California Dreaming

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


Panama California Exposition, 2015

Students 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.

Take me to the California Dreaming Course Site