College of Arts and Sciences

Department of History

Recent Headlines

Cherri Wemlinger

Cherri Wemlinger's (PhD World History 2012) article “Collective Security and the Italo-Ethiopian Dispute before the League of Nations,” has been published in Peace and Change: A Journal of Peace Studies. Vol 40, Issue 2, April 2015, p. 139-166. Additionally, she has accepted a tenure-track position at Fairmont State University in Fairmont, West Virginia.

Jackie Hedlund Tyler

Jacki Hedlund Tyler successfully defended her dissertation on Monday, March 23. Jackie writes:  "The title of my dissertation is 'The Power of Political Chatter: Settler Colonialism and the Construction of Race, Gender, and Citizenship in Oregon.' My dissertation committee consists of Dr. Peter Boag (Chair), Dr. Jenny Thigpen, Dr. Matt Sutton, and Dr. Rob McCoy.” Congratulations, Dr. Tyler!

Sutton poster

“American Indians and the Civil War”

By Robert K. Sutton (Ph.D. history ’84)
National Park Service Chief Historian

Wednesday, April 1 ● 7:00 p.m.
CUB 212 (Junior Ballroom)

Free – everyone welcome

An expert in American Constitutional history, the Civil War, and the American West, Sutton provides little-known facts about American Indian participation in the U.S. Civil War. Some 20,000 Native Americans fought on both sides of the nation-dividing conflict, many in vain effort to protect their lands, autonomy, and survival. Despite further, post-war tragedies, American Indians proved their resilience and teach us invaluable lessons today. Learn from their stories.

Sponsors: WSU Department of History and Student History Club

Download the poster pdf

Matt SuttonTheresa Jordan

Effective August 16, 2015, Associate Professor Matt Sutton will be promoted to the rank of full professor.

Assistant Clinical Professor Theresa Jordan will be promoted to the rank of Associate Clinical Professor.

Congratulations to both!

Steven Kale

Dr. Steven Kale has been appointed chair beginning August 16, 2015.

Jesse Spohnholz

Associate Professor Jesse Spohnholz, Director of the Roots of Contemporary Issues program, will travel to Europe funded by a grant from the Dutch National Organization for Scientific Research.  Professor Spohnholz’ news article is on the front page of The Daily Evergreen March 10, 2015. Read the entire article here: Easing tensions with tolerance

Congratulations, Professor Spohnholz!

Jennifer Brown

Jen Brown has accepted a Tenure Track position at Texas A&M--Corpus Christi. She'll be their new environmental historian.

Visit her current web page, soon to change to Assistant Professor.

Jennifer Binczewski

Jennifer Binczewski received an honorable mention for the Western Association of Women Historians (WAWH) ​Founders’ Dissertation Fellowship. Please see the email below from the chair of the WAWH. The Founders’ Dissertation Fellowship is an annual award given to graduate students who show promise of significant contributions to historical scholarship.

Also, she will present a paper at the Pacific Coast Conference on British Studies in Las Vegas (March 6-8). Her conference paper is derived from the first chapter of her dissertation, and is entitled "‘The sex of women be not overlooked’: Gendered Strategies of the English Reformation, 1580-1620".

Many members of the department, both faculty and graduate students, took part in the Northwest and California World History Association Conference in Seattle last weekend (Feb. 27-March 1).  Please enjoy leafing through the program to see how well they represented our World History program.  Special thanks to Prof. Ashley Wright in Pullman for helping to organize the graduate students, and to Dr. Aaron Whelchel at WSU-Vancouver for running the three-ring circus as President of the NWWHA. Download the program (pdf) »

Peter Boag

On 18 February, Professor Peter Boag delivered the John T. Connolly Lecture at the University of Portland. The title of his talk was “The Most Heinous and Unprovoked Murder Ever Committed in the State: Parricide as a Window on 1890s Oregon.”  He also separately met with undergraduates there (they have 100 majors) to discuss researching and writing history.

Organizers of the University of Oxford’s “International Workshop: ‘Honour Thy Father and Thy Mother’: Violence Against Parents in the North of Europe,” sponsored by the Joint Committee for Nordic Councils for the Humanities and Social Sciences, have invited Professor Boag to talk on his research on parricide in the United States at Oxford this summer.  His talk is “Gender and the Historicity of Parricide: A Case Study from the 19th-Century North American West.

Jon Middaugh

Dr. and Colonel Jon Middaugh (WSU PhD History 2010) is currently working on the U.S. Army’s history of the 2003 Iraq War at the Army’s Center for Military History.   He has just won an “Omar Bradley Research Award” from the US Military Academy.  Following is a description of the fellowship:

The Omar N. Bradley Foundation awards ten "General of the Army Omar N. Bradley Research Award in Military History" fellowships per year to officers on active duty who are conducting historical research. West Point's History Department judges applications based on the proposed project's significance and likelihood of publication. Dr. Middaugh will put the $2000 award toward expenses for research trips to Indiana, Wisconsin, Oregon, and Washington. He will be conducting interviews and gathering documents related to his primary project at the Center for Military History (CMH), a study of the Army National Guard in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Inside Honors: The Faculty Experience

Message from the Dean  

Professor Lydia Gerber with students from Honors 390: The Practice, Science and History of Mindfulness.  

Walking past Honors Hall on a cold dark Wednesday evening in January, I could see the classroom lights were still on and students with their heads bowed deep in concentration. Within this group of students was Professor Lydia Gerber. The class was Honors 390: The Practice, Science and History of Mindfulness. This is the first class ever taught on mindfulness at Washington State University, but the importance of this practice has been recognized since the late 1970s. Research has shown that mindfulness is more than just being aware of your surroundings and the present moment in time. Harvard psychology professor Ellen Langer has shown in studies over the past forty years that practicing mindfulness can reverse the effects of aging and improve physical health and maybe even be an effective weapon against cancer.

Why does Professor Gerber, an expert in the history of the Qing dynasty and director of the Asia Program, teach a class on mindfulness to Honors students?

“Teaching for Honors has been one of my most rewarding experiences since coming to WSU. There is a give and take in each Honors class, a sharing of ideas and perceptions, of new questions and insights, and the belief that knowledge and learning matters deeply. For close to two decades, the Honors College has offered me the opportunity to explore and experiment, to take a research interest and develop it into a class. I like to encourage my students in a similar way—offering them tools and topics, but giving them space to reflect, explore, and to spread their wings.”

Faculty enjoy teaching in Honors with its small, discussion–based classes where they have the opportunity to develop courses that are at the intersection of multiple disciplines and that emphasize critical thinking. Faculty also find rewards through engaging with Honors students in their research activities. Last May, Daniel Foust completed his Honors thesis under the direction of Dr. James Brozik, the Marianna Merritt and Donald S. Matteson Distinguished Professor in Chemistry.  

Daniel’s research focused on biological membranes, which are important for many reasons. Within the body the movement of molecules within membranes, at membrane surfaces, and even through membranes is often critical to making pharmaceuticals effective. But these membranes can have applications in areas as diverse as bioanalaysis and water purification. Daniel developed a technique to study how individual molecules can move within these membranes.  

Professor Brozik describes the impact that Daniel had in his lab as follows: “His example has been inspiring to everyone in my group and has even inspired me. He reminds me why I teach and mentor students.”

Each semester we are grateful for the many faculty that teach Honors classes in topics ranging from Greek literature and culture to artificial intelligence. Every year there are more than 100 faculty working with Honors students on their theses and mentoring them on individual research projects. As Professor Gerber and Professor Brozik have commented, the impact and reward of working with Honors students is a two–way street.

M. Grant Norton, Ph.D.
Dean, Honors College

Greg Atkins

Greg Atkins (PhD candidate, modern US history) has been awarded the Arnold and Julia Greenwell Memorial Scholarship for Social Science and Humanities from the WSU Graduate School in the amount of $1000. 

Greg competed against the best applications from every department in the College of Arts and Sciences with submissions. All doctoral graduate students in good standing who are also conducting research/scholarship in the social sciences or humanities, and have at least a 3.5 GPA, are eligible.  Professors Jeff Sanders and Matt Sutton supported Greg's application for this award.  Congratulations, Greg!

Lydia Gerber

Kudos to the Asia Program and all who participated! Director Lydia Gerber reports on Asia 301:

Our Annual Asia Program East Meets West Symposium “Research Journeys” last weekend (Th-Sat, February. 19-21, 2015) went without a hitch, thanks to significant contributions in planning and presenting from our Asia faculty in the Department of History and other contributing departments.

Our department’s contributors included on the stage: Ashley Wright (lecture on her research on Opium Policy in Burma), Lipi Turner-Rahman (lecture: Unexpected Journey into the Quran, introduction to Bollywood Movie “Invitation to Love” - strongly recommended!) Charles Weller (Fun facts about Asia, Introduction to documentary “China’s Islam”),  Ai Wang (more Fun facts about Asia), Roger Chan (Panel Chair, International student panel two) and behind the stage Roger Chan (FOOD!!!), Song Sikang (Waiting to grade it all) and Ai Wang (everywhere, doing everything at all times). Other faculty members were present in the audience and helped us host our keynote speaker, Paul Thiers from WSU Vancouver, whose presentation Should Washington State Export Coal and Oil to China? : Market Demand, Public Policy and Environmental Justice Issues  was one of the highlights of the program, not in the least since Ana Maria Rodriguez-Vivaldi gave a spirited introduction of our speaker.

With 112 students signed up for the entire event, we had our largest, and quite possibly most successful program ever! I was particularly pleased to have representatives from all departments currently teaching for the WSU Asia Program represented through contributing faculty (Mike Myers and Kota Inoue were also contributors). To quote from Marina Tolmacheva’s recent email: “Let me add my vote of congratulations” [to the Asia Program] – delayed on purpose so I could poll the students from my class who signed up for 301 or only attended one or two lectures. They all conveyed not only interest, but also a sense of enjoyment of the program. Asked specifically about the keynote speech, they said it was insightful as well as informative. So kudos to the planners and presenters – the preparations definitely paid off!”

Moving this event forward in record time (since my appointment in November) would not have been possible without the spirit of generosity among our Asia faculty. To me, the most moving event of the entire program was our final student panel, when students from China (including undergraduates and graduate students) all agreed that one thing they take away from their lives and work here at WSU was a commitment to be helpful and engaged, rather than, as Chinese parents tend to emphasize, staying safe and keeping one’s distance from others in need. That willingness to contribute to what our Chinese students admire is exactly what has allowed us to stay alive as a program.


Jesse Spohnholz

“It’s not often that a humanities researcher is awarded a grant for nearly a million dollars – especially when the money is distributed from the government of another nation.

But such is the case for Washington State University historian Jesse Spohnholz, who will receive a $917,000 grant from the Dutch National Organization for Scientific Research.”

Read more in CAS Connect »
Read more in WSU News »

Washington State Magazine Spring 2015

The Spring 2015 edition of Washington State Magazine includes quotes from Professors Peter Boag and Emeritus Professor Susan Armitage, along with a friend of the department, Prof. Phil Gruen (School of Design and Architecture).

Read it here »

Renee Laegreid

Professor Renée Laegreid of the Department of History at the University of Wyoming, will be a guest speaker on Wednesday, March 25th, from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. in Butch’s Den at the Compton Union Building.  She will speak on “The Legacy of the American West in the Contemporary Italy.”  Renée has an excellent command of the Italian language, researching and lecturing in it in Italy. It should be of interest to European, world, and American historians, as well as those working more specifically on western American, transnational, cultural, and Italian-American topics.

Download the announcement (pdf)

Dongjo Shin

The Department of History has awarded $5,000 Graduate Student Dissertation Award to Dongjo Shin, a graduate student based at the Vancouver campus.  He was eligible for the award since he is a currently enrolled History graduate student and ABD (All But Degree).  To qualify further for this award, he is at the stage of writing his dissertation.   Congratulations, Dongjo!

JT Menard

Congratulations to J.T. Menard for winning the paper competition sponsored by the WSU Gamma Psi chapter of Phi Alpha Theta for the best undergraduate paper. He will present this paper at the 2015 Phi Alpha Theta conference at Lake Chelan on April 10-11. Menard’s paper addresses the conservation work performed by the Civilian Conservation Corps volunteers in Idaho’s St. Joe National Forest. His paper focuses on the impact of the CCC’s presence in Northern Idaho and Eastern Washington, particularly focuses on the educational opportunities afforded to CCC volunteers. Menard seeks to graduate from WSU in the spring and attend a graduate program in history by the fall.

Jennifer Binczewski

Jennifer Binczewski has been awarded an Honorable Mention for the 2015 Founders’ Dissertation Fellowship from the Western Association of Women Historians.

Raymond Sun

Associate Professor Raymond Sun participated in a BBC 5 radio interview to mark the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Dresden (Feb. 13-14, 1945).

BBC Radio 5 Live Up All Night
3:47:15 - 13 minutes long

Matthew Sutton

Professor Matt Sutton organized and presented at a conference on Politics and Religion held at Southern Methodist University on November. 6, 2014.

The Department of History is delighted that J.T. Menard’s paper entitled “The Civilian Conservation Corps: A Case Study of the Fort George Wright District and Camp F-188”, written in Dr. David Stratton’s 469 course, won the 2014 Payne Award, and has been accepted at the NCUR Conference (National Conferences on Undergraduate Research) April 16-18, 2015 at Eastern Washington University, Cheney, Washington. See CUR conferences and events and CUR student events for details on the venue. 

Following are two other students who successfully submitted papers:

  • Rachel Lauren Young - a History 469 paper from Spring semester 2014 entitled “The New Wave of Propaganda: The Effects of Video Games on a State’s Historical Memory and the Psyche of its Citizenry.” Rachel also received an Auvil Fellowship last summer and will present it as an Honors thesis this summer.
  • Claire Thornton - a paper on the GI Bill from History 300 in Fall semester 2014, is posted on the History Website and was made available to WSU Alumni. Claire will present at a regional Honors Conference in Nevada (one of two students sponsored by the WSU Honors College).

This is a reason to celebrate History undergraduates and the 300/469 classes!

Greg Atkins

Greg Atkins, PhD candidate, is presenting a paper at the 2015 Western Historical Association meeting in Portland, Oregon entitled "Creating the Western Resort City: Boosters and Their Use of Religion in Colorado Springs, 1871-1909."  The conference runs from October 21 to October 24, 2015.  His paper will be one of three on a panel chaired by Dr. Darren Dochuk called "An Evangelical Vatican in the West: Colorado Springs and the Boundaries of the Sacred."

Jesse Spohnholz

Associate Professor Jesse Spohnholz reports that he and his colleague, Mirjam van Veen, have been awarded a grant from the Dutch National Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) for their project Rhineland Exiles and the Religious Landscape of the Dutch Republic (c.1550-1618), which explores German influences on the culture of toleration in the Netherlands. The grant is for $917,000.  They will supervise a 6-year project, based at the Free University Amsterdam, including two PhDs, a postdoc, a smart phone app, public outreach, and a co-written book.

Steven Hoch

Professor Steven Hoch has published a new book:  Essays in Russian Social and Economic History (Boston:  Academic Studies Press, 2014). Read the table of contents »

“Founded in 2007, Academic Studies Press quickly established itself as a leading publisher in both Jewish and Slavic studies. Our monographs, multi-authored collections, anthologies, critical companions, and memoirs are frequently and highly recommended by CHOICE: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, and our books have been the recipients of many awards, including the National Jewish Book Award for Education and Jewish Identity, the Helen and Stan Vine Canadian Jewish Book Award in Holocaust Literature, and the Helecki Award for Outstanding Book on the Polish Experience in America. Our books are curated in collaboration with our series editors who are major scholars in their respective fields.”


Helen Andelin book cover

Dr. Julie Neuffer (WSU PhD 2007) has published her dissertation (Prof. Leroy Ashby, advisor):  Helen Andelin and the Fascinating Womanhood Movement (Salt Lake City: The University of Utah Press, 2014).  A copy is on display in the Pullman main office.  Julie currently is an instructor up the road at Eastern Washington University

WSU historian Jesse Spohnholz, left, and molecular anthropologist Brian Kemp. Skeleton in foreground is not that of King Richard III. (Photo by Shelly Hanks, WSU Photo Services)

Photo by Shelly Hanks, WSU Photo Services

The recent announcement that a skeleton found under a parking lot in England two years ago is that of King Richard III has laid one mystery to rest – while giving rise to another. Continue reading in WSU News »

Black Spokane by Dwayne Mack

WSU PhD Dwayne Mack’s book Black Spokane was announced earlier this afternoon.

Ashley Wright

Jesse Spohnholz

Assistant Professor Ashley Wright and Associate Professor Jesse Spohnholz received CAS International Travel Grants in the amount of $1000 for professional work in Denmark and the Netherlands/Germany, respectively.

Jesse Spohnholz's grant will support research in Summer 2015 for his project, Rhineland Exiles and the Culture of Toleration in the Dutch Republic (c.1550–1618).

Lawrence Hatter

Assistant Professor Lawrence Hatter reports:  My review essay on American Empire is in the latest edition of the Journal of the Early Republic.

Sue Peabody

Professor Sue Peabody writes:  “It’s the latest entry in Sue Peabody’s Book of the Month Club (the last until 2016!): Pierre H. Boulle and Sue Peabody, Le Droit des noirs en France au temps de l’esclavage: Textes choisis et commentés, Autrement Mêmes, (Paris : L’Harmattan, 2014). This book, which occupied most of her sabbatical last year, surveys the laws and judicial proceedings regulating blacks and slavery in the metropole, from the 16th century until 1848, with excerpted documents illustrating these changes. The material for the eighteenth century expands slightly on her “There Are No Slaves in France”: The Political Culture of Race and Slavery in the Ancien Régime (Oxford, 1996), but the most significant contribution (and the chapters authored primarily by Peabody) is the material on the Restoration period (1814-1848), which covers new ground in the history of blacks in the metropole.”

mortar board and diploma

The Department of History is proud to present the 2014 Winter Graduating Class! These undergraduate students will receive a Bachelor of Arts in History or Social Studies on December 13. Download the list »

Phil Travis

"I hope that my work will help Americans to approach the current war on terrorism in a more aware and critical manner." Read History Ph.D. graduate Phil Travis' Foley Graduate Felllow Report on page 17 of The Foley Institute Report.

Greg Atkins

History Ph.D. student Greg Atkins is the recipient of an Alice O. Rice Graduate Fellowship, awarded by The Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service. Read more about the award in The Foley Institute Report (page 16).

Greg Atkins

Please congratulate History Ph.D. student and HGSA representative Greg Atkins, winner of the GPSA Graduate Teaching Assistant Excellence Award for Summer/Fall 2014. The award was open all to graduate teaching assistants at WSU.

Greg's excellent work will be recognized at the GPSA annual awards luncheon on Friday, April 24th, 2015 at noon in Banyans on the Ridge – Event Pavilion.

Largest gathering of American historians in U.S.
to be held April 16–19 in St. Louis

Organization of American HistoriansThe Organization of American Historians (OAH) will host the nation’s largest single gathering of American historians during its 2015 Annual Meeting.

The event is expected to draw about 2,000 top scholars and historians from around the world to the America’s Center and Renaissance Grand Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri.

The meeting, which is open to both members and non-members of OAH, will feature four days of educational programs showcasing the latest news and developments in historical research, emerging technologies and innovations in teaching, and related best practices. It takes place April 16-19.

According to Katherine M. Finley, OAH executive director, the theme of the 2015 gathering will focus on how complex, controversial topics in history—such as race, gender, and sexuality—remain taboo even today.

“The courage to challenge taboos, offer fresh interpretations, and ask questions signals an important development in the history community. New dialog deepens and transforms what we know about the study of American history,” Finley explained.

Highlights of the 2015 program include:

  • 150 educational and technology sessions on cutting-edge research and teaching tools, state-of-the-field discussions, student mentorship programs, and career counseling.
  • An exhibit hall with five museum-quality displays and 70 information booths where publishers, book sellers, technology companies, resource providers, and other vendors will discuss and demonstrate their products.
  • “American History from the Inside Out: Putting St. Louis’ History of Cities, Suburbs, and Race Relations to Work to Reconfigure the National Narrative,” a plenary session exploring recent events in Ferguson, MO and how they relate to similar events in communities throughout the U.S.
  • “The Humor in History and the History of Humor,” a plenary session delivered by Mr. Bob Mankoff, The New Yorker cartoon editor and author of the book How about Never: Is Never Good for You?
  • An evening reception featuring a 17-piece St. Louis jazz band is included. Optional city tours to explore St. Louis museums and historical sites are being offered, including a visit to historic Cahokia Mounds, one of the most sophisticated prehistoric cities north of Mexico.
  • The event culminates with an address from Patricia M. Limerick, OAH president, followed by the annual awards banquet.

Finley said attendees are a diverse blend of American history professionals, most of whom are university professors and graduate students, high school teachers, and public historians working for state/municipal government agencies, museums and cultural institutions, and nonprofit organizations.

Participants are also expected to include about 75 international visitors from 15 countries who study or work in the field of American history.

The event is the 108th annual meeting that OAH has hosted and organized since 1907.

Preregistration costs are $75 for student members, $115 for non-member students, $155 for members, and $205 for non-members. Register online at

Onsite registration for members is $115 for student members, $140 for non-member students, $190 for members, and $250 for non-members.

Guests including non-member students, retirees, civic and cultural groups, and others may be eligible for reduced pricing by calling 812.855.7311 or e-mailing

Sue Peabody

Professor Sue Peabody’s book, Free Soil in the Atlantic World, co-edited with Keila Grinberg (Universidão de Rio de Janeiro), has been received and is on display in the Pullman Department of History main office.

Jeffrey Sanders

Associate Professor Jeffrey C. Sanders is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Redd Center this fall where he is researching and writing about the environmental history of children in the atomic west. The chapter will be part of his book, Children and the Environment in the Postwar West which will be published with Cambridge University Press in 2016. 

Matt Sutton

Associate Professor Matt Sutton co-organized a conference on Religion and Politics in modern America, which is being held tomorrow and is being taped by CSPAN for broadcast sometime this winter. He is also co-editing the collection of essays that will come out of the conference, which is being published by Oxford University Press. His paper compares the apocalypticism of David Koresh, Harold Camping, and Billy Graham.

Lydia Gerber

Dr. Lydia Gerber has accepted an appointment to be the new Director of the Asia Studies Program, effective November 1.

Matt Sutton

Associate Professor Matt Sutton’s book, American Apocalypse:  A History of Modern Evangelicalism(Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2014) has been received and is on display in the Department of History’s main office.  It is the first comprehensive history of modern American evangelicalism to appear in a generation. It shows how a group of radical Protestants, anticipating the end of the world, paradoxically transformed it. Perceiving the United States as besieged by Satanic forces—communism and secularism, family breakdown and government encroachment—Billy Sunday, Charles Fuller, Billy Graham, and others took to the pulpit and airwaves to explain how Biblical end-times prophecy made sense of a world ravaged by global wars, genocide, and the threat of nuclear extinction. Believing Armageddon was nigh, these preachers used what little time was left to warn of the coming Antichrist, save souls, and prepare the nation for God’s final judgment.

Clif Stratton

Katy Fry

One more item to share:  in case you missed it last week, Drs. Clif Stratton and Katy Fry co-presented a fine lecture giving the historical backstory, and follow-up, to Japanese internment as part of WSU’s commemoration events this fall.  Read more in The Daily Evergreen.

Peter Boag

Professor Peter Boag served this past Spring as a consultant for an episode of The Learning Channel’s family-history program “Who Do You Think You Are” in which actor Kelsey Grammer discovered his family history. Professor Boag was then featured as a guest expert in the episode that aired on August 20th. View the full episode online.

Professor Boag delivered the Vern & Bonnie Bullough Lecture in the History of Gender and Sexuality at the University of Utah on October 30. His talk was entitled “Gender, Sexuality, and the Decolonization of the Mythic American West.”

Sue Peabody

Professor Sue Peabody had her scholarship cited in a recent interview on French television.  She writes: “ French historian Gilles Gérard mentioned my work on Furcy, the enslaved man from Réunion, in a recent TV interview. In a new youth movement, young people are claiming Furcy’s memory as a sign of their present oppression.”

Professor Peabody also has a publication to report and includes an offer of professional assistance:   “My peer-reviewed annotated bibliography, ‘French Emancipation,’ was just published in Oxford Bibliographies, within the Atlantic World section. OUP is looking for authors to prepare such bibliographies for other topics in a select group of fields and sub-fields. If anyone in the department is interested in proposing a bibliography, let me know and I’ll be happy to recommend you to the acquisitions editors."

Candice Goucher

Professor Candice Goucher has published two articles: "Rituals of Iron in the Black Atlantic World," in Akinwumi Ogundiran and Paula Saunders, edits Materialities of Ritual in the Black Atlantic (Indiana UP, 2014). Her article “Iron sails the seas: a maritime history of African diaspora iron technology,” also appeared this month in the Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies/Revue canadienne des études latinoaméricaines et caraïbes in a special issue edited by Amitava Chowdhury (WSU PhD) on Knowledge transfer, product exchange, and human networks in the greater Caribbean: historical lessons and global theory.

Clif Stratton

Dr. Clif Stratton has won the AHA Eugene Asher Distinguished Teaching Award. 

On behalf of the History Department, congratulations Clif on this achievement.  We’re glad that the rest of the country has found out what we already know regarding Dr Stratton's exceptional work in teaching and learning.

More info on the award »
AHA 2014 prize winners »


Aaron Whelchel

Dr. Aaron Whelchel (WSU History PhD, 2011), CASAC advisor and history instructor, WSU-Vancouver, won the New Advisor Award (advising for 3 or fewer years) from the WSU ACADA chapter . The award comes with a stipend. WSU award recipients will be entered to compete for regional (October 2014 deadline) and national (March 2015 deadline) level advising awards as well.


Emily Anderson

Assistant Professor Emily Anderson’s book, Christianity and Imperialism in Modern Japan: Empire for God (Bloomsbury, SOAS Studies in Modern and Contemporary Japan, 2014) is being published.  It is now available for pre-order – hard copies will be available in December.  The Kindle edition will be available at the end of October. Bloomsbury Press | Amazon


Jesse Spohnholz

Associate Professor Jesse Spohnholz and Mirjam van Veen, “Calvinists vs. Libertines: A New Look at Religious Exile and the Origins of ‘Dutch’ Toleration,” in Calvinism and the Making of the European Mind, edited by Gijsbert van den Brink and Harro M. Höpfl (Leiden: Brill, 2014), 76-99 is now in print. It is the first publication that is part of a larger collaboration between Spohnholz and Van Veen (Free University Amsterdam) on the relationship between Germany and the Netherlands relative to the history of religious toleration.

The third week of October, Spohnholz presents on another component of this research at the Sixteenth Century Society and Conference in New Orleans. His talk is titled, “The Origins of Dutch Intolerance: Exiles and the Long-Term Historiography of the Dutch Reformation.”


Jesse Spohnholz

Associate Professor Jesse Spohnholz and Gary Waite, eds. Exile and Religious Identity, 1500-1800 (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2014) has been published.  A copy is on display in the Pullman main office.

Nicole Kindle

Nicole Kindle (WSU BA in History, 2014) reports that she is working with the Washington State Archives.  She wrote to Professor Jennifer Thigpen: “The job is with the Imaging Unit within the State Archives, which is part of the Office of the Secretary of State. My official title is a Digital Projects Technician. I work with others digitizing documents…the process includes prepping the documents, scanning them, doing a quality control check to ensure the scans were done properly and are viewable, then validating them (indexing/labeling) and then finalizing and processing the completed projects.“ Nicole credits working at Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections  (MASC) under the direction of Trevor Bond for helping her obtain this job: “Working at MASC made me familiar with digitization of historical documents, indexing and scanning equipment.”

“The job also has some basic secretarial-type duties, so a combination of my on-campus clerical assistant job from my last three years, employment at MASC, background in history and desire to pursue a career in Public History made me an ideal candidate and clearly they agree!!”


Laurie Mercier

Professor Laurie Mercier has received the 2014-15 Sproul Visiting Scholar Fellowship in the Canadian Studies Program at University of California at Berkeley. Although there are details to work out, she will probably spend Feb-Apr 2015 at the university. Laurie also has just had essays published in two new books: “Probing Memory and Experience: The Untapped Potential of Oral History (Re)Collections,” in Oral History, Community, and Work in the American West (Arizona); and “Confronting Race and Creating Community: Idaho’s Ethnic History,” in Idaho’s Place: A New History of the Gem State (Univ WA). Also, her KBOO interview this month highlights the reasons why history is so important for understanding current events.

Charles Weller

Dr. Charles Weller's review article on "The Great Game, 1856-1907: Russo-British Relations in Central and East Asia" was published on Reviews in History. Just for clarification, this is not a concise review, but a full-length article with extensive endnotes treating ‘19th-Century Great Game’ history and historiography.

Ashley Wright

Assistant Professor Ashley Wright has won a New Faculty Seed Grant (one of 12 funded out of 62 entries) of +$15,000 to support research for her project, “Honest Employments? Marginal Women in the British Empire, 1880-1939.”

Clif Stratton

Theresa Jordan

Xiuyu Wang

In a university-wide competition, three of our colleagues won Samuel H. and Patricia W. Smith Teaching and Learning Grants for the coming year:

Asst. Clinical Professor Clif Stratton will develop a digital history exhibit project with his RCI sections in Fall 2014.

Asst. Clinical Professor Theresa Jordan describes her project:  “Fall and spring instructors in HIST 120/121 will implement a tool designed to improve student writing, which I call  “the portfolio”.  Students have the opportunity to earn 250 of 1000 points if they can demonstrate improvement from their first to second and second to third papers, using the graded rubrics for comparison.  I’ve been doing this for three years, with reliable results.  I’d like to see how it works for other instructors.”

Associate Professor Xiuyu Wang (WSU-Vancouver) describes his project:   “The project aims at creating a primary source reader on East Asia, covering history, literature, philosophy, political economy, and other subjects. It will be used in combination with standard textbooks to increase student ability to comprehend and critically examine primary sources from East Asia.”

Matt Sutton

Prof. Matt Sutton is pleased to announce that he will be spending the 2014-2015 year at Heidelberg University as a Visiting Professor of American Studies and then Scholar in Residence.

Charles Weller

Charles Weller  has been accepted as a (non-residential) visiting researcher at Georgetown University, working with the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU).  Charles will work with Dr. John Voll (Prof. of Islamic history, former Assoc. Dir. of ACMCU) as his supervisor.   The appointment is for one year, June 2014 - July 2015.

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