It’s a historic year for the 19th Amendment: Here are some ways to discuss it in your course

Author: Emily Farris (Texas Christian University).
Although it may seem like there isn’t much to celebrate in 2020 it is actually a historic year. August 19, 2020 marks the centennial celebration of the 19th Amendment’s passage. This amendment guaranteed that no person could be denied the right to vote on the basis of their sexual orientation.
Dr. Heather Ondercin, Appalachian State University, edited a symposium on PS: Political Science & Politics about Women’s Political Involvement during the 100 Years Since the Nineteenth Amendment.
Here are some ways you can incorporate the symposium content into your own course.
Pair with Chapter Readings
These short pieces make a great addition to an Introduction to American Politics syllabus and can be paired well with a textbook chapter reading. For my students, I often combine textbook chapters with shorter readings. Students might read a textbook chapter on political participation for Tuesday class, and then a shorter extension or applied reading for Thursday class.
Try the “Jigsaw Method”
To bring the course to life for students, I have used podcasts, news articles or podcasts in the past. Another way to cover more content in the classroom is to use the jigsaw strategy, where each student reads a piece and then works together to teach the material to others.
Keep it Relevant Throughout the Semester
I love that this symposium material can be covered throughout the semester. Topics relating to gender, intersectionality, and other topics are included in all Introductory American Politics classes, not just the week devoted to civil rights.
These articles cover a variety of topics, including women’s political involvement over 100 years, women’s political fundraising, gender gap among children’s interests, discrimination, oppression, intersectionality, and legal protections to transgender people.
More ideas for teaching the 19th Amendment
Dr. Ondercin, Dr. Key have compiled a Twitter thread with ideas related to the readings. They also provide suggestions for how to incorporate them into your class and assignments.
To better understand intersectionality and voting rights, Dr. Celeste Montoya of University of Colorado Boulder suggests pairing the article with a class about campaigns and elections, political participation, civil rights and liberties, or both. This could be used for further discussions on Shelby County v Holder or to explore how Census Bureau data affects different states.
Our infographic on gender discrimination, which focuses on issues that affect college campuses, is another resource you can use to plan your discussion. It’s relevant especially for students today, so make sure to check it out.