HI6003 - The Golden State: California

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What will I learn on this module?

This module explores how California has developed as both a place and an idea in the American imagination, focusing on the transformative period from the 1840s to the 1960s. While historical, our approach will also be interdisciplinary, reflecting the ways in which cultural constructions and popular representations played a crucial role in California’s development. Visual culture and novels, advertisements, film, and music, will all be consulted at different points as key elements in the Golden State’s formation. Learning about the different ways in which we can see, understand and explain the development of California and the California Dream – including topics such as the Gold Rush, early Hollywood, and Japanese internment during the Second World War – will provide you with a better range of tools to understand region and identity in the United States. It will equip you to think critically about academic literature, primary sources, and historical interpretation.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn on this module by attending lectures that present core concepts in California history, a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches to studying the state’s development, and the historiographical debates in the field. You will be expected to prepare for the weekly seminars by undertaking essential and recommended reading, and will build on your independent reading by presenting your ideas and arguments in seminar discussions with your peers as well as presentations and exercises of close source analysis. All learning materials, tasks and readings will be posted on the eLP (Blackboard) to enable participation within the seminar programme. You will be responsible for your own guided and independent learning. Summative assessment matches your learning against the learning outcomes for the module.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Your academic development will be supported through engagement with your peers, academic tutors, and programme leaders. Academic support is provided through individual tutorials which allow specific issues to be addressed and to promote progress in academic development. The module tutor will be accessible within publicised office hours and via email. Your peers will provide you will a collaborative learning environment, and your programme leader will guide you through the requirements and expectations of your course. You will also be supported through individual engagement with the academic literature, lectures, and resources available on the eLearning Portal. Formative feedback will be on-going throughout seminar activities and essay tutorials.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

1. Advanced knowledge of California as both a place and an idea

2. Enhanced understanding of debates about development and identity in California, and how the state has been represented by different people

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

3. Ability to delineate social, cultural, economic, and political issues in a variety of different texts and sources

4. Developed the ability to research California express an informed and evidence-based argument in written forms

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. Ability to think reflexively about issues of ethnicity, race, and class in a multicultural society

How will I be assessed?

The assessment strategy for the module corresponds with the module’s learning outcomes and learning and teaching strategy. The module is assessed formatively and summatively through a 3,000-word essay and summatively through a 3,000-words essay.

You will have the opportunity to present your work in the seminars and will receive formative feedback from your lecturer in classroom discussions, presentations, and tutorial sessions. You will also receive feedback through engagement with your peers who will enable you to test your explanations about the nature of California history and allow you to form your own understanding of the California Dream.





Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided.

Course info

UCAS Code T710

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Humanities

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2021

Fee Information

Module Information

All information on this course page is accurate at the time of viewing.

Courses starting in 2021 are offered as a mix of online and face to face teaching due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Students will be required to attend campus as far as restrictions allow. Contact time will increase as restrictions ease, or decrease, potentially to a full online offer, should restrictions increase.

Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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