United States

C139C Summer 2018 Civil Rights and Social Movements in U.S. History

In their fights for justice and equality, civil rights and social movements have put  democratic practices and institutions in the United States to test. This course explores the long (chronological) and wide (geographic) civil rights movements of the South, the North, and the West Coast, tracing their multiracial, multiethnic, and multicultural aspects since the Second World War. How ​did ordinary people and grassroots activists aim to influence electoral processes, legislation, and court decisions?

103D.003 Spring 2018 The University: Its History and Future

This seminar will focus on the “modern” university, especially as it developed in the United States during the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. Beginning as colleges to prepare young men for the ministry, colleges expanded their mission, and in many cases evolved into universities, in the nineteenth century. The nineteenth century also saw the emergence of the “public” university, first in Virginia, then Michigan, and then in many more states after the Morrill Land Grant Act of 1862.

103D.001 Spring 2018 Culture and Politics in the 1970s

Since about 2000, a growing number of historians have turned to the 1970s, claiming to reinterpret a misunderstood, and as some had even described it, “eminently forgettable” decade. The 1970s was more than the ten years between the 60s and the 80s. In this seminar, we will examine the major historical processes of this period with an emphasis on connections to contemporary politics, economics, and culture.

103D.002 Spring 2018 U.S. Foreign Policy and the Rise of Terrorism

Shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, President Bush asked: “Why do they hate us?” His answer was “they hate our freedoms.” Some scholars agreed, arguing that Osama bin Laden and his ideological predecessors hated secular, democratic, materialist Western culture. Other scholars have argued that bin Laden, while a security threat, was also a rational actor waging an insurgency against specific U.S. policies in the Middle East that bin Laden repeatedly condemned. In this course we will ask: Why did bin Laden perpetrate the September 11th attacks?

101.012 Spring 2018 Topics in U.S. Social and Cultural History

This seminar is a thesis-writing workshop for students who will write their theses on U.S. history using the sources, research questions, and methodologies of social and/or cultural history.

101.011 Spring 2018 Urban History

This course is designed for history majors who want to write their 101 papers about some feature of U.S. urban history: topics about cities, suburbs, metro areas, or key events that happened within such places. I expect, but will not require, that students write about some aspect of this history in the S.F. Bay Area or elsewhere in California in the 20th century. Preference in admission to this course will be given to students who are currently taking my 103.

101.010 Spring 2018 The American Century: Cultural and Political History from 1890 to 1980

In 1941, Henry Luce published the famous Life magazine editorial “The American Century.” His logic was political, cultural, and even moral and economic. In this History 101 seminar we will spend some time discussing the implications of US cultural, political, and economic hegemony, in particular what that meant in terms of national identity and changing ideas about region, nation, and the global order during the twentieth century.

101.009 Spring 2018 Race, Ethnicity, and Citizenship in the 20th Century United States

This seminar will guide students as they produce an original piece of historical scholarship (the 101 senior thesis) on a topic in US History. We will focus on the research and writing process, ranging from the feasibility of research topics, the development of research questions and a research plan, historiography, methodology, analysis, and the writing process.

101.001 Fall 2017 Topics in US History

This seminar will guide students through the process of completing a senior thesis in a topic in US History. Our focus will be the research and writing process, ranging from the feasibility of research topics, historiography, methodology, and analysis. Students should contact the professor in advance of the seminar to discuss possible topics and, if possible, research questions.

Sarah Selvidge is a historian of cities, culture, and politics in Latin America and the United States. 

103D.006 Fall 2017 Foodways in American History

This course will introduce students to the history of foodways in North America from the Columbian Exchange through late twentieth century. Through the lens of food, students will examine major themes in American environmental history, social and cultural history, and the history of globalization and capitalism.


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