Promised Land: Readings in California History

History 103D.006

Fall 2014
Day & Time: 
M 10-12P

This seminar will explore the idea of California as “America’s America” through some of the latest and most innovative historical scholarship about the region. Topics will include exploration and conquest; frontier labor, economies, and politics; migration and immigration; urban growth and decline; gender, race, and ethnicity; and the changing myths of California and the American West. Students will discuss key historiographical debates while also reviewing research methods and writing styles. Beyond group discussions, this course aims to help prepare students for their History 101 senior thesis. To that end, as a final project, students will have the option to craft a formal project prospectus and an annotated bibliography for their proposed 101 thesis. Alternatively, students may choose to compose a 9 - 11 page primary source-based paper on a chosen topic within the scope of California history. This course will be ideal for students intending to produce a 101 thesis in the area of California history or the American West. Those interested in exploring U.S. urban history more broadly are also welcomed to enroll as several course texts will fit into that framework. 

Course Books

The Power of the Zoot by Alvarez, Luis University of California Press. ISBN: 978-0520261549 Required
Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right by McGirr, Lisa Princeton University Press. ISBN: 978-0691096117 Required
American Babylon: Race and the Struggle for Postwar Oakland by Self, Robert Princeton University Press. ISBN: 978-0691124865 Required
L.A. City Limits by Sides, Josh University of California Press. ISBN: 978-0520248304 Required
American Exodus: The Dust Bowl Migration and Okie Culture in California by Gregory, James Oxford University Press. ISBN: 978-0195071368 Required
Screening Out the Past by May, Lary University of Chicago Press. ISBN: 978-0226511733 Required
Los Angeles and the Automobile: The Making of a Modern City by Bottles, Scott University of California Press. ISBN: 978-0520073951 Required
The Indispensable Enemy: Labor and the Anti-Chinese Movement by Saxton, Alexander University of California Press. ISBN: 978-0520029057 Required
Roaring Camp: The Social World of the California Gold Rush by Johnson, Susan Lee W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN: 978-0393320992 Required
Intimate Frontiers by Hurtado, Albert University of New Mexico Press. ISBN: 978-0826319548 Required
The Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the American West by Limerick, Patricia W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN: 978-0393304978 Required