HST201 HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES: COLONIAL ERA TO 1840
This course explores the varying experiences of American peoples, native and immigrant, rich and poor, male and female, enslaved and free. It explores the major events of the era through environmental, cultural, social, economic, and political changes, from the colonial era through the early republic (1840). Topics will range from colonial livestock and native disputes to dueling and concerns over damnation. Get ready to learn to think like a historian, tear into historians’ arguments about the past, and consider how we continue to use these histories to understand and shape the present.
HST202 HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES: 1840 TO 1914
This course explores the varying experiences of American peoples, native and immigrant, rich and poor, male and female, enslaved and free. It covers the major events of the era through its environmental, cultural, social, economic, and political changes, from the westward expansion of the 1840s through the start of US involvement in WWI. Topics will range from slavery, the Oregon Trail, and the Civil War to Gilded Age income disparity and the development of National Parks. Get ready to learn to think like a historian, tear into historians’ arguments about the past, and consider how we continue to use these histories to understand and shape the present.
HST203 HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES: 1914 TO PRESENT
This course explores the varying experiences of American peoples, native and immigrant, rich and poor, male and female, enslaved and free. It covers the major events of the era through its environmental, cultural, social, economic, and political changes, from the end of WWI to the present. Topics will range from the Roaring Twenties to Jello Molds and Civil Rights Movements. Get ready to learn to think like a historian, tear into historians’ arguments about the past, and consider how we continue to use these histories to understand and shape the present.
HST333U FOOD AND POWER IN US HISTORY
The power of food reaches beyond grocery bags and dinner plates. Food helps to define the boundaries between cultures, social classes, and even generations. The production and consumption of food shapes local and global landscapes and typically involves legislation, preparation, marketing, and transportation. Moving chronologically from the colonial period through the twenty-first century, this course will focus on the role food played in relationships between European colonists and Native Americans; slavery and plantations; western expansion and transportation developments; urban growth and technological innovation; immigration and ethnic food; gender relations; and the development of far-reaching agribusinesses. We will end the quarter by considering the reasons why there has been a surge in interest about the source and production of food in the last decade.
HST339U ENVIRONMENT AND HISTORY
This course is an introduction to the global history of human interactions with the environment with a special focus on the history of political, social, cultural, and economic forces that have structured relationships with nature. Organized roughly chronologically, the course is structured around themes that range from water to waste, and food to fuel. We will address large questions about the underpinnings of humans’ relationships with their environment by looking at a variety of case studies from around the globe. By the end of the course, students will have a stronger understanding of the historical background for modern environmental issues and the extent of their own impact on the environment.
HST409/509 PUBLIC HISTORY SEMINAR: HISTORIC PRESERVATION
This course examines the history and theory of historic preservation in the United States. We will look at how laws, public policies, and cultural perceptions have shaped what is preserved and what is forgotten. Historic preservation is a negotiation between the past and the present. Looking primarily at the built environment but also the natural environment, the class will investigate the controversies that have developed over time regarding gentrification, commercialization, whose history is commemorated, and whether a city has room to grow and innovate when buildings and neighborhoods are protected.
HST411/511 PUBLIC HISTORY LAB: HERITAGE TREES
Trees are physical evidence of the transformation of both a place and people’s intentions over time. In Portland, the Heritage Tree program protects roughly 300 trees, recognized for their historical significance or horticultural value. Partnering with Portland Parks and Recreation foresters, the class will use local archives to delve into the history of the city’s trees, helping to expand the historical programming and documentation of the city’s program. Students will work both individually and collaboratively to bring the history of the city’s trees to a broader public audience. Check out the student projects from 2015 on the Portland State University History Department website.
HST411/511 PUBLIC HISTORY LAB: PODCASTS & HISTORY
HST491/591 & 492/592: Readings & Research in the History of Portland & the American Urban Experience
By reading extensively about the history of Portland and the other cities throughout the United States, students will be asked to think critically about what makes Portland unique, what makes it a typical American city, and what all of this says about the city today. The class will investigate the city’s history from a range of perspectives—political, social, economic, environmental, and cultural—with an eye to reading the city’s built and natural environment and the long history of the people who have called the city home.
HST491/591 & 492/592 READINGS & RESEARCH IN ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORY
Cultural critic and urbanist Lewis Mumford once claimed that “as the pavement spreads, nature is pushed away.” This course will turn that notion on its head. We will question customary ideas about our own place in nature and consider the role that the environment has played in seemingly unnatural places like cities. Through the course of the quarter we will unearth an unorthodox environmental history of America from the Revolution through the present, all the while discussing what’s at stake when we begin to see nature where it once seemed absent.
The research seminar, which follows HST491/591 Readings in Environmental History, focuses on the history of the urban environment of American cities. Opening up questions about what constitutes both “cities” and “environments,” urban environmental history has pushed the boundaries of both urban history and environmental history. Students will choose a research topic early in the course, develop a research agenda using accessible archives, and write a paper that is positioned within the literature of the field. Extensive attention will be given to writing style and techniques, research methods, and the development of strong, clear arguments.