United States

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.

103D.004 Fall 2017 E Pluribus Barnum: Popular Entertainment in the United States

This course will explore how ordinary Americans gathered together in museums, fairgrounds, theatres, and stadiums to entertain themselves before the twenty-first century. Since 1786, when Charles Wilson Peale opened his museum in Philadelphia as a place for audiences to encounter art, lectures, scientific specimens, and natural history objects, Americans have sought out popular entertainment for both amusement and education.

103D.003 Fall 2017 The History of Computing in America

This course will provide a broad historical foundation for the emergence of computers as a technology and as a symbol of contemporary life. We will examine the intellectual and technical origins of the first computers, the development of the computer industry, the role of military in technical innovation, hacker cultures, and Silicon Valley as a place. We will probably also consider the emergence of the internet and Artificial Intelligence.

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