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Spanish, Mexican, and American California: Reframing U. S. History at Peralta Hacienda

Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops for School Teachers

Postmark Deadline: March 1, 2012

“Spanish, Mexican, and American California: Reframing U.S. History at Peralta Hacienda” consists of two one-week NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops held during summer 2012 for eighty school teachers on California in the Spanish, Mexican, and American periods, using the Peralta family of northern California as a case study. This program gives teachers the opportunity to examine the connections between United States history and that of Mexico through Luis Peralta, a soldier and colonist, and his family. The Peraltas were among the original californios, descendants of Spanish-speaking settlers who arrived with the Anza expedition to the San Francisco Bay area in 1776. Topics under examination include encounters between Spanish colonists and Native Americans, independence from Spain, the Mexican-American war, repercussions of the Mexican revolution, and the bracero program, a twentieth-century work program that brought temporary laborers from Mexico to the United States. These broad topics are grounded by primary sources, as well as secondary scholarship by Ramón Gutiérrez, Douglas Monroy, and William Deverell, among others.  Most workshop sessions take place at Peralta Hacienda Historical Park in Oakland, which features a nineteenth-century Peralta family home and the remains of two earlier adobe houses. In addition to studying the buildings and archaeological record at Peralta Hacienda, participants visit the San Francisco Presidio, Ceja Vineyard, Sonoma Mission, and Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood. Along with co-directors Alex Saragoza (ethnic studies, University of California, Berkeley) and Holly Alonso (Friends of Peralta Hacienda Historical Park), project faculty members include Charles C. Mann (independent scholar), Ramón Gutiérrez (University of Chicago), Albert Hurtado (University of Oklahoma), Douglas Monroy (Colorado College), Mary Jo Wainwright (Diablo College), Tey Diana Rebolledo (University of New Mexico), Myrna Santiago (St. Mary’s College), Rick Tejada-Flores (filmmaker), and David Gutierrez (University of California, San Diego). Participants also meet with former braceros Pablo and Juana Ceja. 

Dates: Oakland, CA: June 18–23 or 25–29
Grantee Institutions: Holly Alonso, Friends of Peralta Hacienda Historical Park, and Alex Saragoza, University of California at Berkeley
Location: Peralta Hacienda Historical Park, San Francisco Presidio, Ceja Vineyards, Sonoma Mission, Oakland's Fruitvale neighborhood

About NEH Landmarks of American History: Workshops for School Teachers

The National Endowment for the Humanities is an independent grant-making agency of the federal government. As part of the NEH’s We the People program, we offer the following Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops for School Teachers. NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops provide the opportunity for K-12 educators to engage in intensive study and discussion of important topics in American history and culture. These one-week programs will give participants direct experiences in the interpretation of significant historical and cultural sites and the use of archival and other primary evidence. Landmarks Workshops present the best scholarship on a specific landmark or related cluster of landmarks, enabling participants to gain a sense of the importance of historical places, to make connections between what they learn in the Workshop and what they teach, and to develop enhanced teaching or research materials.

Amount of Award

Teachers selected to participate will receive a stipend of $1,200 at the end of the residential Workshop session. Stipends are intended to help cover living expenses, books, and travel expenses to and from the Workshop location.


These projects are designed principally for classroom teachers and librarians in public, charter, independent, and religiously-affiliated schools, as well as home schooling parents. Other K-12 school personnel, including administrators, substitute teachers, and classroom professionals, are eligible to participate, subject to available space.

Teachers at schools in the United States or its territorial possessions or Americans teaching in foreign schools where at least 50 percent of the students are American nationals are eligible for this program. Applicants must be United States citizens, residents of U.S. jurisdictions, or foreign nationals who have been residing in the United States or its territories for at least the three years immediately preceding the application deadline. Foreign nationals teaching abroad at non-U.S. chartered institutions are not eligible to apply.

Applicants must complete the NEH application and provide all of the information requested to be considered eligible.

New this year: An individual may apply to up to two NEH Summer Programs in any one year (Landmarks Workshops, Summer Seminars, or Summer Institutes), but may participate in only one. Please note that eligibility criteria differ significantly between the Landmarks Workshops and the Seminars and Institutes Programs.

How to Apply

Please e-mail, telephone or send by U.S. Post a request for application information and expanded Workshop descriptions to the Landmarks directors listed here; in many cases, these materials will also be available on project Web sites. You may request information about as many Workshops as you like, and, as noted above, you may apply to up to two programs but participate in only one.