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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Devon J Mccurdy
HSTAA 432
Seattle Campus

History of Washington and the Pacific Northwest

Exploration and settlement; economic development; growth of government and social institutions; statehood.

Class description

This upper-division course considers the history of the Pacific Northwest, focusing most heavily on Washington and Oregon, but also touching on Idaho and British Columbia. It leads students through discussions of major questions in the field focusing on the ways Natives and non-Natives negotiated cultural contact, the role of market production in the Northwest and the regionís situation in the broader world of capitalism, the role of the state in shaping lives in the region, and the ways environmental change affected different populations. In considering each theme, the course asks students to read, discuss, and write about a variety of historical documents as well as works of contemporary historians.

Student learning goals

The course aims to teach students about the region they live in, but it also takes the local topic as an opportunity to examine the work of historians. With primary sources readily available, the class seeks to expose students to the ways historians gather and use evidence. Class meetings and assignments ask students to try their hand at various primary source research methods. Some meetings ask students to practice reading documents against the grain, while others lead students through exercises in computer-aided spatial history. The course also asks students to develop their writing fluency by drafting, presenting, and revising several papers.

General method of instruction

The course relies on discussion and focused reading.

Recommended preparation

There are no required prerequisites, but students should recognize that this upper-division class will ask them to read and write at an advanced level.

Class assignments and grading

With the exception of oral participation, assignments require students to develop essays with honed arguments and polished writing.

Participation 30% First Response Essay (3 pages) 15% Second Response Essay (3 pages) 15% Primary Source Analysis (4 pages) 10% Student-Led Lesson and Essay (5 pages) 30%


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 Devon J Mccurdy
Date: 06/11/2013