California, the West, and the World

History 128AC

Fall 2018
160 Kroeber
Day & Time: 
Mon/Wed/Fri 1–2pm
Class Number: 
  • This course satisfies the American Cultures Requirement.
  • Tall tales, mythic claims, and Hollywood films have long shaped the image of California and the American West. The region is often associated with hyperbole and hype, and sometimes the truth has been stranger than fiction, but there is little doubt that the territory, as both a place and a notion, have profoundly influenced the rest of the nation, and at times, even the world. This course surveys the history of California and the American West from the mid-nineteenth century to the dawn of the twenty-first. The course will pay particular heed to those elements of Californian and western history that are typically associated with the state’s and region’s distinctiveness as a shifting region on the national map, potent and protean symbol in the national (and, often, international) imagination, and catalyst of world historical developments. Among other topics, this course will examine race, class, gender, migration, tourism, popular culture, urbanization, politics, and the environment as they have played out on the western stage over roughly the last one hundred and seventy-five years.

    Jennifer Robin Terry is a social and cultural historian of United States history. Her research focuses primarily on the intersection of childhood, labor, law, and culture in the twentieth-century. She is currently working on two projects. One examines the ways that culture has influenced agricultural child labor law and practice. The other considers child actors as a class of laborers and interrogates the tension between the rights of children and that of their parents.