H173_Spr2010_May3 - SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY Colonial...

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1 SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY Colonial America History 173 – Spring 2010 Professor Ruma Chopra Class meets: MW 10:30-11:45 a.m., DMH 165 Office hours: T, 9:00-10:00 a.m., W, 1:00-3:00 p.m., and by appointment Office: DMH 316 Phone: 408-924-5515 Email: [email protected] Class Website: http://www.sjsu.edu/people/ruma.chopra/courses/h173 (You can access the syllabus, handouts, and paper guidelines via this website.) Course Description Welcome to History 173. In this course we will be studying the variety of communities that emerged out of contact among Native Americans, Europeans, and Africans in North America from the late sixteenth century to the American Revolution. Through primary sources—travel narratives, court records, sermons, and letters—and scholarly literature, we will explore the development of colonial societies. The themes of this course include interactions between people of different racial and cultural groups, the emergence of chattel slavery, changes in family and community life, and the connections between American communities and the Atlantic world. In addition to gaining a solid understanding of significant events in colonial American history, students will have the opportunity to confront major historical questions such as: How was power understood, exchanged, and lost? Where did the institution of American slavery come from, and was its growth inevitable? How did indigenous people contribute to the development of colonial socities? When did colonists start to think of themselves as “Americans”? As a class, we will investigate what the experience of “colonization” meant in North America, and how it transformed ideas, economies, institutions, and ways of life. We will have the chance to spend time each week learning to “decode” primary sources written in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. These texts can be tricky, but are a fascinating window into the concerns, vocabularies, and world-views of people living hundreds of years ago. By the end of the course, you will have the satisfaction of having mastered the art of reading sermons, advertisements, private letters, and political pamphlets. Course Format and Requirements This class will combine lecture and discussion each week. To get the most out of our class time, read closely and carefully, and come prepared to discuss the documents and books assigned. Please bring the readings to class so that we can examine them in detail .
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2 Curiosity, honesty, and respect are the hallmarks of good discussions; your active participation is vital to the success of the class. In general, I will lecture on Mondays and we will discuss the assigned readings on Wednesdays each week. Students will sign up to lead the Wednesday discussions during the second week of class. For each discussion, prepare the following: Hand out a list of at least three questions to guide the discussion. If possible, use questions that connect readings from one week to the next. Select at least five quotes from the readings that merit further thought and
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H173_Spr2010_May3 - SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY Colonial...

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