History of the Western U.S.

Northeastern University, Spring 2018

Course Description | Assignments | Policies | Schedule

Office Hours

Office hours are held every Tuesday, from 1:00PM-2:30PM, and by appointment. Take advantage of office hours as an opportunity to talk about any aspect of the class: the week’s reading, ideas and strategies for your upcoming paper or project, feedback you have received, or difficult themes and concepts. If weekly office hours conflict with your schedule, please contact me to schedule a different time to meet. I look forward to getting to know each of you! My office is located in Room 237 in Meserve Hall.


Attendance at each class is mandatory. One unexcused absence is allowed per semester, after which any absences will require documentation or else they will impact your final grade. All absences (excused and unexcused) must be made-up with a 500-word response to the day or week’s readings that selects two of the major themes to analyze/critique/elaborate on, due within one week of the absence. Being on time is also part of attendance – if you show up late to class more than once, I will begin deducting points from your participation grade.

Classroom Behavior

You are required to be respectful to your fellow classmates and professor: listening attentively, not interrupting, and maintaining a civil discourse. Bullying or personal attacks will not be tolerated. Learn names and always assume the best intentions in each other. If you have any issues, please talk to me directly so that I can address them. You are also welcome to eat food or drinks in class, provided they are not distracting.


You are welcome to bring a laptop or tablet to take notes during class, but please put away your mobile phones during the entirety of the class. I will keep close track of how actively you are engaging and listening to your peers. If I find anyone looking at material that is unrelated to the discussion at hand, you will be asked to leave the classroom and it will count as an unexcused absence. If you are making more eye contact with your screen than your classmates, your participation grade will also suffer.

Late Assignments

Late assignments will be penalized by one half letter grade for each day they are late, starting immediately after the specified time (an A paper becomes an A-, an A- to B+, etc.).

Course Content Note

This course will involve historical topics that you may find emotionally distressful, including episodes of violence and racism. I have included these topics because they are foundational to understanding the history of the western United States. If you have concerns about reading and discussing particular topics, please come talk to me at the beginning of the semester. I will work with you to find alternative readings or ways for you to participate on the days in which we discuss those particular topics.

Students with Disabilities

Students with documented learning disabilities will receive reasonable accommodation in this class. If you have a learning disability, please notify me and also register with Northeastern’s Disability Resource Center (http://www.northeastern.edu/drc/).

Academic Integrity

All students are responsible for understanding and complying with Northeastern University’s policy on Academic Integrity. Cheating or plagiarism of any kind will not be tolerated and will be immediately referred to the Office of Student Council and Conflict Resolution, For more details, see http://www.northeastern.edu/osccr/academic-integrity-policy/.