Schedule

WEEK 1: INTRODUCTION

Thursday

8/23

Introduction: One Story

The Plow that Broke the Plains 

 Consider: Film as Argument

Story

Image

 

WEEK 2: Memory

Tuesday

8/28

Survivors – Ken Burns’ The Dust Bowl Sections from Part One

 

 Thursday

8/30

 Contemporary Interpretations – Ken Burns’ The Dust Bowl Sections from Part Two
 Consider: What stories does Franklin Delano Roosevelt tell? What actions do New Dealers take in the Dust Bowl? What do the survivors remember? Should the government have saved the farmers?
WEEK 3: The Danger of Stories

Tuesday

9/4

Post Structuralism and the Demand for Narrative

Reading: William Cronon, “A Place for Stories: Nature, History, and Narrative”

Quiz: Cronon

Thursday

9/6

 

Cronon Walkthrough

WEEK 4: The Land

Tuesday

9/11

Discussion: Webb

Reading: Walter Prescott Webb, The Great Plains,  Chapters 2 and 5

We will focus on Webb’s argument and how he makes it. It’s as much about it is constructed as it is the argument itself.  Be prepared to discuss each of these. Try to see your graf summaries in outline form.

Due Sunday 9/10 at 5:00 pm: Graf Summaries of Webb 2,5

Thursday

9/13

Discussion Webb

Today we will begin a larger conversation about the Great Plains on the eve of the Dust Bowl. From what you’ve seen in Lorentz and Burns and from you’ve read in Cronon and Webb and from our brief descriptions try to think through how you might describe the plains and its people at various times in its history. If you want more description and detail of the pre-agriculture era, chapters 3 and 4 of Webb are as excellent as the rest of the book. His descriptions of the plains Indians and the cattle era represent the very best scholarship on the subjects in 1930. Of particular importance to Webb are the physical characteristics of the plains. Indeed, they are the crux of much of his argument – and to the arguments surrounding agriculture on the plains – its important to understand this chapter. Equally as important, if occasionally more subtle are Webb’s arguments in Chapter Five. Be prepared to discuss them.

WEEK 5: The People

Tuesday

9/18

Discussion Webb

We will follow the same format this week as in week 4.

Reading: Webb, Chapters 7-9

Due Sunday 9/17 at 5:00 p.m. Paragraph Summaries of Webb 7-9

Thursday

9/20

Discussion: The Big Picture

Midterm I

We will add one more consideration to our discussion this week – constructing the Big Picture. Let’s keep Cronon in mind, but also to have our own opinions about this book. It’s an important work of history and the most important book on the region where the Dust Bowl took place. Ponder on this book.

WEEK 6: Understanding the way that people understand the world

Tuesday

9/25

Discussion

Frederick Jackson Turner and the Importance of History. What was the Turner Thesis? What question was it trying to answer? Why would Americans find it so convincing? Where does agrarian fundamentalism fit into his argument? How have New Dealers interpreted Turner? How do particular programs or suggestions reflect a commitment to Turnerian logic? Be prepared to point to particular passages from the readings in our discussion.

Due Sunday at 5:00 p.m. A one paragraph summary of Turner’s argument, Tugwell’s argument, Lorenz’s argument, Kesselman’s argument, chapter summaries of the Great Plains Committee report, and a paragraph on how you might use Jinks and Cody Canada and the Departed songs.

No Quiz

Reading:

Turner, “The Significance of the Frontier in American History”

Tugwell, “No More Frontiers” I

Tugwell, “No More Frontiers” II

Lorentz, The Plow that Broke the Plains

Great Plains Committee, The Future of the Great Plains This is a very, very long piece.

Kesselman, “The New Deal and Frontier Thesis”

Cody Jinks, “Dirt”

Cody Canada and the Departed, “A Little Rain’ll Do”

Thursday

9/27

Discussion:

We will continue our discussion by, as a class, writing an outline for a mini research paper that argues that New Dealers were heavily influenced by the ideas of Frederick Jackson Turner.

WEEK 7: Failure

Tuesday

10/2

Discussion – Worster, Chapters 1-5

Due by Midnight Monday 10/3: Mini Research Paper 1

Reading: Worster, 3-97

Due: in Class: Graf Summaries, Worster, 3-97

This is a book that makes a forceful argument. Worster is perfectly okay with those who disagree with him. Do you? Why? Be prepared to demonstrate how and why you might. Do you agree with him? Why? Be prepared to demonstrate how and why you might? Be prepared to ask questions of your classmates.

 

Thursday

10/4

Discussion:

Due: In class: Graf Summaries, Worster, 99-243

We will continue our discussion of Worster, but in this class, with a special emphasis on how he builds his argument by using a theory as his structural frame.

WEEK 8: The World Looks In

Tuesday

10/16

Discussion

Quiz: Readings

Reading: 

Hogue, “Dust Bowl”

Hogue, “Avalanche by Wind”

Hogue, “Drouth Survivors”

Hogue, “Drouth Stricken Area”

Hogue, “Mother Earth Laid Bare”

Guthrie, “Great Dust Storm”

Guthrie, “Dust Bowl Blues”

MacLeish, FSA Photography, Land of the Free

White, “Alexandre Hogue’s Passion” 

Thursday

10/18

Discussion: We will continue our discussion by, as a class, by considering what sort of research question we might ask of these resources and how we might incorporate previous readings into a short research paper.

Sample Research Paper

WEEK 9: Living through the Nightmare

Tuesday

10/23

Discussion

Due: by Midnight Monday 10/22: Mini Research Paper 2

Due: Short chapter summaries of Babb

Reading: Babb, Whose Names are Unknown

We will base our discussion on student-submitted discussion questions. Levi will lead this discussion.

Thursday

10/25

Discussion: We will expand our discussion to include how we as scholars treat and use works of fiction.

 

WEEK 10: The Wrath of God

Tuesday

10/30

Discussion

Midterm 2 (will include questions from this week’s readings)

Reading: 

Lookingbill, “God-Forsaken Place”

Lookingbill, “Survivors”

Tripp, “Dust Bowl Tragedy”

Dunaway, “New Deal Jeremiads”

Jonas, “Oklahoma Lottery”

Thursday

11/1

We will continue our discussion of religion and the Dust Bowl. We will add into our conversation ideas about the construction of a third or even fourth research paper.
WEEK 11: Grab a Root and Growl

Tuesday

11/6

Discussion  – Student generated questions

Quiz: Readings

Reading: 

Davenport, “Land Where Our Children Die”

McCarty, “A Tribute to Our Sandstorms”

McCarty, Various Documents

Bishop, “When a Country is Down”

Miller, “Farmer is Still an Individualist”

Miller, “Dust Rides”

Sears, “The Desert Threat”

Lorentz, Plow that Broke the Plains 

Thursday

11/8

Discussion – We will discuss how we might craft various research papers from our last set of primary readings.
WEEK 12: New Stories

Tuesday

11/13

Discussion

Due: by Midnight Monday 11/12: Mini Research Paper 3

Due: Chapter Summaries for the first 16 chapters of  Egan (one paragraph summaries of each chapter). Also mark any possible information that you might use in your own research

Reading: Egan Chapters 1-16

 

Thursday

11/15

Reading: Egan  Chapters 17-25

Due: Chapter Summaries for Egan last nine chapters

WEEK 13: What to do with the Plains?

Tuesday

11/20

Discussion – The Future of the Southern Plains

Quiz Readings

Reading: 

Flores, “Loving the Plains”

Morris, “When Corporations Rule the Llano Estacado”

The Poppers, Buffalo Common

 

Thursday

11/22

Happy Thanksgiving
WEEK 14: Climate Crises

Tuesday

11/27

California Wildfires

History and Science

History and Science II

Factors

 Government Action

Future Prevention

TED Talk – Why Wildfires are Getting Worse

California on Fire

 

Thursday

11/29

Desertification

China’s Great Green Wall

Hazards and Humans in the Gobi

Resettling China’s Ecological Migrants

Photos of Mongolia’s Deserts

Conserving Mongolia’s Grasslands

Climate Change in Mongolia

China’s Fight against Desertification

China’s Ecological Migration

WEEK 15: Climate Crises

Tuesday

12/4

Florida’s Red Tide

Toxic Lake

Images (wait a moment for it to load)

Red Tide Update

Environmentalists’ Unlikely Republican Ally in Florida

Are Humans to Blame?

Florida’s Water Woes

Ozone Solution

Thursday

12/6

Student Group 4