Evergreen at 50: An Inquiry and Archives Project


Fall 2021
Junior - Senior
Class Size: 12
16 Credits per quarter
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When Evergreen opened its doors for the first time in 1971 it was one of dozens of alternative colleges founded after World War Two. While many have not survived, Evergreen has thrived and this year celebrates a half-century of innovative liberal education for citizens of Washington and beyond. "Evergreen at 50" will inquire into the past and present of the College and imagine the range of its possible futures. We will study the historical context of its beginnings, the philosophies of education the influenced its founders, and the historical, cultural, economic, and political forces that have shaped the College. We will learn about some of the challenges Evergreen faced over its five decades both from within and without, and consider the cultural influences--the pushes and pulls--that shaped its continuities and changes. Guest speakers will offer perspectives on Evergreen's development over the decades as college leaders sought ensure that the institution would both meet its practical obligations, and maintain its original vision. Students will do research in the College's extensive archives and work on two projects. For the first, each student will chose a topic of interest about Evergreen and develop a prospectus for a capstone project to be completed in a later quarter. For the second, students will write a paper based on a transcript from the   ongoing Evergreen Oral History Project.

Students will learn to understand how American higher education intersects with social change efforts, think critically and contextually about the attractions of both revolutionary change and of reform, and learn techniques of archival research and historical interpretation.  "Evergreen at 50" is an advanced offering in the Culture, Text, and Language in World Societies Path, and is suitable for upper division students who plan future study and careers in education, research, public policy, and the humanities. 


Fall 2021 Registration

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Preparatory For

history, education, the humanities, social science research

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