Nadasen teaches introductory and advanced undergraduate courses in history and women’s studies and has advised Master’s and Ph.D. students at Columbia University, Queens College, and the CUNY Graduate Center.
Nadasen’s approach to teaching is to convey to students that historical memory is deeply contested terrain. Research questions are shaped by intellectual interests and knowledge base, academic or historiographical imperatives, as well as available archival material. The primary source material available to historians to reconstruct the past is far from representative or comprehensive. People who kept the most extensive archives or whose voices were well documented dominate the historical record. In general, the poor, the illiterate, or people who didn’t perceive their actions as historically important were less likely to keep papers and documents. Archival collections, oral histories, and official records are as deeply implicated in how and why historians write what they write as the questions they ask and the professional sanctions that honor certain works of history over others. This perspective has bridged both Nadasen’s scholarship and teaching. She encourages students to think about alternative narratives, look critically at primary source documents, and consider whose voices are missing from the historical record.
Freedom Dreams: Struggles for Justice in the U.S. and Beyond
Maids and Madams: Nannies, Maids, and Care Workers in a Global Economy
Oral History and Community Activism
The Civil Rights Movement
The U.S. Welfare State
Poverty, Race, and Gender in U.S. History
American Women’s History in the 20th Century
Survey of American Civilization Since the Civil War
African American Women’s History
Slavery, Gender, and Culture