History of the Western U.S.

Northeastern University, Spring 2018

Course Description | Assignments | Policies | Schedule

Required Readings

There are four required texts that you must purchase for this class (the rest of the readings will be provided to you by the instructor). You can purchase these texts either in the campus bookstore or through other retailers:

  • Elizabeth Fenn, Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People
  • Mine Okubo, Citizen 13660
  • Andrés Reséndez, The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America
  • Elliott West, The Essential West: Collected Essays

Participation and Attendance (20%)

Students are to attend each class having completed the readings or other assignments and be prepared to discuss them. One unexcused absence is allowed per semester, after which any absences will require documentation. See course policies for more information.

Geography Quiz (5%) - Wednesday, January 17th

Locate places and geographical features on a blank map of western North America. You will be given a study guide with a list of possible identifications ahead of time.

Midterm (15%) - Due Sunday February 25th

Take-home exam consisting of short identifications and essay questions.

Pop Culture Review (20%) - Due Sunday March 18th

Write a 4-5 page (1,250-1,500 words) review of a movie, TV series, video game, novel, art exhibit, or other piece of pop culture that falls loosely under the “Western” genre. Full description of the assignment.

Place Analysis Unessay (25%) - In-Class Presentation Wednesday, 4/11. Final version due Friday, April 13th

Select a particular location and analyze its history and geography within the broader context of the western U.S. You will present your place analysis in an “unessay” format. Full description of the assignment.

Final Exam (15%) - Due Sunday April 22nd

Take-home exam consisting of short identifications and essay questions.