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NEH Landmarks: Schedule


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The Workshop will be offered twice. Forty NEH Summer Scholars will be selected for each week. Be sure to indicate in your application whether you have a preference for Session A or B.

Session A: Monday, June 18 - Friday, June 22, 2012

Session B: Sunday, June 25 - Friday, June 29, 2012

Daily Schedule:

In five days, teachers will explore five historic turning points in the US.-Mexico relationship. Each sheds light on important chapters of United States history in a continuum to the present:

Day One: The Encounter between Spanish Colonialism and Indigenous Societies. Ramón Gutierrez will explore how this layered narrative contrasts with that of that of the British colonies on the East Coast in the area that would become New Spain, then Mexico and later, the US Southwest. The Peralta family, thrust to the edge of the Spanish empire, in interaction with the native peoples of California, exemplified this encounter. The theme will be enhanced by a visit to the San Francisco Presidio and archaeological site.

Day Two: The process of independence from Spain and the founding of the nation of Mexico. Summer Scholars will learn how the liberation of Mexico from Spain echoes that of the US from Britain—particularly in the American constitution as a model for that of the new nation of Mexico—as well as striking variances, including the social position of indigenous groups and soon thereafter the place of slavery in the two nations. The sudden globalization of the local economy after Mexican independence, as mission lands went to members of the former Spanish military, made the Peraltas successful rancheros on a grand scale. Summer Scholars will be immersed in the site’s educational programs for a day, with hands-on experiences suited to many grade levels.

Day Three: The U.S.-Mexican War. The war, 1846-1848, reflected the culmination of years of tension, distrust, and friction between the two countries, as the expansionism of the U.S. (subsequently called Manifest Destiny) led to a momentous confrontation that has been reopened many times since. In the ensuing decades, the 45,000-acre Peralta rancho came to an end, reflecting the loss of land, language and way of life that took place throughout what is now the Southwestern U.S.




Day Four: The Mexican Revolution of 1910 and its Repercussions. The Mexican revolution of 1910 reverberated across the border:  Many Mexicans fled to the U.S. in the years prior to and after the conflict, a new wave of Spanish-speaking immigrants joining to the older layer of Californios, contributing to the distinctive culture of the Southwest.



Day Five: The Migration of Mexican Workers to the U.S. through the bracero program and its long term implications. A history of labor migration to the U.S. opens windows into modern-day U.S. politics. Cultural confluences in music, and the expressions of women through poetry will come to life in this session, with an illuminating visit to a winery owned by a former bracero and panels with Mexican American neighbors and culture bearers.


Each of these turning points or key events also connects to international issues, such as rivalries among European powers during colonization of the Americas, the international forces that intersected in the Mexican revolution, and the worldwide displacement of peoples in the post-industrial era of migration.

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Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail


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