Citizenship test

Sample midterm exam

Great Depression Project website



Professor James Gregory
Office hours: After class or Tuesday 3:30-4:30
118 Smith   543-7792; e-mail:

  • Section Instructors:
  • Emily Hall <>
  • Symbol Lai <>

This course explores the history of American diversity. Beginning with the centuries that preceded the birth on an American nation, we will examine the sequences of immigration and conquest that eventually made the United States one of the most ethnically and racially diverse societies on earth. The consequences of diversity are another theme of the course. We will explore both the contributions of various peoples and the conflicts between them, paying special attention to the historical construction of race and ethnicity and the changing understandings of American citizenship. "What is an American?" each generation has asked, usually answering in terms that are new to their era.

HSTAA 105 earns writing course w-credits. This course also fulfills requirements for the UW Diversity Minor. If you have questions about that program, please see the webpage or email


  • 105 Reader (available at Ave Copy: 4141 University Ave.)
  • Pauli Murray, Proud Shoes: The Story of an American Family
  • Thomas Bell, Out of this Furnace      
  • Helen Zia, Asian American Dreams

ASSIGNMENTS: Grades will be based on four elements: a midterm, final, research paper, and participation in discussion section. All assignments are mandatory; failure to complete any one will make it impossible to pass the course. The research paper and final exam will each count for 30% of the grade; the midterm and discussion section will each contribute 20%.

Due dates and assignments are subject to change and you are responsible for any updates.

Paper prospectus: Jan 22 (Tuesday)—a 1 page description of your project
Midterm exam: Jan 29 (Tuesday)
Paper draft: Feb 15 (Friday)
Paper final: Mar 5(Tuesday)
Final exam: March 20 (Wednesday) 2:30-4:20

Return to top    

Schedule of Lectures and Readings

Week 1: Jan 7-Jan 11 reading assignment: 105Reader, section A

        Empires, trade, and conquest in the first age of globalism
       The British imprint on American demography and institutions

Week 2: Jan 14-Jan 18 reading assignment: 105Reader, section B

       Winners and losers among native peoples 1607-1775
      The Middle Passage: Atlantic slave trade 1520s-1870s
       Inventing Americans: the road to independence

Week 3: Jan 21-Jan 25 reading assignment: 105Reader, section C

       Building a new nation: the paradox of founding principles
       The republic as empire: expansion 1800-1860
       Irish immigrants and the issue of Catholicism

Week 4: Jan 28-Feb 1 reading assignment: Murray, Proud Shoes, 1-136

       The Kennedys and Irish ethnic enterprise
       Germans and Scandinavians: cultural power in 19th century America

Week 5 : Feb 4-Feb 8 reading assignment: Murray, Proud Shoes, 137-end

       Foreigners in their native land: Mexicans in the Southwest
       Civil War and the end of slavery
       The 14th amendment and the buried promise of equal rights

Week 6: Feb 11-Feb 15 reading assignment: Bell, Out of This Furnace, 1-117

       Race and changing schemes of whiteness
       Chinese in America 1848-1940
       Slaying the Dragon: Hollywood representations of Asian women

Week 7: Feb 18-Feb 22 reading assignment: Bell, Out of This Furnace, 118-258

       Third wave immigrants: Poles and Italians
       Greeks and Jews: the rewards of small business enterprise
       Immigration restriction, culture wars, cracking the culture of tribalism

Week 8: Feb 25- Mar 1 reading assignment: Bell, Out of This Furnace, 259-413

      Great Depression: reorganizing economy, reorganizing democracy
      Unburying the 14 th “amendment: civil rights campaigns 1941-64
      Seattle’s segregation and civil rights story

Week 9: Mar 4 -Mar 8 reading assignment: Zia, Asian American Dreams, 1-108; 139-165

       Fifth wave immigrants: the changing face of diversity 1965-2012
       Asians: disaggregating the 'Model Minority"
       Latinos: the search for cultural and political power

Week 10: Mar 11-Mar 15 reading assignment: Zia, Asian American Dreams, 166-319

       Middle Easterners: a new indispensable enemy?
       Indian Country in the age of pluralism
       Race, class, justice, and opportunity in today’s America

Return to top         


Paper prospectus: Jan 22 (Tuesday)—a 1 page description of your project
Paper draft: Feb 15 (Friday)
Paper final: Mar 5(Tuesday)

The research paper assignment accounts for 30% of the course grade. You may choose between two kinds of projects: a family history or a paper that explores Washington state during the Great Depression.


This involves research into your family's history. Pauli Murray’s book, Proud Shoes, is an example of what family research can yield. Family documents and interviews with relatives will be the major sources for this assignment, and they must be supplemented with library research. Collecting family stories is only part of this assignment. The idea is to use your family’s history to illustrate some of the concepts developed in this course. The family stories you tell must be used to discuss one or more of the following issues and concepts that will be discussed in lectures over the coming weeks:

 Identity issues: "ethnic pride," "cultural retention/change," "varieties of Americanism," "passing," "evaporating ethnicity," "compiled ethnicity," "expanding whiteness"

Citizenship issues : "struggles for equality, " "xenophobia, " "exile politics," "14 th Amendment, " "using politics," "expanding pluralism"

Economic issues : “job ghetto,” "ethnic enterprise, " "ethnic privilege, " "immigrant resources," "productive stereotypes, " "the educational divide"

Gendered ethnic issues : "gendered stereotypes," "gendered identity pathways," "gendered cultural guardians," "intermarriage"

Here are some ways to think about connecting a family story to the issues of this course: Does your family background lend itself to a discussion of immigration and Americanization? Think about the issues involved in coming to America and becoming American. Cultural conflicts and identity negotiations will probably be the focus of your analysis. Pay attention to national background, generation, gender, class, and other factors and conditions that might have affected your family's experience.

Some family backgrounds lend themselves to examinations of struggles for basic rights. Perhaps there are family experiences with prejudice and discrimination or perhaps there were ancestors who benefited from the oppression of others. In either case you will want to think about the historical context and try to understand how your family story fits into the changing patterns of pluralism and ethnocentrism that mark different eras. You may also have an opportunity to discuss the political forces that have changed the fabric of rights and opportunities.

Some of you will be intrigued by family stories about changing economic status, about struggles to attain wealth, position, or a better living. If so, you will want to pay attention to ethnic enterprises and perhaps ethnic privilege. Think beyond the purely personal aspects of these accounts. What events and conditions helped shape opportunities? How did ethnic connections and communities contribute to the family's experiences?

Some may choose to examine complicated genealogies that stretch back many generations. Here you may find opportunities to discuss issues of intermarriage, of cultural retention or ethnic evaporation, and any number of other concepts.

Library research is a required part of this assignment. You will need to set your family's stories in historical context, which means reading about the time periods and also ethnic groups you will be discussing. The class web site contains a list of books that can serve as reference works. Your paper should include at least three book citations.

The final result should be approximately 10 typed pages. It should be logically organized and well written. Good ideas do not count if they are not readily understood. All quotations and specific references require citations. Here is a brief guide to Chicago style footnotes and endnotes. Be sure to edit your work. There is no excuse for sloppy grammar, spelling, or typing. Warning: be very careful about plagiarism. I enforce a zero tolerance rule when it comes to any form of cheating.

 Return to top       


This assignment involves reading a newspaper during the 1930s and writing about Washington during the Great Depression. It also provides an opportunity to participate in an online research effort called the Great Depression in Washington State Project which is documenting the events and issues of the decade.  Please visit this website to get a sense of this project and the types of papers that students have written in previous classes

 A list of topics follows. Each involves newspaper research Microform & Newspaper room on ground floor of Suzzallo Library. Using microfilm readers you will look through the newspaper, making digital copies of articles, editorials, photographs, and advertising that provide information about the topic.

As with the family history paper, the Great Depression project will involve a rough draft. The final result should be approximately 10 typed pages.

Preliminary list of topics:

The crisis in Washington’s communities: The economy hit bottom in late 1932 and the first months of 1933. Read a newspaper from one of Washington’s communities and see what you can learn about economic conditions and about the community mood. A key national and state election was held in November 1932. What did the newspaper say about the candidates and issues? This project can use published books but must take much of its information from one of the newspapers listed below and focus on a community outside Seattle. Here is a model paper that tells the story of Bellingham.
  • Tacoma : read Tacoma News Tribune --August 1932 to March 1933 [call # A3953]
  • Spokane: read Spokesman Review--August 1932 to March 1933 [call # A696]
  • Anacortes : read Daily Mercury--August 1932 to March 1933 [call # A4276]
  • Bellevue: read Lake Washington Reflector--August 1932 to March 1933 [call # A5579]
  • Bremerton: read Daily News Searchlight--August 1932 to March 1933 [call # A594]
  • Kitsap County: read Kitsap County Journal --August 1932 to March 1933 [call # A5889]
University of Washington topics: The university struggled with budget cuts, students struggled to stay in school, and the campus experienced important social and political changes. Information about each of these issues can be found the UW Daily. Choose one of three topics: (1) Student life and activism; (2) UW budget problems and growth; (3) gender issues and experience of women students. Read the Daily during one of these two-year time periods:
  • UW Daily 1936-1937 [call # A3139]
  • UW Daily 1938-1939 [call # A3139]
  • UW Daily 1931-1932 [call # A3139]  
Ethnic community topics : Read one of the weekly newspapers serving Washington’s ethnic populations and see what they say either about the economic problems of the community or about identity issues and struggles for equal rights.   Seattle’s black community:
  • Northwest Enterprise 1930-1932 [call # A3872]
  • Northwest Enterprise 1933-1935 [call # A3872]
  • Northwest Enterprise 1939-1941 [call # A3872]
Filipino-American community:
  • Philippine American Chronicle 1934-1937 [call # A6140 and A5612 reel 1, item 7]
Japanese-American community:
  • Japanese American Courier 1931-1932 [call # A3902]
  • Japanese American Courier 1935-1936 [call # A3902]
Jewish community:
  • Jewish Transcript 1933-1935 [call # A3862]
  • Jewish Transcript 1936-1938 [call # A3862]
German-American community:
  • Washington German Weekly 1936-1937 [call # A7191]
Italian American community:
  • La Gazetta Italiana --in Italian with some English articles [call # A3869]

Gender issues: Read the women’s section one of the newspapers listed on this page and see what can be learned about the expected roles of women and men.

End of Prohibition: Washington state voted to repeal the constitutional amendment banning sale and consumption of alcohol in a special election in October 1933. Read several newspapers from outside of Seattle and write about the campaign for and against repeal. Here is a model paper that focuses on Seattle.

  • Spokane: read Spokesman Review [call # A696]
  • Anacortes : read Daily Mercury [call # A4276]
  • Bellevue: read Lake Washington Reflector [call # A5579]
  • Bremerton: read Daily News Searchlight- [call # A594]
  • Kitsap County: read Kitsap County Journal [call # A5889]

Political cartoons 1932-1933 (compare cartoons in Seattle Star, Times, or PI)
Letters to Editor Jan-August 1933 (any daily newspaper)
Hot local news and politics in the Seattle Argus--
a news and opinion weekly [Call # 4096] —choose one year

Return to top