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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Alexander J. Morrow
HIST 498
Seattle Campus

Colloquium in History

Each seminar examines a different subject or problem. A quarterly list of the seminars and their instructors is available in the Department of History undergraduate advising office.

Class description

Working Seattle's Waterfront

Students in this class will participate in a UW project to document the history of civil rights and labor history in the Seattle Area. Please examine the website to learn more about the project: http://depts.washington.edu/labhist/

The history of labor on Washington's waterfront is an exciting one. Trade and shipping that brought so much wealth to the city also brought a struggle for economic and social justice. Through readings, oral history interviews, and research in local archives, this course will work towards documenting that history in rich detail.

The emphasis is on original research. Students can focus on a wide variety of subjects, including the formation of waterfront unions, economic change, labor and civil rights, masculine work culture, waterfront work during World War II, or strikes and protest movements.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

This is a hands-on historical research project. We will not only read about the history of labor and civil rights movements, but we will produce historical materials and interpretations that will be valuable to others interested in this subject.

The focus of the course is the completion of a 15 page research report on an issue, incident, organization, or individual.

If you so desire, and if the quality of the work warrants it, interviews and research reports may be published as part of the Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project website in the evolving section on waterfront workers - http://depts.washington.edu/dock/

Recommended preparation

A familiarity with American history and Seattle will be helpful, but there is no pre-requisite.

Class assignments and grading

Readings and a series of small assignments will assist students in writing a substantial paper based upon original research.

Grades will be determined by the quality of the research paper, but the final grade will reflect a student's overall performance, including completion of the assigned reading, several small assignments, and active participation in class.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by Alexander J. Morrow
Date: 10/25/2010