Teaching Teaching California and the West in a Pacific Rim Context: A Teacher Workshop

AHA Session 209
Saturday, January 7, 2017: 10:30 AM-12:00 PM
Room 503 (Colorado Convention Center, Meeting Room Level)
Shennan Hutton, California History-Social Science Project, University of California, Davis
Mining as a Transpacific Experience
Shelley Brooks, California History-Social Science Project, University of California, Davis

Session Abstract

This session will address the question of how to teach the history of California and the West from a Pacific Rim perspective, including 4th grade, high school, and university examples. Presenters will focus on the problem of place and scale—how to make comprehensible in the classroom the history of a particular region in the context of, and as it was shaped by, processes and exchanges on a hemispheric (even global) scale. Recent developments in the historiography of California and the West offer an exciting opportunity for teachers at all levels to expand the narrative of Western history to include cultural, economic, and environmental contexts, parallels, connections, and entanglements around the Pacific Rim– from Chile to Australia to Hong Kong to the Philippines to Hawai'i. Outstanding recent work on American continental and overseas imperialism, on economic globalization in the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries, on the comparative history of genocides, on the cultural consequences of the new immigration of the later twentieth century, on the construction of "race" and whiteness, on the distinctive religious history of the West, on comparative environmental history, and many other topics have opened new perspectives on the history of the region. In this session, presenters will discuss a syllabus for a university course modeled on this approach, and 4th, 10th, and 11th grade material on the international exchanges that defined the gold and silver rushes of the nineteenth century. Discussion will focus on pedagogy, classroom methods and techniques, and age-appropriate narrative and interpretive approaches.
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