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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Linda L Nash
HSTAA 413
Seattle Campus

History of the Trans-Mississippi West

Anglo-American exploration, conquest, occupation, and exploitation of the trans-Mississippi West, with emphasis on economic development into the twentieth century. Considers wide range of developmental themes (social, political, cultural) in historiography of American West.

Class description

This course will concentrate on the social history and cultural representation of the trans-Mississippi West since the late 19th century. One of the major concerns of the course will be the role that images and ideas of the "West" have played in the American imagination. We will watch several "westerns," read western literature, and consider popular histories and historical sites, asking how these representations have responded to and helped to structure ideas of race, gender, and "nation" for 20th century Americans.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

No prerequisites.

Class assignments and grading

The course will combine lectures and discussions. The reading load for this course is heavy (100-200 pages per week) and will include writings by practicing historians as well as journalists and novelists. Among the authors we will read are Owen Winster, Mary Austin, Joan Didion, and Leslie Marmon Silko. Written assignments will include 4 short response papers that address films and readings, a research paper (10-12 pages), and a final exam. A significant portion of the grade will be based on participation in group and class discussions; thus it is not recommended that you take the course if you will be unable to attend regularly.


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.
Last Update by Edmund K. Kamai
Date: 11/05/2000