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History 461 Syllabus - 1 History 461 Chican Latin Studies...

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History 461 Professor Susan L. Johnson [email protected] & [email protected] Studies 461 E-mail: [email protected] Fall Semester 2009 Office: 5117 Humanities Lecture: Tues.-Thurs. 9:30-10:45 Office Phone: 263-1848 1121 Humanities Office Hours: Thurs. 3-5 & by appt. Teaching Assistant Jackie Cooney Teaching Assistant Jarett Fields E-mail: [email protected] E-mail: [email protected] Office: 4271 Humanities Office: 4271 Humanities Office Phone: 890-3306 Office Phone: 890-3306 Office Hours: Mon. 1-3 Office Hours: Tues. 11-1 Mailbox: 4108, 4 th floor Humanities Mailbox: 4099, 4 th floor Humanities The American West to 1850 This course explores the history of places that have been called the American West, focusing on the period before 1850. We start with the era of American Indian occupation; continue with European invasion and the eventual creation of two new occupying nations, Mexico and the United States; and end with the U.S. conquest in the nineteenth century. At the outset, we consider the varied and changing world of Native North America before the arrival of Europeans, and then watch as that land and those peoples became the object of Spanish, French, Russian, and English imperial designs. As we enter the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, we see how European incursions gave way to the hopes and dreams of new nations, particularly Mexico and the U.S., and also of increasingly powerful Native peoples, such as Osages, Lakotas, Cheyennes and Arapahos, and Comanches. After studying the trails and trades that brought more and more newcomers from the U.S. into lands claimed by Mexicans and Indians, we approach the end of the semester with a key convergence of transformative events: the U.S. conquest of the Mexican North, the resolution of the Oregon boundary controversy, the discovery of western gold, the West Coast arrival of Chinese immigrants, and the Mormon exodus to the Great Basin. We study all of this from a number of perspectives, using styles of analysis developed by environmental, economic, political, cultural, social, ethnic, and gender historians. Throughout, we attend to the aspirations of a variety of western peoples, including those of North American, Latin American, European, African, and Asian origin or descent, and we look at how such varied aspirations both clashed and coalesced, sometimes producing new peoples and new economies. We study all of this through lectures, discussions, scholarly books, primary sources, feature films (Black Robe and Lone Star) , and three episodes of the 1996 documentary film The West . Course requirements 1. General: Faithful attendance in lecture and discussion sections; prompt completion of weekly readings; respectful participation in class discussions. Films shown both in and outside of class also require attendance; you’ll be responsible for their contents in exams, and there is also a written assignment based on films screened (see below). Films screened outside of our regular class meeting time can be viewed independently; we’ll discuss their availability in class.
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