Coming to Citrus College in the 2017 fall semester, students can take the first women’s history course on campus after years of the history department working to offer the class.
The three-credit course will be held from 1:05 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays in the fall semester and cover the history of women in America from the pre-Columbian era to modern times.
The discussion-heavy class will be CSU and UC transferable and requires no prerequisite, though general knowledge of American history is recommended.
No formal textbook is required for the class instead, history professor Elisabeth Ritacca will assign three separate readings to supplement her teachings that highlight the diversity of women’s lives in America, she said.
The memoirs “Lakota Woman” by writer/activist Mary Crow Dog and “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl” by abolitionist Harriet Jacobs will be read alongside “Cannery Women Cannery Lives” by UC Irvine historian Vicki L. Ruiz
Ritacca has previously taught women’s history at UC Davis, Solano College and Walla Walla University and was considered for her job here at Citrus based off of her own specialization in the field.
“It’s very unusual to not have this course offered, so I think it’s a big step forward,” Ritacca said.
While the course serves to better educate students on the history of women in America at a community college level, the class can also help students who plan on transferring.
“We’ve looked at our course offerings and we do find with the general survey courses, that in terms of students who want a transfer degree we need more specialized courses,” history professor Senya Lubisich said.
Lubisich said the history department has pushed for the past several years to get the course into the curriculum but was unable to make progress prior to hiring someone of Ritacca’s professional background.
Upon getting hired she took the lead for getting the course curriculum approved and had the full support of the faculty, Lubisich said.
“To have somebody that can throw their academic training and academic weight behind the subject, that’s what we really need and that’s who she represents,” history professor Bruce Solheim said.
“We have wanted to see it offered for such a long time,” Lubisich said.
More than anything, Lubisich said she wants students who take the class to have fun in her class while learning about the marginalized history of women in America.
“It’s the type of class where it turns into a kind of mini-community because we talk about so many personal issues,” Ritacca said. “From my perspective it makes teaching really fun.”
Ritacca said she wants as many students to enroll as possible, and will be giving out “add codes as necessary” if a student comes to find this class is at full capacity in the fall.
Registration for the fall semester begins May 15 alongside summer registration.