Welcome

What explains California?

This course explores this question through place and bioregion, individual┬áhistories and collective narratives of identity and culture, ideals and representation–all of which feed into the “California dream.”

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Panama California Exposition, 2015

Students will explore the historical myth and material reality of the Golden State through indigenous cultures and narratives of exploration; waves of immigration and demographic change; the presence of racism and multicultural history and identity; water, orange groves, and agribusiness; cities and suburbia; political corruption and capital crimes; money and Hollywood moguls; technological booms and busts; film, fiction, and fashion; popular music and poetry; sex, drugs, rock and roll; narratives of self-actualization and alienation; the emergence of surfing and skateboarding; skiing, mountaineering, and rock climbing; television, sports, and celebrity culture.

What explains California?

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Safeway – United Farm Worker’s Grape Boycott, National City. Herman Baca Papers. MSS 0649. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego

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Marie Ueda. 1978 San Francisco Gay Day Parade. Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society. San Francisco

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Page of First Edition of Mary Austin’s The Land of Little Rain

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W.D. Carter. Overland Mail Route to California Broadside. 1866. Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley

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Herman Baca, San Diego-based Chicano activist, 1979. Herman Baca Papers. MSS 0649. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego

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California Grown