HIST 30648/CDT 30340 - History of San Francisco Fall 2016

Gold miners & dreams of riches, hippies & drugs, the Castro & Harvey Milk: popular images of San Francisco are colorful and controversial. In this course, we will explore topics like these to trace the adventurous and provocative history of SF. We will also use primary sources including oral history, art, film, newspaper articles, and photographs to examine the rise of a Latino community in the Mission District. As we construct a case study of the Mission, we will investigate the role of radical politics, racial identity, and art and culture in San Francisco neighborhoods. Emphasizing digital history and writing for a public audience, this course will ask students to research and write like historians, producing historical content to share online about the history of San Francisco. The ultimate goal of this class is generate a digital history project that creates and organizes content for outside viewers.

Upon the successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Discuss and analyze main themes of the creation and development of San Francisco.
  • Identify and articulate scholarly arguments about the past.
  • Analyze primary and secondary sources both for their content and their historical significance.
  • Seek out the varied perspectives that comprise human history in historical narratives.
  • Develop unique, imaginative, and evidence-based interpretations of the past.
  • Design and implement digital projects that communicate historical content using a variety of digital tools.

Course Information

Instructor Information

Lindsey Passenger Wieck (Lpasseng@nd.edu)

Office Hours
Mon 1-2PM, Weds 11:30AM-12:30PM, book an appointment on Google Calendars (make sure your time zone is set to EST or this will not work!) and we can meet in the Hesburgh Library lobby.

Contact Info
Feel free to email or text if you have questions.

Course Details

Class Time
MW 3:30-4:45PM

Class Location
Debartolo B011 (basement level).

Twitter hashtag

Class Blog and Twitter lists
Blog list and Twitter list

Fixed Deadlines
Twitter: Midnight on date listed

Blogs: Noon on Sunday after listed

"Big" Blogs: 11:59 on Sunday after listed

Course Texts

Books to Acquire:

Lincoln Cushing, All of Us or None: Social Justice Posters of the San Francisco Bay Area (2012) | This is out of print, so I recommend you buy this via kindle

Susan Johnson, Roaring Camp: The Social World of the California Gold Rush (2000) | paperback

Jessica Sewell, Women and the Everyday City: Public Space in San Francisco, 1890-1915 (2011) | paperback | kindle

Nayan Shah, Contagious Divides: Epidemics and Race in San Francisco’s Chinatown (2001) | paperback | kindle

Josh Sides, Erotic City: Sexual Revolutions and the Making of Modern San Francisco (2009) | paperback | kindle

Rebecca Solnit, Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas (2010) | paperback

Other readings:
Other readings will be available here or via box/email, as assigned.


Discussion 10

Unit Date Topics Readings Tasks To Do
Early San Francisco: Gender and Social Norms

Skills: Finding and Using Primary Sources; Collecting Data
W 08/24
  • Introduction & Syllabus
  • How to find and analyze primary sources
  • Survey of Digital Skills

    Blog 00

    Where to find your blog and twitter

    M 8/29
  • Setting the Scene: Before the Gold Rush
  • Why the Gold Rush?
  • Using Overland Diaries, Pocket Diaries, and other records

    Discussion 01 Slides

  • Reading Twitter 01
    W 8/31 The Gold Rush:
  • Social Life in the Camps
  • Mining & Labor
  • Bust & the Gold Rush Ends


  • Reading Blog 01
    M 9/5
  • After the Gold Rush: Expanding Urbanization & Spatial Restrictions
  • What is Spatial History?
  • How do we create Spatial History?

    Discussion 02

  • Reading Twitter 02
    W 9/7
  • Gendered Uses of Space in San Francisco - sidewalks, streetcars, & shops
  • Turn-of-the-century SF
  • Spatial Analysis and Maps
  • Reading Blog 02

    Extra Credit Blog 1

    M 9/12
  • Gathering Data for Historical Visualizations
  • Using Temporal Data
  • Finding Data within Primary Sources
  • Discussion 03 Gathering & Curating Data Tutorial

    Reading Twitter 03
    W 9/14
  • Gendered Uses of Space in San Francisco: restaurants & entertainment spaces
  • Spatializing Turn-of-the-Century SF and the politicized use of city spaces
  • Spatial Analysis and Maps
  • Slides
    Reading "Big" Blog 03 - Due Sunday
    Creating Modern San Francisco: Race and the City

    Skills: Historical Argument and Visualizing Space and Geographic Data
    M 9/19
  • Map Literacy
  • Making and Using Maps to Study History
  • Tutorial: Creating Maps with StoryMap JS
  • StoryMap JS Tutorial Slides
    W 9/21
  • Race in the City: Chinatown
  • Public Health
  • Regulating Bodies and Space
  • StoryMap JS

    Discussion 04

  • Reading Blog 04
    M 9/26
  • Race in the City: Chinatown
  • Immigration and Medical Borders at Angel Island
  • Reforming Spaces to Promote Healthy Bodies and Conduct

    Discussion 05

  • Reading Twitter 04
    W 9/28
  • San Francisco: A City of Subcultural Neighborhoods
  • The Explosive Population Growth of SF during World War II
  • Reading Blog 05
    M 10/3
  • San Francisco Neighborhoods: Postwar Development
  • The Evolution of Residential Landscapes in SF
  • Reading Twitter 05
    W 10/5
  • San Francisco Neighborhoods: Two Case Studies - the Mission and the Haight
  • Development, Redevelopment, and Housing Issues
  • Discussion 06

    EXTRA CREDIT OPPORTUNITY Presentation: Juan Felipe Herrera, Poet Laureate, SF, DPAC

    Reading "Big" Blog 06 - Due Sunday
    M 10/10 Tutorial: Creating Maps with Carto
  • Identifying and Using Geospatial Data
  • Discussion 07 Carto Tutorial 1

    Reading Twitter 06
    W 10/12 Tutorial: Creating Maps with Carto
  • Designing Maps
  • Reading Blog 07
    SF: A Capital of Counterculture and Radicalism

    Skills: Text Analysis and Advanced Mapping Techniques
    M 10/24 Group Projects & Upcoming Blog Assignments Reading Twitter 07
    W 10/26
  • The Counterculture and the New Left: Bay Area Poster Art
  • Analyzing Art and Images: Can we map SF counterculture?
  • Discussion 08

    Reading Blog 08
    M 10/31
  • Sex Radicalism in SF and Gay SF
  • Discussion 09

    Reading Twitter 08
    W 11/2 Sexual Radicalism and Space in SF Reading Project Proposal 1
    M 11/7
  • Sexual Radicalism and Space in SF
  • AIDS
  • LGBT Tourism and Gentrification
  • Reading
    W 11/9 Tutorial: Text Analysis Tools
  • Third World and Black Activism in SF
  • Mapping Neighborhoods with Art and Community Newspapers
  • Reading "Big" Blog 09
    M 11/14
  • Mapping San Francisco
  • Advanced Mapping Techniques
  • Reading
    W 11/16
  • FoundSF Submission Peer Review
  • Advanced Mapping Techniques
  • Digital Project Design
  • Bring Blog Revision to class for Found SF Blog 10 (noon)

    Campus Event Blog A (midnight) Project Update 1 (midnight)

    Final Projects
    M 11/21 NO Class - Work on your Project
    W 11/23 NO CLASS Project Update 2 (midnight)
    M 11/28 NO Class - Work on your Project
    W 11/30 Project Group Meetings - Sign up for a time to meet with Dr. Wieck Project Update 3 (noon)

    Campus Event Blog B - For Extra Credit

    M 12/5 Projects / Presentations
  • Each group will do a 15-20 minute presentation on their topic. 15 mins will then be spent on peer feedback / peer review. You should have a mostly complete version of your project by the date you present.
  • W 12/7 Projects / Presentations Project Update 4 (midnight)
    W 12/14 by 6:30 PM Final Project and Peer Evals Due Final Project Due



    Component (click on labels for assignment overviews) Points
    Twitter Primary Source Analysis and Reviews via Twitter. 8 × 5 pts.
    Discussion A weekly in-class survey as a self-examination of your discussion contributions and participation. 10 × 4 pts.
    Blog Posts Weekly blog posts synthesizing material and practicing historical and digital skills. 5 × 15 pts; 5 × 30 pts. (big blogs / blog 07 & 10)
    Other Blog Posts Blog 00 and Campus Event Blogs (1 required, 1 additional for extra credit up to 10 pts. 5 pts (Blog 00); 20 pts (Campus Event)
    Final Project Final Project (including several checkpoints). 50 pts. + 150 pts.
    Total 530


    Grade Points Grade Points
    A 492-530 C+ 408-423
    A- 477-491 C 386-407
    B+ 461-476 C- 371-385
    B 439-460 D 318-370
    B- 424-438 F 0-317

    Link to: Assignment Guides and other Important Docs


    Finding Primary Sources

    FoundSF- this is an excellent resource!

    SF Museum

    San Francisco Public Library - great resources include digital collections and historical photograph collections

    SFPL on Archive.org - 11000+ items


    Online Archive of California - filter by "online items"

    Calisphere - materials held by UC schools

    Eric Fischer: Flickr "Walking SF"

    - great for maps and urban planning


    Library of Congress

    Digital History Tools

    Carto - Mapping Big Data, Animating Time

    StoryMap JS - Mapping and Storytelling; integrating primary sources into maps

    Timeline JS

    Great Examples of Digital History Projects

    Stanford Spatial History Project

    Slate - 5 Great DH projects from 2015

    Cameron Blevins, Geography of the Post

    Making Maps / Doing Digital History

    The Programming Historian

    Workshops and other Resources by Lincoln Mullen

    Rice Digital History Resource Guides

    Class Policies


    My goal is for us to create a constructive learning environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing ideas and participating regularly. Therefore, I expect you to come on time and stay for the entire class period, listen attentively while others are speaking, and respect opinions other than your own. Chronic tardiness or absences will result in the lowering of your discussion contribution grade.

    Laptops and Mobile Devices
    Because this is a digital history class, please feel free to bring laptops and other devices to work on projects, take and consult notes, and to refer to any digital readings. However, if I feel laptops and tablets are becoming a distraction, you will be asked to put them away. I reserve the right to ban laptops and tablets if they become a problem. Except for extraordinary circumstances, I cannot see any reason why you would need to use a cell phone in class, so please put your phones away before class begins.

    Respect in Class and Online
    Because you will be given many opportunities to interact in person and online, please respect each other. No bullying or disrespect will be tolerated. If you are experiencing any problems, please let the instructor know, and we can work together to resolve any issues.

    Social Media
    On all social media accounts used in this course (blogs, Twitter), students are expected to uphold professional standards that meet university codes of conduct.

    Assignments / Grading

    Due Dates
    Late work will not be accepted. Assignments submitted late will automatically receive no credit/zero points. Exceptions to this policy may occur in very rare cases (e.g. personal emergency or severe medical situations). These cases must be documented to my satisfaction and you must contact me before the due date.

    48-Hour Policy - Blogs/Project Steps
    With that said, I know things can get stressful during the semester, and to help you do your best work, I offer a 48-hour extension policy. Each student will get 48 hours that they can "spend" in 12 hour increments. You can only use this on blog assignments and on components of your final project (*not the final exam day deadline). To use this, email me before the assignment is due, letting me know you are using it, and after you have completed the assignment so I can mark it as done.

    Completion of Assignments
    To pass this class, you must complete all blog posts and all components of your final project. Failure to complete one of these assignments will automatically result in a grade of "F" for this course.

    Honor Code
    I take the university Academic Code of Honor very seriously, and I expect the same from you. Please make sure you are familiar with the guidelines regarding academic honesty, plagiarism, cheating, etc. The graded work you do in this class must be your own. In the case where you collaborate with other students make sure to fairly attribute their contribution to your project. Be sure to cite your sources to avoid issues of plagiarism and dishonesty. See me immediately if you have questions or doubts about what constitutes academic dishonesty, especially plagiarism.


    If you have any questions or concerns throughout the semester, please see or call me immediately. I am here to help you learn, but it is your responsibility to address any issues you have concerning course content, assignments, and classroom dynamics. Do not risk your grade; if you are having problems, please come and talk me before it is too late.

    Syllabus Modifications
    This syllabus will serve as our guide throughout the semester, but may change, particularly as we identity digital skills we would like to pursue throughout the semester. I will alert you to any major changes made, and I will
    make changes (when it is important for you to see what's changed) in green.
    Reading questions and Project details will be updated as the semester progresses.
    Acknowledgments and license
    This syllabus borrows ideas from other history classes, including those taught by Jason Heppler, Annie Gilbert Coleman, Brian Collier, and Dan Graff. The design of this web syllabus is borrowed from Peter Bui.
    This syllabus and all assignments are copyrighted © 2016 Lindsey Wieck and licensed CC-BY 3.0 . You are free to use or modify this syllabus for any purpose, provided that you attribute it to the author, preferably at the course website listed above.