History of the District of Columbia
Since its founding in 1800, Washington, D.C. has been defined by ongoing conflicts over race, money, land and power. Gentrification, for example, is a hot topic in D.C. in 2013 – but it’s been a hot topic, on and off, since at least the 1930s. In order to understand how and why the city is changing today, we need to understand the history of how it’s changed over time. This class is an invitation to understanding your city’s past in order to make sense of its present – and participate in its future. Through reading, writing, discussion, and neighborhood-based research, you’ll develop a deep understanding of D.C.’s history, and deepen your own sense of place in this city. And in writing for a public audience, you will help contemporary Washingtonians – many of whom have moved here recently – gain an appreciation of the city’s history as well.
At right: UDC students examining historic D.C. maps at the Gelman Library Special Collections.