Course Description and Goals

For the second year running, this course took place during the global COVID-19 pandemic. Through virtual classroom learning and socially-distanced or on-line engagement with community-based organizations, we considered how San Diego and surrounding areas are impacted by migration, militarism, and the border; how histories of global capitalism, colonialism, and violence have disproportionately impacted communities of color; and how communities in San Diego have mobilized to address resulting vulnerabilities to state violence and inequity, including those stemming from the uneven impact of COVID-19.  Our class met remotely on a weekly basis to discuss readings on the longer history of race in San Diego, hear from guest experts from a wide-range of San Diego communities, and train in the methods of oral history, archiving, and community-based research.  Students also worked on a weekly basis with one community partner and completed an oral history with a community member. By the end of the course, students developed applicable public history and digital humanities skills, garnered in-depth experience working with a community partner, and helped build a collection of oral histories for future scholarship on racial and ethnic communities in San Diego.  Despite the impediments of remote learning and life in general during the pandemic, the course was a powerful reminder that community building and togetherness remain empowering tools in challenging times.

Community Partners for Spring 2021:

  1. Barrio Logan and Chula Vista College Institutes
  2. Refugee Health Unit- UC San Diego Center for Community Health
  3. Rincon Youth Storytellers
  4. San Ysidro High School
  5. Southern Sudanese Community Center
  6. We All We Got San Diego