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**HON 1000: ‘Going Steady?’: Documenting the History of Dating in American Culture, 1940-1990 (Anderson/Fall 2018)

Assignment for This Week

Assigned articles

  • Click on the article's link to get to the article.
  • If you are off-campus, you will be asked for your Campus ID and password first.
  • Click on "Download PDF" to get the article.

Everyone should read:

  1. Beth Bailey, “From Front Porch to Back Seat: A History of the Date”
  2. Rona M. Wilk, “‘What’s a Crush?’: A Study of Crushes and Romantic Friendships at Barnard College, 1900-1920”
  3. Kathy Peiss, “Charity Girls and Cheap Pleasures”
  4. Eleanor Alexander, "The Courtship Season: Love, Race, and Elite African American Women at the Turn of the Twentieth Century"

And fill out this worksheet linked below. Your answers don't have to be long -- just make quick notes based on your understanding of articles 2, 3, and 4. 

These notes are meant to help you with class discussion (the whiteboard wall will be involved!) next week. 


for Peiss, "Charity Girls"

Photo: Clara Bow, in IT (1927), after a night out at Coney Island WITH HER BOSS.
Click on the image for a clip of their date showing "treating" in action (and how amusements parks could be sexy. Hint: underwear will be shown.

for Wilk, "'What's a Crush?'"

Photo: Ye Taming of Ye Shrew performance, 1905. Barnard College Digital Archives. Click for larger image.



for Alexander, "The Courtship Season"

Image: Text from E. Azalia Hackley, "Introduction," Colored Girl Beautiful (1916). Click on image for full-text reproduction of this volume at HathiTrust (a highly reputable digital-book library based at the University of Michigan. GSU is a member library).

Topic Possibilities: Add Your Own?

Some ideas to get you thinking about topics:

  • Integrated (or segregated) proms
  • Debutante balls or cotillions
  • LGBTQ dating
  • Teen pregnancy
  • Date rape
  • Dating abuse
  • "Going steady"
  • Birth control
  • Interracial dating
  • Sex education
  • Double standard
  • Virginity pledges

Some ways you can narrow your topic:

Focus on a particularly defined group of people:

  • Race
  • Class
  • Gender identity
  • Sexual orientation
  • Religious belief

Focus on a particular geographic region, for example:

  • the South
  • Atlanta
  • New York
  • (and so on...  be aware that, outside of Georgia, large metropolitan areas may be easier to research)

Focus on a particular time period (historians are always thinking about "change over time"!):

  • World War II era
  • Postwar era (often also called Cold War era, due the rise of the Cold War following World War II)
  • or a particular decade: 1950s, 1980s, and so on