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“‘Going Steady?’: Documenting the History of Dating in American Culture, 1940-1990” is a one-credit, pass/no-credit freshman seminar taught for Georgia State University’s Honors College. This course has grown out of my current research on post-World War II girls' cultural and intellectual history and out of my work as Georgia State University's History, African-American Studies, and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Librarian. "Going Steady?" is designed to teach basic primary-source searching and interpretive skills and to familiarize students with primary sources available to them as Georgia State University students. Centering on a broad and engaging topic, the course offers a general overview of the history of dating within a specific time period. The course also raises key issues of how gender presentation, race, class, sexual orientation, and consent complicate our understanding of dating and its history in American culture, and how these issues are reflected in and embodied by primary-source materials. This publication includes the course's syllabus and a peer-reviewed article discussing the course in more detail. The most current version of the course can also be viewed at


This article was originally published online in Syllabus, vol. 6 no. 1 (June 2017).

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.