sub-title]
Choose one specific house to work on (any place, any period). In the Introduction, identify your chosen house, and give an overview of its history. Then, for the body of the paper, investigate one room in that house, and ten objects that the room contained or contains (or would have contained), and the role of that room and its contents historically. Include discussions of how your chosen house and room either reflected the society that produced them, or were atypical of the society that produced them. (Example: if you are studying the kitchen of your chosen house, discuss the evolution of kitchens broadly, and how your kitchen fits into that broader narrative, as well as how your house and kitchen reflected, or were atypical of, local comparable houses and kitchens).
Your paper should be 18-20 double-spaced pages long, exclusive of appendices, illustrations, endnotes and bibliography. You must include images of your house, chosen room, and ten objects. Include other illustrations and maps as needed.
Your paper must be fully documented with endnotes and a bibliography, using the Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) format. Other forms of citation, including parenthetical citations, are not acceptable. (Recent versions of Microsoft Word include Chicago-style citation format as a built-in option for footnotes or endnotes. Be sure to use ENDNOTES with ARABIC NUMERALS for this paper.)
Oral presentations (in class, Week 15 — 10% of final grade):
Provide a brief (8-10 minutes) presentation on your research paper, in which you discuss your topic, your research and analysis, and your key findings. This should either be a spoken report with Power Point illustrations, or else an illustrated video viewable from a flash drive or from an online platform such as YouTube.