So far we have worked on developing your ability to think like a historian. With this came exercises that asked you to critically analyze the ways that historical narratives and arguments are framed. Having now mastered those skills, the purpose of this project is for you to apply what you have learned outside the classroom.
Students are required to visit San Fernando Spanish Mission that represents a significant moment in California and Multicultural history. After your visit, you will write a 3 to 5- page report (double-spaced, 1” margins, 12 pt. Times New Roman font). At the center of your report should be a thesis that addresses the historical significance of your site. Here’s a tip about how best to approach your evaluation of a museum or site as a historian. As much as we visit them for pleasure, museums and sites are about identity. In constituting a museum or designating a site, someone is choosing to tell a particular story in a certain way. That story has a purpose, values, and interpretations attached to it. Sometimes these are explicit, sometimes you have to find them, but the purpose of this assignment is for you to note and evaluate them.
You should approach this assignment in three steps:
1) Identify which Spanish Mission you will visit from the list below.
2) Although this assignment can be reflective(meaning you can use the first person “I”), it should still represent a polished piece of writing. Think carefully about how you will organize and structure the required information.
3)Your report/site visit should include at a minimum the following information:
i. An introduction (with an underlined thesis statement) and conclusion.
ii. A description of your visit/what you saw. What are your overall impressions of the mission? How is the historical background presented? Did it remind you of anything you learned in our course? What new information (if any) did you learn from your visit?
iii. Did you agree with the ways in which historical information was presented? How are indigenous people and/or historical events portrayed? How was the everyday life/experience of the California Indians presented?
iv. Why is the site significant to California and multicultural history in general? Did your visit change your perspective of the missions in any way?
v. Using at least 1 secondary reading from this course, include a brief examination/ analysis of how its argument informed your understanding and critical interpretation of the site. This must be at least 1 paragraph of your report. Be sure to use proper Chicago/Turabian footnote citation style to reference any sources.
As a friendly reminder, the reports must articulate your impressions in your own words, not reiterate the information given in pamphlets, the internet, or other sources. Your own voice and impressions are key to this assignment.