The History 101 aims to support students as they produce an original piece of historical scholarship—the 101 Thesis. Early in the semester we will meet to discuss common readings and to provide students with basic training in how to conduct original historical research. By the end of the semester, students will have designed a research plan, implemented research and writing strategies, engaged in intellectual dialogue with their peers, and produced an original piece of historical scholarship 30-50 pages in length.
The common readings draw heavily upon the historical experiences of Latina/os in the United States, but also explore questions that extend beyond Latina/o populations. Students enrolled in this course, in other words, need not write a paper on Latina/os in the United States if their research projects relate to the broader themes, regions, and topics driving the course, such as: immigration and migration; transnational communities; US foreign policy; the American West; labor, including issues related to recruitment and activism; social movements; inequality and inclusion; gender and sexuality; panethnicity and politics; and race, citizenship, and identity. If anything, research projects that touch upon these sorts of topics will certainly help create and sustain a robust intellectual community and dialogue during our meetings throughout the semester—a critical part of the research and writing process.
Natalie Mendoza received her PhD in US history from UC Berkeley. Before graduate school, Natalie taught high school in Northern California. As a graduate student, Natalie became interested in improving how history is taught at both the high school and college levels. She co-founded a student-based history pedagogy group focused on improving undergraduate teaching at Cal and worked frequently with the UC Berkeley History-Social Science Project, a professional development program for local K-12 social studies teachers. Natalie’s research interests include: history and the practice of pedagogy, intellectual history, the history of education, Mexican American and Chicana/o history, US Latina/o history, US civil rights history, and the history of race and racism in the US. Her dissertation is a study of the impact of the Good Neighbor Policy and WWII on the relationship between the federal government and Mexican Americans in the US Southwest. She can be reached via email at nmendoza21(at)berkeley.edu.