2017-2018 Catalog

HIST 395 Special Topics in History

Disneyland and Los Angeles

In the summer of 1955, amidst the orange groves of Southern California and next to a brand-new freeway, Disneyland Park appeared. Broadcast across the country through a hit television program that premiered the previous year, the new theme park became an instant national media sensation, drawing on a long and varied tradition of American popular amusements. But, it was also an institution with deep roots in the specific culture and history of greater Los Angeles itself. In this course, we will trace the complex dialogue between the iconic amusement park and its urban environment in Southern California over the last half of the 20th century, carefully analyzing urban and social history, film, and literature to discover what Disneyland can teach us about the history, built environment, and culture of the strange, sprawling megalopolis that surrounds it. 

Core requirement: US Diversity

Modern Korea and Japanese Imperialism

The societies, cultures, and peoples of Japan and Korea have been intertwined since the dawn of history. Despite this long history, in addition to similarities that are too many to list - linguistic, cultural, genetic, etc. - the rift between the two nations is deep and daunting. This seminar will explore the impact and influence of Japanese imperialism on the development of the modern Korean identity. Thematically, issues of nationalism, identity-formation, capitalism, and a host of others will all be analyzed, dissected, and critiqued.

Core requirement: Global Connections


4 units


One History course