Syllabus

History 413, American West

Professor Jonathan Rees

Colorado State University – Pueblo

Fall 2018, TTh 1-2:20PM

Office:  GCB 314

Office Phone: 549-2541

Office Hours:   MWF 1-2PM, TTh 2:30-3:30PM or by appointment.

E-Mail:  drjonathanrees@gmail.com

This course will examine the history of the American West.  I encourage students with questions or concerns about any aspect of this course to either visit me during office hours, make an appointment or contact me by E-Mail.

The taping of class discussions is not permitted unless you have my explicit permission.  Please turn off your cell phones before class begins.  Under no circumstances will you be permitted to take notes on a laptop computer.  The reason for this restriction is too many people surfing the web with their Wi-Fi connection during class time.  Even if you assure me you won’t, I will not make an exception in order to maintain a consistent position.

In order to facilitate communication between you and I, having an e-mail is a requirement of this course.  I will be collecting e-mails from you on the first day of the course.  You will want to give me an address that you check fairly frequently because I will use it if I need to get a hold of you for course-related business.  All correspondence with me should go through the university e-mail listed above.  

 

Required Reading:

Gordon, The Great Arizona Orphan Abduction.

Gwynne, Empire of the Summer Moon.

Limerick, The Legacy of Conquest.

Richardson, West from Appomattox.

Steinbeck, Grapes of Wrath.

 

Grading and Attendance Policies:

It is assumed that students will make every effort to attend each class period, arrive on time and stay for the entire class. An attendance sheet will be passed around at the beginning of each class. If you arrive late to class, make sure your name is on the attendance sheet before you leave. Otherwise, you will be counted as absent.

You are allowed to miss four classes over the course of this semester on account of disease, job-related duties or acts of God.  Miss more for any reason and you will fail this course instantly.

Your final grade will be determined by this formula:  Paper #1 = 20%, Paper #2 = 20%, Paper #3 = 10%, Research Paper = 25%, Point Paragraphs = 25%.

You must complete all the required paper assignments in order to pass this course.  That includes the mandatory draft papers due before the final versions are due.

The question for Paper #1 is:  Explain the importance of the American West to American history as a whole.  Use information and quotations from Limerick and Richardson as your sole sources for quotations and of specific factual information.  

The question for Paper #2 is:  Explain the role of race in the history of the American West during the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries.  Use information and from Gordon and Gwynne (or earlier texts assigned in this course) as your sole sources for quotations and of specific factual information.

The question for Paper #3: “Is the Grapes of Wrath a traditional western?” Explain your position using your knowledge of traditional westerns (from Limerick or “Stagecoach”) and quotations from the Steinbeck text.

Each of these papers should be from between six and eight pages long, double-spaced.  The required drafts of these papers must be at least three complete double-spaced pages long.  Otherwise, I will not accept your final copy.  Since you are restricted to only using the assigned texts, parenthetical references for page numbers are fine for purposes of citing your material.

The Research Paper should be 10-12 pages long, double spaced one any subject of your choice that is mostly about the history of the United States during this era.  It does not have to relate to any other material covered in the course.  Instructions for this assignment are available here.

The Point Paragraph assignments are associated with particular secondary source readings, one paragraph for each book.  A  Point Paragraph has three components: 1) a “They say” statement describing a point the book’s author makes that is worthy of discussion. 2) An “I say” statement which responds to the book author’s statement  and 3) An explanation of your point and evidence for that position.  You are essentially looking for points of disagreement (or at least differences in emphasis) between you and the books author, which you think will foster good class discussion.

The final result should be between 250 and 400 words.  Point paragraphs should be printed out and brought to the appropriate class periods as your “ticket” to discussion, as you’ll want them during the discussion itself.  These paragraphs will form the basis of a discussion with a student partner, designed to produce a good discussion question.  That question should be legibly handwritten at the bottom of the page.  I will collect your paragraph sheets at the end of the class period.  If you cannot attend class during a period when the Point Paragraph is due, your paragraph should be in my e-mail box (as an e-mail attachment) by the end of that class period. 

Grading on the Point Paragraphs will be A/C/F.  A = Thoughtful work.  C = minimal or confusing effort, but attempted.  F = No paragraph or the paragraph demonstrates little or no understanding of the book.

With the exception of the Point Paragraphs, grading will be done on an A-F scale with pluses and minuses with the exception of the exception of the grade C- which has been banned across the University. Your final grades will be recorded the same way. I will do my best to explain the criteria by which each assignment is graded before you undertake them.

Class and University Policies:

Any form of academic dishonesty will result in a failing grade for the entire course. This includes plagiarism, the taking of words and/or ideas of another and passing them off as your own. If another person’s work is quoted directly in a formal paper, this must be indicated with quotation marks and a citation. Paraphrased or borrowed ideas must be identified in the footnotes of the text.

Colorado State University-Pueblo is committed to maintaining respectful, safe, and nonthreatening educational, working, and living environments. As part of this commitment, and in order to comply with federal law, the University has adopted a Policy on Discrimination, Protected Class Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Intimate Partner Violence, Stalking, & Retaliation. You can find information regarding this policy, how to report violations of this policy, and resources available to you, on the Office of Institutional Equity’s website (www.csupueblo.edu/institutional-equity).

Please familiarize yourself with the reporting requirements of this policy. Because I am a faculty member, I am a “Responsible Employee.” That means I have to report to the Director of the Office of Institutional Equity if you tell me that you were subjected to, or engaged in, of any of the following acts: discrimination, protected class harassment, sexual misconduct, intimate partner violence, stalking, and retaliation.

This course participates in the Starfish student success program. Early in the semester, information about student performance in this class will be communicated to each student by email and/or text from Starfish. Attention to suggested actions is encouraged. This information is also available to academic advisors and others involved in supporting student success. Your advisor may then ask to meet with you to discuss your plans for success. The program is designed to promote success among students through proactive advising, and through referral to appropriate resources. Efforts to inform and assist students continues throughout the semester with a mid-semester survey, and instructor concerns or kudos can be posted to Starfish at any time.

This University abides by the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which stipulates that no student shall be denied the benefits of an education “solely by reason of a handicap.”  If you have a documented disability that may impact your work in this class and for which you may require accommodations, please see the Disability Resource Coordinator as soon as possible to arrange accommodations.  In order to receive accommodations, you must be registered with and provide documentation of your disability to:  the Disability Resource Office, which is located in the Library and Academic Resources Center, Suite 169.

Course Schedule and Reading Assignments:

***Schedule is subject to change at the discretion of the professor***

August 21: Introduction to the course.

August 23:  Patricia Limerick, “The American West: A Work in Progress”

August 28: Introduction to Zotero and Hypothes.is

Zotero Quick Start Guide.

Please bring your laptops to class today!

August 30:  Limerick Discussion 1

Your Limerick Point Paragraph is your ticket to the class discussion.

September 4: Limerick Discussion 2

September 6: Library Day #1

Library Training and research paper topic exploration

September 11:  Richardson Discussion 1

Your Richardson Point Paragraph is your ticket to class discussion.

September 13:  Richardson Discussion 2

September 18:  Draft Limerick/Richardson Papers

No in-person class today.

E-mail me a .pdf of your draft Limerick/Richardson paper by 5pm on September 17.  Sit yourself in front of any computer with a reliable Internet connection and leave at least 5 useful Hypothes.is comments across at least 3 other student papers.  The links to other student papers are here.  This exercise is a mandatory requirement for my accepting your final papers later.

September 20:  Gordon Discussion 1

Your Gordon Point Paragraph is your ticket to class discussion.

September 25:  Gordon Discussion 2

Paper copies of your Limerick/Richardson papers are due in class.

September 27: Film: “Stagecoach,” Part 1.

October 2:  Film: “Stagecoach,” Part 2 and discussion.

October 4:  Library Day #2

Research paper topic due via e-mail by the end of class.

October 9:  Gwynne Discussion 1.

Your Gwynne Point Paragraph is your ticket to class discussion.

October 11:  Gwynne Discussion 2. 

October 16:  Gordon/Gwynn Draft Papers.

No in-person class today.

E-mail me a .pdf of your draft Gordon/Gwynne  paper by 5pm on October 15.  Sit yourself in front of any computer with a reliable Internet connection and leave at least 5 useful Hypothes.is comments across 3 at least other student papers.  The links to other student papers are here.  This exercise is a mandatory requirement for my accepting your final papers later.

October 18:  Film:  “The Grapes of Wrath,” Part 1.

October 23:  Film: “The Grapes of Wrath,” Part 2 and discussion.

October 25:  Class canceled.

October 30:  Grapes of Wrath primary sources.

November 1:  Research Check and Preliminary Research Presentations.

November 6:  Steinbeck Discussion 1.

Your Steinbeck Point Paragraph is your ticket to class discussion.

November 8:  Steinbeck Discussion 2.

November 13:  Footnotes (aka The bane of your existence).

November 15:  Class Canceled.

November 19-23: Thanksgiving Break

November 27: Draft Steinbeck Papers

No in-person class today.

E-mail me a .pdf of your draft Steinbeck paper by 5pm on November 26.  Sit yourself in front of any computer with a reliable Internet connection and leave at least 5 useful Hypothes.is comments on other student papers.  The links to other student papers are here.  This exercise is a mandatory requirement for my accepting your final papers later.

November 29:  Draft Research Papers.

No in-person class today.

E-mail me a .pdf of your draft research paper by 5pm on November 28.  Sit yourself in front of any computer with a reliable Internet connection and leave at least 5 useful Hypothes.is comments across at least 3 other student papers.  The links to other student papers are here.  This exercise is a mandatory requirement for my accepting your final papers later.

[I’ll be writing Hypothes.is comments from my office on this last week in class during class time.  Please feel free to come in for an appointment should you have any questions or concerns.]

Steinbeck Papers are due November 30 at 5PM.  Paper copies in my mailbox.

Research Presentations will occur and research papers are due during the final exam period, Tuesday, December 4th at 1PM.

 

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