Fall 2014 Undergraduate Course Descriptions

April 30, 2014

Undergraduate Course Descriptions   Fall 2014

Prerequisite: Completion of History 301 with a grade of C or better.

All Courses listed below require a permission number from the Instructor

  History 497A: Travel Accounts: Myths, Lies and Images of “The Other”   Professor Patricia Juarez-Dappe  Friday 2:00 - 4:45 pm - SH 288

Throughout the world, travelers have left observations about peoples and places that are of interest to historians. Perceptions and misconceptions about the Americas purveyed in early exploration accounts colored interpretations in subsequent centuries. By the early 19th century the literary genre fell within a firmly established tradition that perpetuated earlier images while adding new variations and embellishments. This course will examine the works left by European and North American travelers in Latin America from the 16th to the early 20th century. After discussing recent scholarly literature on travel accounts, students will examine original written works left by diplomats, missionaries, women, military, and businessmen to uncover perceptions of outsiders to the region and understand the very process of representation and history. Assignments will consist of weekly readings, oral presentations, and a final research paper. It is required for students to have passed History 301 in order to enroll in this course. Please contact Professor Juarez-Dappe at pjuarez@csun.edu for questions on the course.

History 497B:  Proseminar     Professor Nan Yamane     Tuesday     1900-2140     SH288

In the wake of the Great Depression, WWII and the Cold War brought bittersweet prosperity to Americans; what was the full impact of these
wars on the lives and ideologies of Southern Californians in the 1940s and 1950s?  In this seminar, we will explore the intertwined themes of
reality and rhetoric regarding the dark side of a "homefront" that so critically defined our region.

We will begin with the legacy of the thirties, as expressed in the 1939 writings of Nathaniel West, Raymond Chandler, Aldous Huxley,
as well as Erle Stanley Gardner and John MacDonald.  These writers render a cynical view of human nature, and also introduce us to the
region of our focus at the end of the thirties--Los Angeles, Hollywood, Ventura, and Santa Barbara.  Second, we will spend most of
our time understanding ways in which people coped with conflicts over race, class, and gender; crime; problems of alcohol, drugs, addiction,
and mental illness.  Third, cultural representations of the era in comic books, hard-boiled fiction, radio, film noir, and non-fiction
writing on religion and ethics give us a view of the ways in which people understood the era, as well as examples of ways in which people
began to "name" and to address some negative aspects of life in the era of the "Greatest Generation."

Alongside the building of  war-centered industries we see the flourishing of Hollywood, organized crime, Jails, the Los Angeles
Police Department (and its organization under Chief William H. Parker), Camarillo State Hospital (and psychiatry), religious
organizations, and the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions—to name a few.  We will look into the cracks of "fortress
California" for a deeper understanding of the full impact of war and mobilization at a time when "We Can Do it" and "Democracy" were the
slogans of the day.

History 497C:  Crime and Punishment:  Murder Trials in Modern Europe      Professor Kathleen Addison    Thursday     1900-2145       SH268

This seminar focuses on the public spectacle of murder occupying a place in public discourse in the late 19th and early 20th century.    The broad interest in the subject and the process became part of “social media” of the time through several factors:  improved technology, both in forensics and communications; increased ideas of modernism and the transgressions of social behavior; changing ideas of morals and values in the Victorian sphere (even beyond England); and increasing modernization of the bureaucratic process with respect to police forces and administration of justice.  Within that context, however, the studies we will be using can be evaluated in many different ways:  gender roles, public space, class consciousness, ritual/religious murder of “outsiders” in a community, developing interests in the psychology of murder, furthering standards in administration of justice, and the variances in calls for public justice.  

The culminating project of this seminar will be an approximately 20 page original research paper based on primary sources of the time and the framework established within our discussions.    Please contact Kathleen.addison@csun .edu for a permission number if you have met the prerequisites for the class.

History 498C Tutorial in History, The Vietnam Conflict:  An International History   Dr. Thomas Maddux    Wednesday 1900-2145   SH279 

 This reading-discussion class will focus on the Vietnam Conflict from 1945 to 1975.  We will place the conflict in an international context in which its origins long predated American involvement, and that the issues at stake—particularly for the Vietnamese and their neighbors, Cambodians and Laotians—transcended the cold war considerations of Washington, Moscow, and Beijing.  We will view the war through the perspectives of various groups—elites in Hanoi, Saigon, Paris, and Washington who directed the conflict; the soldiers who fought it; and the peoples of Southeast Asia who tried to survive it as best they could, as well as historians who have interpreted the conflict before and since 1975.  The class will have a discussion orientation. There will be weekly quizzes on the reading, paper assignments, and a final exam. For further information contact Professor Thomas Maddux at Thomas.Maddux@csun.edu

History 498C:  Food and Agriculture in the Middle East 600-Present     Dr. Rachel Howes      MW 1100-1215                  SH160

   Food, its production, distribution, consumption, and enjoyment is crucial to any society.  The Middle East in the Islamic period is no exception.  The subject of has also in recent years become a very productive arena of study for many historians and has allowed them insights into realms of study as varied as cultural interactions, economic status, and climatic change.  This 498 will allow students to sample some of the different ways that the study of food in the Middle East has been approached by modern, early modern, and medieval scholars alike.  We will also examine topics that range from agriculture, science, cultural norms, cultural exchange, and economics.  Students will be expected to read roughly 150 pages a week, write 7 2-3 page papers, and produce a 10-15 page term paper with some research component. If you are interested contact Rachel Howes at Rachel.howes@csun.edu

 History 498C:  The Enlightenment  Professor Erik Goldner    TR  1100-1215      SH268

What was enlightened about the Enlightenment, and why does it matter historically? This course explores the eighteenth-century intellectual phenomenon called the Enlightenment through important primary and secondary sources, including landmark works by Rousseau and Voltaire.