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Course Information

Instructor Info:Bruce Watson
Term: 2013F
Meeting Info: Monday Wednesday
04:00 PM - 05:20 PM Franklin Patterson Hall (FPH) 105
04:00 PM - 05:20 PM Franklin Patterson Hall (FPH) 105

LEFT COAST: Why is America's future born on the Pacific Coast? Skeptical? Consider that iPod (or iPad or iWhatever) on your desk. Consider the laptop beside it. The Google onscreen. The Starbucks in your hand. The Kindle in your future. The movie and/or TV you'll stream tonight. Nikes and Levis. Suburban sprawl and the 747 soaring above it. This class will explore how the so-called Left Coast came to be the seat of American free-thinking. Abounding in colorful characters, from Leland Stanford to Wavy Gravy, from Steve Jobs to Portlandia, the class will celebrate creativity, novelty, and a seat-of-your-pants version of the American dream. Readings will include Mark Twain, Jack London, John Steinbeck, multi-cultural memoirs (Richard Rodriguez's Hunger of Memory), the Library of America's Writing Los Angeles, Wired magazine, the odd surburban memoir Holy Land, and the still more odd Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. "Eastward I go only by force," Henry David Thoreau wrote, "but westward I go free."