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North America / United States

Fall 2024

This course introduces the study of Indigenous history and both its established and innovative themes. In doing so, the class foregrounds methods and sources, which together represent a major through-line of and within Indigenous histories. Students will be introduced to such topics as travel, trade, and technology. The central questions for this class are: what is Indigenous history? What are the methods and sources used to produce and center narratives of Indigenous peoples? In addressing these questions, students will learn that the study of Indigenous history necessitates an understanding of Indigenous ways of knowing and ways of moving through their world. Additionally, the study of Indigenous history is often expansive and has taken a global approach. To this end, this class centers Native local histories, while also engaging with a larger geographic scope. Not only does such an approach show the expansiveness and interconnectedness of Indigenous histories, but it also reveals the ways in which Native local history ties into broader themes within the study of Indigenous peoples.

Prof. Ulep, 4 credits, MWF 11:00-11:50am

-Fulfills Social Science, Textual Analysis, or Power and Equity distribution, as well as IRES elective.

-History major: Global; Cultures & Ideas; Social Justice

The "American West" is both a physical and imagined space. This course will examine how its history impacted the development of the United States and the world beyond. The course begins with the conceptions of "west" according to British, French, and Spanish colonial formulations of "the New World." We then follow the political, revolutionary, and legislative developments that created a new space of "American West" in an imperial-national consciousness. At the same time, this course focuses on how indigenous histories and cultures impacted the development of the U.S., from Oklahoma to Oceania. Places like Hawai'i, Guam, and the Philippines - usually occluded in narratives of "American West" - were intricately entwined with developments on the continent. Thus, we will examine the impact of Native American, Native Hawaiian, and immigrant histories in the "opening" of the American West. While exploring larger trends and identifying common experiences, we will also turn our attention to gender and intersectionality. For example, we will illuminate the multiple ways in which women from diverse groups interacted and influenced destinies and the complicated impacts of dispossession, empire, and nation-building - all within a global perspective.

Prof. Ulep, 4 credits, TTh 2:30-3:50pm

-Fulfills Cultural Pluralism and/or Social Science distribution, as well as IRES elective.

-History major: Cultures & Ideas; Empires & Colonialism; Social Justice

Over the past ten years, there has been a growing fascination with the 1990s in the United States. The ongoing stream of remakes, reboots, and call backs in movies, tv shows, music, games, and fashion have fed this nostalgia for the culture and aesthetic that is usually associated with the last decade of the twentieth century. In this course, we will be studying the Nineties through a framework of "looking backwards": we will begin by analyzing the current nostalgic phenomenon; followed by delving into the political, social, and cultural history of the "long" 1990s; and ending with a study of what nostalgia looked like at the turn of the century. By adding perspectives from the field of history of emotions, students will engage with primary and secondary sources to explore and unpack how decades are formed and framed as units of time demarcating distinctive social dynamics, ideological debates, cultural styles, and collective feelings. There will be a strong emphasis on popular culture: particularly movies, tv shows, and music. Assignments will include short essays, a "Show & Tell" presentation, and a collaborative final project.

Prof. Lund-Montaño, 4 credits, TTh 1-2:20pm

-Fulfills Cultural Pluralism, Social Science, Textual Analysis, Individual & Society, and/or Studying the Past distribution

-History major: modern history; Cultures & Ideas; Revolution/War/Politics; Social Justice

Spring 2025

"Energy" is a complex category with a deep and complex history, including fuels and technologies, uses and values, choices and implications. How did people of the past think about light, heat, transportation, forces of production? What kind of work produced cordwood, kerosene, coal, copper wire? When does this look like a national story, and when a tale of private "enterprise"? Does a long history of energy help us situate questions of our own times? Focusing on the U.S. from the late 18th century to the early 21st, we will explore such themes as "nature" and "resources"; options, choices, and whose choices; geographies of transmission; commodification, cost, and whose cost; networks of use, purpose, and power.

Prof. Lerman, 4 credits, MW 2:30-3:50pm

-Fulfills Social Science distribution, as well as Environmental Studies elective.

-History major: modern; Cultures & Ideas; Social Justice

How did American Indian nations navigate the turbulent nineteenth and twentieth centuries that brought a flood of intruders into their homelands, and how did they remake themselves into the vibrant and richly diverse peoples that they are in the twenty-first century? Beginning with the turmoil surrounding Indian Removal policy in the 1830s and extending to present-day struggles of Indian nations to control their own destinies, this course serves as an introduction to American Indian history from the perspective of indigenous survivance. Including such themes as cultural resistance and political resurgence in the face of U.S. settler colonialism, this course focuses on the interface between the development of Federal Indian policy and American Indian resistance to U.S. initiatives. It will also consider major shifts in American Indian sovereignty, including through the federal court system, from the 19th to the 21st centuries. In the process, we will ask: what is sovereignty to Native peoples? This course stresses the integrity, adaptability, and representation of American Indian nations, and the centrality of ever-emergent American Indian identity to the experiences of many peoples and nations. Each week, we will consider important historical moments for Indigenous peoples and strive to connect those histories to the contemporary Indigenous world. May be elected as Indigeneity, Race, & Ethnic Studies 200.

Prof. Ulep, 4 credits, TTh 10-11:20am

-Fulfills Social Science distribution. Cross-listed in IRES.

-History major: modern; Cultures & Ideas; Social Justice

Throughout the history of the United States, there have been people "already here" and people coming and going. Studying the histories of groups and (im)migrants, the experiences of movers and stayers, the ways people have defined themselves and understood others... is studying US history, and its various regionalisms and connections to other peoples and places. This course situates relocation and immigration through historical study of intersecting "big" issues: citizenship, freedom, democracy; race, ethnicity, labor systems; inclusion, exclusion, removal, integration; biology, culture, heritage. The focus will be on 19th and 20th centuries, concluding with a chance to consider 21st century issues in this long historical context.

Prof. Ulep, 4 credits, MW 2:30-3:50pm

-Fulfills Cultural Pluralism and/or Social Sciences distribution, as well as IRES elective.

-History major: modern; Cultures & Ideas; Social Justice

Drinks - from water to wine, beer to distillates, coffee, tea, and sodas - are consumed daily. They are all linked to histories of commodities, trade, enslavement, Indigeneity, gender, and immigration. This course explores these many inter-woven linkages and is therefore interdisciplinary in its analysis of the past through the lens of liquid culture. We will direct particular attention to the knowledge and skills involved in producing and consuming the beverages listed above. Centering drink as an entry-point of study overturns colonial expectations of power dynamics and cross-cultural interactions. We will thus pay particular attention to African and Indigenous knowledge systems, skilled labor, the importance of water (and access to water), as well as to Walla Walla's own local and indigenous relationships to water and that "blood of the gods," vino.

Prof. Ulep, 4 credits, MW 2:30-3:50pm

-Fulfills Cultural Pluralism and/or Social Sciences distribution.

-History major: Cultures & Ideas; Social Justice

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