History | From Pueblos to Strip Malls
J400 | 17387 | Sandweiss

Above class open to majors only
Above class open to undergraduates only
J400: P-HIST-J300

How different would American history look if we used the world
around us as our textbook?  Pueblo villages, 40-acre farmsteads,
suburban strip malls—they all reflect who we are as a nation.  Our
goal in this class is to learn to “read” the history of such
everyday spaces, and to understand what they tell us about American

The class will draw on a variety of your skills.  In addition to
discussing key primary readings (c. 20-50 pages weekly), you will
research and interpret specific sites—in Bloomington and then
elsewhere.  You will share that research in an online class
portfolio that illustrates—through images, maps, weblinks, and
comments—the history of the American landscape.

Finally, this material will aid you in selecting the topic for your
final project:  a textual and visual essay employing original
historical research to examine the transformation of a site or
collection of sites over time.