Students in this class are expected to complete THREE different projects by the end of the course. Students may select three out of the four types of projects shown below. Make sure you check the RUBRICS AND EVENT GUIDELINES page for information required for your written papers. There are a number of requirements for your projects. make sure you have looked over the details on the RUBRICS AND EVENT GUIDELINES page before begining your projects. It will help you plan better.

Examples of past student projects are available. Please make sure you do not copy any part of these projects, although you can use them as rough guides. If you have ideas of your own that you would like to pursue, please clear them with the instructor.


You have the option of visiting a historical landmark or special event of your choice. If your choice of field trip falls outside the scope of this class, it may not count. It's best to double check with the instructor if you're uncertain about how your trip may count toward this class.

There are six different missions within a short distance from Foothill College:

San Carlos Borromeo del Rio Carmelo
San Jose
Santa Cruz
Santa Clara de Asis
San Francisco de Asisi
San Juan Bautista

Go to this link for a list of all 21 missions, their locations and web sites.

Two Presidios: San Francisco and Monterey, and a number of historical landmarks, excellent museums and nearby mining towns.


This is a list of different websites that offer information on local special events. Look through them to see if you can find a special event that sounds exciting to you. There's always a lot going on in the Bay Area. Special events really help you engage with the culture. What are Californian's up to?

NOTE: To be updated every week after first class meeting.

HISTORICAL BOOK ANALYSIS Guidelines for this book analysis will be available in class and/or the course's web site.

Recommended: (List A)

  • Cornford, Daniel. Working people of California. Berkeley, Ca.: University of California Press. 1995
  • Douglas Monroy. Thrown Among Strangers:the making of Mexican Culture in Frontier California. 1990
  • Gutierrez, Ramon A. and Richard J. Orsi, eds. Contested Eden: California before the Gold Rush. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1998
  • Heizer and Almquist. The other California: Prejudice and discrimination under Spain, Mexico and the United States to 1920. Berkeley, Ca.: University of California Press, 1971.
  • Hurtado Albert. Indian Survival on the California Frontier. Yale Univ. Press, New Haven, 1988
  • Malcolm Margolin. The Olhone Way: Indian life in the San Francisco-Monterey Bay area. Berkeley, Ca.: Heyday Books. 1978
  • Sucheng, Chan and Spencer Olin. Major Problems in California history. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1997
  • Takaki, Ronald. Strangers From a Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans. Penguin Books. 1989
    Weatherford, Jack. Native Roots: How the Indians enriched America. Fawcett Columbine. 1991

Recommended: (List B)

Mexican American Title Author
  Rain of Gold Villasenor, Victor
  Migrant Souls Islas, Arturo
  The Orange Trees Fuentes, Carlos
  Daughter of Fortune Isabel Allende
  The Tortilla Curtain Boyles T.C.
  The Buried Onion Soto, Gary
African American    
  White Boy Shuffle Beatty, Paul
  The Autobiography Of Malcom X Haley, Alex

Hallelujiah! The Welcome Table: A Lifetime of Memories with Recipes

Angelou, Maya
  Soul on Ice Cleaver, Eldridge
Asian American    
  China Boy Lee, Gus
  Woman Warrior Kingston, Maxine
  The Fifth Book Of Peace Kingston-Hong, Maxine
  The Bonesetter's Daughter Tan, Amy

The Opposite of Fate: A Book of Musings

Tan, Amy
  Night of Many Dreams Tsukiyama, Gail
  Dreaming Water Tsukiyama, Gail
  The Rice Room Fong-Flores, Ben
When the Elephants Dance Holthe Uriza, Tess
Native American    
  The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight to Heaven Sherman, Alexi
  The Coyote Blues Christopher Moore
  Indian Killer Sherman, Alexi
Anglo American    
  The Grapes of Wrath Steinbeck, John
  Cannery Row Steinbeck, John
  Ramona Helen Hunt Jackson
  Joaquin Murrieta John Rollins Ridge
FILM ANALYSIS Film Analysis forms will be available in class and/or the course's web site.

List of Films and Documentaries:

  • The West (Ken Burns) #4-9
  • Dim Sum
  • From a Different Shore: The Japanese Experience
  • The Donner Party
  • Irish in America
  • Smoke Signals
  • Columbus and the Age of Discovery
  • Chicano: A History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement
  • Africans in America: America's Journey through Slavery
  • Eyes of the Prize
  • Making Sense of the Sixties
  • Mi Familia
  • The Joy Luck Club
  • Children of the Camps
  • Ancestors in the Americas: The History and Legacy of Asians in the Americas
  • The Grapes of Wrath
  • Snow Falling on Cedars
  • Real Women Have Curves


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