College of Arts and Sciences

Department of History

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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.”

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.

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

Black Spokane by Dwayne Mack

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

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.

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.

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) »

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

Jackie Hedlund Tyler

Jacki Hedlund Tyler successfully defended her dissertation on Monday, March 23. Jacki 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!

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.

Charles Weller

Dr. Charles Weller gave a presentation at Georgetown University in Washington DC on March 19, entitled "The Impact of the Crimean and Ukrainian Crises on the Central Eurasian Islamic World." The lecture was co-sponsored by Georgetown's Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Relations (ACMCU) and the Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies (CERES). For further details, visit Georgetown University's website.

Tedx at WSU

 Mandy Link (PhD candidate) will speak April 4 at the WSU TEDx talk.  She writes: “I have been invited to speak at this year's WSU TEDx talk.  I am speaking on the legacies of WWI in Ireland.  The talks will be on a live feed on Saturday from 3:00-8:00 p.m.  and then uploaded to the main TED talks website."

Please note that the live feed begins approximately 26 minutes into the video.

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.”

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.

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!!”


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.

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


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 »


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.

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."

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.

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.

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 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.

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. 

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.

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.

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).

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.

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 »

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.

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 »

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

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.”


Matthew Sutton

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

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

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!

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)

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 »

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.


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!

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

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.

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".

Ken Faunce

Dr. Ken Faunce was chosen to receive the 2014 Common Reading Excellence Award. According to the citation, “This award recognizes your leadership in developing curricular connections between the themes of Roots of Contemporary Issues and this year’s Common Reading book, Being Wrong, as well as for your extensive use of the book throughout your own sections of the course this year. This recognition comes with a $300 honorarium.”

Clif Stratton

Dr. Clif Stratton was chosen by the UCORE Award Selection Committee to receive the 2014 Richard G. Law Excellence Award for Undergraduate Teaching. This marks the second year of the award’s existence and both years it has been won by History faculty – last year’s winner was Theresa Jordan.

Jesse Spohnholz

Prof. Jesse Spohnholz sends a link to a video, "Archives and Society: Record Keeping in Historical and Contemporary Perspective," made by the British Academy of the recent public panel in which he participated on “Archives and Society” in London.

Lawrence Hatter

A review of Prof. Lawrence Hatter’s article “The Jay Charter:  Rethinking the American National State in the West, 1796-1819” [Diplomatic History 37:4 (September 2013): 693-726] appeared in H-Diplo.

Jennifer Brown

Jen Brown (PhD 2012) has had her book manuscript, Trout Culture (a revised version of her dissertation) accepted for publication in the Emil and Kathleen Sick Book Series in Western History at the University of Washington Press.   Jen’s dissertation advisor was Professor Jeff Sanders.

Sue Peabody

Professor Sue Peabody reported (on Bastille Day!): "I’m very pleased to tell you that I’ve just signed the contract for my biography of the slave Furcy with Oxford University Press. The title is still a work in progress, but I’m playing with: Born Free: A French Slave’s Struggle for Freedom. Oxford University Press will release it in 2016 in both academic and trade lines, which means that it might actually get read in wider circles."

Laurie Mercier

Slightly late but still relevant:  Professor Laurie Mercier shared the link to her monthly radio show, the “Old Mole Radio Hour,” in which she posted an interview from Sept. 8 with Gary Younge, “who writes for the Guardian and Nation… and his excellent analysis of systemic racism in the post-Civil Rights Act era (part of a series we're doing on our KBOO show on the 50th anniversary of the Act):”

Karoline Cook

On September 5, Karoline “Kaja” Cook presented a paper in Paris, France at the Fourth European Congress on World and Global History entitled "Belonging in a Catholic Empire: Muslims, Moriscos, and Early Modern Constructions of Spanishness."

Brigit Farley

Associate Professor Brigit Farley presented her research at the conference on “The Great War’s Shadow: New Perspectives on the First World War,” sponsored by the University of Calgary on September 26. Her paper was titled “War and Remembrance on the Western Front: Ireland on the Landscape of Commemoration,1921 to the Present.

Scott StrattonIn Memory of a Friend and Colleague

The Department of History was deeply saddened by the death of Dr. Scott Stratton, a much-respected and appreciated member of our faculty. Details about a graduate student fund in Scott’s name are being finalized.


Dr. Mike Russell (WSU History PhD 2004) reports that he is a tenured associate professor at Kansas Wesleyan University, where he serves as Chair of the History Department and Chair of the Humanities Division. Mike’s dissertation, written under the direction of Prof. Raymond Sun, was titled “A Tale of Two Emigrations:  The Flight to Argentina by Spanish Basques and German Jews to Escape European Fascism, 1933-1955.”

Daniel Vickoren

Congratulations to Daniel Vickoren, selected to receive the 2014 College of Arts and Sciences Graduate Achievement Award in the Humanities at the Masters Level. Thesis title: "Seeing Red From the Pulpit: Shifting Perceptions of Mormons and Pentecostals in American Society During the First Red Scare, 1919-1921." Thesis advisor: Professor Matt Sutton.

Charles Weller, right, and Eli Perez in front of poster Western and Islamic Relations

Eli Perez, WSU freshman, left, and mentor Charles Weller with Perez' presentation poster from SURCA: "Western-Islamic Relations: Conflict, Conversion, or Co-existence?" (HIST 105, Roots of Contemporary Issues)

Jackie Hedlund Tyler

Congratulations to Jacki Hedlund Tyler, selected to receive the 2014 College of Arts and Sciences Graduate Achievement Award in the Humanities at the Doctoral Level. Thesis title: "The Power of Political Chatter: Constructing Race, Gender, and Citizenship in the Development of Oregon, 1830-1860." Doctoral advisor: Professor Peter Boag.

Phil Travis

The Department of History is happy to report that we have a new PhD in our midst – Dr. Phil Travis, who defended his dissertation earlier today.  His dissertation is titled “Outlaw States: The United States, Nicaragua, and the Cold War Roots of the War on Terrorism.” Phil’s committee members are Professor Matt Sutton, Professor Tom Preston (Director of the School of Politics, Philosophy & Public Affairs) and Professor Noriko Kawamura (chair of the committee). Congratulations to our very own “Dr. Phil” and thanks to all his committee for their support and hard work.    

Robert Franklin

Nyssa Runyan

Tyler Kinsella

On April 24, Michael Houser, the State Architectural Historian at the Department of Archaeology and Historical Preservation, informed Robert Franklin, History Graduate student that his National Register application for the Star Route and Palouse Street Brick Road was approved by the Keeper of the National Register for inclusion.  The section of road is the Red Brick on Palouse and Maple streets on college hill near Pufferbelly, Spot Shop and the Greystone Church.  The application grew out of student work from a Spring 2013 School of Design and Construction Historic Preservation seminar led by  Dr. Phil Gruen on the "Red Brick Roads" which was then collected and edited into the National Register Application by myself and Allison Munch-Rotello, Executive Chair of the College Hill Association.  

This year the same seminar is working on updating the Historic Walking Tour Brochure for Pullman.  Assisting in the class are Public History students Nyssa Runyan and Tyler Kinsella.  There will be a public presentation of the brochure on Tuesday May 6 at 4:30PM at the Brelsford WSU Visitors Center.  Snacks and light refreshments will be provided, and posters for the event will appear soon in the department.  We invite everyone interested in viewing Pullman in a new and insightful way to attend the presentation and see the hard work of all the amazing SDC and Public History students!

Sue Peabody

Professor Sue Peabody reports that her essay has just been published:   “La Race, l’esclavage et `la francité,’: L’affaire Furcy,” in Français? La nation en débat entre colonies et métropole, XVIe-XIXe siècle, ed. Cécile Vidale, (Paris : les Editions de l’EHESS, 2014). On Monday (May 12), she will present her paper, “Charles Auguste Bissette and the Police des Noirs in the Nineteenth Century" at the meeting of the Association of Caribbean Historians, Fort-de-France Martinique.

Jesse Spohnholz

Jesse Spohnholz and Gary Waite (eds.), Exile and Religious Identity, 1500-1800 (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2014) is now in press.

Spohnholz’s “Instability and Insecurity: Dutch Women Religious Refugees in Germany and England, 1550‒1600” is chapter 8 of this collection and he also co-wrote the introduction.

Greg Atkins

Greg Atkins (PhD candidate, modern American history) received a Foley Institute Graduate Student Fellowship in the amount of $1500.  Greg’s faculty advisor is Prof. Matt Sutton.

Charles Weller

Dr. Charles Weller has published an article:  “Religious-Cultural Revivalism as Historiographical Debate: Contending Claims in the Post-Soviet Kazakh Context,” Journal of Islamic Studies, Vol 25, No 2 (May 2014): 138-177. It was published online on Nov 12, 2013.  Charles also just completed several weeks of teaching in Kazakhstan at the National Kazakh University (teaching in Kazakh!).

Jesse Spohnholz

Professor Jesse Spohnholz’s new book,  Jesse Spohnholz and Gary Waite, eds. Exile and Religious Identity, 1500-1800 (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2014) is now in press. 

Phil Travis

Phil Travis (WSU PhD 2014) will begin a one-year appointment at Eastern Oregon University this fall.

Laura Arata

A Doctor is Born:  Laura Arata is the department’s latest PhD!  Her advisor, Prof. Robert Bauman, reported on June 9:  “I am happy to let you know that Laura Arata successfully defended her dissertation today.  Her dissertation is titled, “Race and the Wild West: Sarah Bickford and the Construction of Historical Memory in Virginia City, Montana, 1870-1930.”  Laura’s committee consisted of myself, Peter Boag, Laurie Mercier and Jenny Thigpen.”  Laura, a WSU graduate school “lifer” who also received her MA from our department, will be starting a tenure-track position in public history at Oklahoma State University this fall. 

Amanda Townsley

On May 30, Amanda (Mandy) Townsley (PhD candidate, Modern British and Irish history) presented research from her dissertation in a paper titled “Surreptitious Remembrance:  the Great War and the Anglo-Irish War, 1919-1921” at the “Remembering Violence and Violent Memory” symposium at Cambridge University.  Mandy reports that she was the only American participant selected for this one-day conference, and also the only paper chosen from many submissions on Irish Great War topics.

Daylight Creek Gathering poster

On July 19, Professor Orlan Svingen gave a public presentation to open Virginia City Treaty Day at the Daylight Creek Gathering of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes in Virginia City, Montana.

Lawrence Hatter

Assistant Professor Lawrence Hatter gave a conference paper on July 19 in, he reports, not-too-hot Philadelphia: “Anxious Americans, Belligerent Britons, and Credulous Canadiens: American Empire and Atlantic Revolutions in the Northern Borderlands” at the 36th Annual Meeting of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic.

Drs. Ken Faunce, Charles Weller, and Aaron Whelchel promoted the Roots of Contemporary Issues program at the 2nd Annual Joint Conference of the California and Northwest Affiliates of the World History Association at the University of California, Berkeley on February 28th-March 2nd. The conference, attended by K-12 and college educators from around the nation, proved to be an effective venue for highlighting the innovative aspects of the RCI program. Attendees appreciated the emphasis on critical thinking and writing skills in the course, as well as the fact that WSU requires all students to take a class in world history.

Steve Fountain

Steve Fountain (Assistant Clinical Prof. WSU-Vancouver) had a variety of publications this past week:

  • a short guest commentary in the Humanities Washington Spark Magazine based on last year's Native American Symposium (p. 20-21)
  • a brief mention in the WSUV NW Crimson and Gray on the current Diversity Fellows project (p. 13)
  • and an article published: “Ranchers' Friend and Farmers' Foe: Beaver Reintroduction and Better Nature in California.” Environmental History 19, no. 2 (April 2014): 239-269.
Matt Sutton

Associate Prof. Matt Sutton is presenting a paper March 28 at the Danforth Center on Religion and Politics (Washington Univ. St. Louis) titled “God’s Spooks: Religion, the CIA, and the Myth of Church-State Separation,” which will be included in an essay collection tentatively entitled Beyond the Culture Wars: Recasting Religion and Politics in the Twentieth Century.  

Katie Patterson

On April 15 Katie Patterson successfully defended her thesis, “Inferiority, Sexuality, and Motherhood:  Methods and Representations of Female Holocaust Rescuers.”  Her mentor was Prof. Raymond Sun; committee members were Profs. Brigit Farley and Rachel Halverson (Foreign Languages and Cultures).


One of our History majors, Shannon Rodman, has been accepted into the MA program at Central Washington University, where she will begin next fall, specializing in American West and Native American history.

Brett Bell
Jon Middaugh
Raymond Sun

On April 6, several present and former History Cougs joined to constitute the better part of a panel at the annual conference of the Society for Military History in Kansas City, Missouri.  The panel’s theme was “Old Wine in a New Bottle?  How the Understanding of Past Wars Shapes the United States Army’s Entry into New Ones.”  WSU participants included:

  • Brett Bell, PhD candidate, gave a paper entitled “In the South, in the Union:  Mexican War Generation Southerners Remember the American Revolution”
  • Dr. Jon Middaugh (WSU History PhD 2010, now with the U.S. Army Center of Military History) organized the panel and gave a paper titled “Past Plans and Contemporary Realities:  The Army National Guard in Operation Iraqi Freedom”
  • Prof. Raymond Sun,  Commentator
Karen Phoenix

Dr. Karen Phoenix has an article due to be published in the forthcoming (April) issue of the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. It's a special edition on Women's and Gender History in Global Context. The title is "A Social Gospel for India."

Jesse Spohnholz

On April 9, 2014, Jesse Spohnholz will be presenting a paper, “Following the Paper Trail: The Divergent Tales of Two Documents from the Reformation” for a conference on Record Keeping in the Early Modern World hosted by the British Academy in London. He will also be part of a panel discussion for the public with leading European archivists and historians titled Archives and Society: Record Keeping in Historical and Contemporary Perspective that evening.

Also, Jesse just received word of a new peer-reviewed publication: “Toleration,”in Oxford Bibliographies in Renaissance and Reformation, edited by Margaret King. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Xiuyu Wang

Professor Xiuyu Wang gave an invited presentation at Yale University on March 14 on China’s tea commerce with Tibet from the late 19th to the mid-20th centuries at the Third Himalayan Studies Conference. His paper drew upon archival and ethnographic sources collected during his sabbatical leave in Taiwan last year, and discusses political and social changes on the Sino-Tibetan frontier from ecological and economic perspectives.

Mandy Townsley

Mandy Townsley’s article “’Neither for King Nor Empire’:  Irish Remembrance of the Great War in the 1920s” has just been published in Remembrance and Solidarity Studies. Mandy is a doctoral candidate with research specializations in modern Irish history, memory studies, and the First World War.

Congratulations to the following faculty who received Professional Leave for next academic year:

Tri-Cities:  Brigit Farley
Vancouver:  Candice Goucher, Laurie Mercier
Pullman:  Peter Boag, Matt Sutton, Jennifer Thigpen

Xiuyu Wang

Xiuyu Wang has received a WSU Vancouver Faculty Research and Creative Activity Award to support his research

Candice Goucher

Candice Goucher is the recipient of a 2014-15 Trent R. Dames Fellowship in the History of Civil Engineering at the Huntington Library, in support of her sabbatical project: The Memory of Iron: African Metallurgy in the Atlantic World

Jennifer Thigpen

Professor Jennifer Thigpen’s book, Island Queens and Mission Wives: How Gender and Empire Remade Hawaìís Pacific World has just been released by the University of North Carolina Press in their “Gender and American Culture” series. A copy is on display in the Pullman main office.

Amanda Townsley

Mandy Townsley (PhD candidate in Irish history/memory studies) has had her paper, "Surreptitious Remembrance: the Great War and the Anglo-Irish War, 1919-1921 " accepted for presentation at the Violence and Conflict Workshop Graduate Conference, themed “Remembering Violence and Violent Memory,” to be held at the University of Cambridge on 30 May 2014.  A brief description of the conference follows. 

This one day graduate symposium seeks to bring together interdisciplinary scholars in the humanities and social sciences in order to reflect upon the changing relationship between memory and violence, the creation of memory in violence and vice versa, and how a variety of historical methods contribute to these ideas.  The conference seeks new perspectives, ideas, and questions on the constantly evolving arena between memory and history.  Papers are welcome from all regional locations and periods, from the medieval to the present.

Joel Tishken

Professor Joel Tishken’s latest publication, Isaiah Shembe’s Prophetic Uhlanga is in the New and Noteworthy section of the Spring issue of Washington State Magazine, pp. 55.  Professor Joel Tishken’s latest publication, Isaiah Shembe’s Prophetic Uhlanga is in the New and Noteworthy section of the Spring issue of Washington State Magazine.

Rob McCoy

Professor Rob McCoy is cited in the Spring issue of  Washington State Magazine, pp. 22.  You can find it in the on-line issue here: Mountains and Rivers and Prairies Without End.

The Mexican Revolution 1910-40

Professor Yvonne Berliner’s recently published text book The Mexican Revolution 1910-40 is on display in the main office.

Marina Tolmacheva

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Women, to which Professor Marina Tolmacheva contributed two articles, has won the 2013 PROSE Award Honorable Mention for a multivolume reference work in the Humanities and Social Sciences. The PROSE Awards are given annually in recognition of the very best in professional and scholarly publishing amongst distinguished books, journals, and electronic content. Dr. Tolmacheva's articles are:

"Hajj, Women's Patronage of: Historical Practice.” in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Women, ed. by Natana J. DeLong-Bas. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013, vol. 1: 409-414; and “Women's Travel, Historical” in vol. 2: 514-521.

Candice Goucher

We are delighted to report that Professor Candice Goucher’s book Congotay! Congotay! A Global History of Caribbean Food  has just been published by M.E. Sharpe. The book traces the pathways of migrants and travelers and the mixing of their cultures in the Caribbean from the Atlantic slave trade to the modern tourism economy. A copy is on display in the Pullman main office.

Jesse Spohnholz

On January 24th, Jesse Spohnholz presented a paper at the Institute of Historical Research at the University of London. His paper included materials from his current book project, tentatively titled ‘The Convent of Wesel’: Solving a 450-Year-Old-Mystery and Rethinking the History of the Reformation.

Torsten Homberger

Torsten Homberger successfully defended his dissertation on January 9, 2014. The dissertation title is "Fashioning German Fascism: Constructing the Image of Hitler’s Storm Troopers, 1924-1933". His committee members included Dr. Sun, Dr. Spohnholz, Dr. Farley, and Dr. Arthur-Bradley from the Department of Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textiles. Congratulations!

Ken Faunce

Dr. Ken Faunce received the WSU 2014 Martin Luther King Distinguished Service Award in the Faculty category in an award ceremony held Wednesday, January 22nd, at the 2014 MLK Community Celebration.

This award "recognizes an individual or group from the entire Washington State University community, across the state, that has made an extraordinary contribution toward continuing the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr."

Jesse Spohnholz

On Wednesday, Jan. 22, Dr. Jesse Spohnholz will speak at Cambridge University in an invited lecture as part of the Early Modern Interdisciplinary Seminar. His talk is titled “Forgetting Plurality and Re-inventing the Reformation: Archival Power and Religious Culture in Early Modern Europe”.

Dulce Kersting

Dulce Kersting (MA 2013) has accepted a position as Director of the Latah County Historical Society in Moscow, Idaho, effective at the end of January. Her WSU mentor was Professor Peter Boag.

Clif Stratton

Dr. Clif Stratton has accepted the position of Assistant Director for the Roots of Contemporary Issues Program, effective this Spring 2014 semester. Congratulations, Clif!

Ashley Wright

Assistant Professor Ashley Wright’s book has just been published by Palgrave Macmillan. Opium and Empire in Southeast Asia:  Regulating Consumption in British Burma is part of the Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies Series. The book is on display now in the History Office.

Joel Tishken

Assistant Professor Joel Tishken received a Edward R. Meyer Project Award from CAS in the amount of $5000. Joel will be using the funds to travel to Durban, South Africa and conduct research for his next book project: “Discovering Unkulunkulu: The Western Quest for a Zulu High God.” The project explores the intellectual history of Western writings about Zulu religion, and in particular the determined quest to locate a Zulu high god, from the early nineteenth century through the early twentieth. While in South Africa, he'll also present a paper at the biannual Historical Association of South Africa conference.

Laurie Mercier

Professor Laurie Mercier won the 2014 Donald J. Sterling Senior Fellowship in Pacific Northwest History at the Oregon Historical Society. The fellowship includes a $2500 stipend to cover four weeks of research at OHS.

Jackie Tyler

Jacki Tyler (doctoral candidate) won the 2014 Donald J. Sterling Graduate Fellowship in Pacific Northwest History at the Oregon Historical Society. The fellowship includes a $2000 stipend to cover four weeks of research at OHS.

Sue Peabody

Sue Peabody sends this news from Vancouver: "Meghan Wolf Dunlap (WSU Vancouver BA History 2012) was just admitted to Willamette University Law School with an $8,000 scholarship. Way to go, Meghan!"

Jeff Sanders

Associate Professor Jeff Sanders received a Wallis Annenberg Research Grant at the University of Southern California in the amount of $1000 to support his research on the urban environmental history of children and youths in Los Angeles.

Steve Kale

Professor Steve Kale has an essay, “Women’s Intellectual Agency in the History of 18th and 19th-century French Salons,” published in Political Ideas of Enlightenment Women, edited by Lisa Curtis-Wendlandt, Paul Gibbard, and Karen Green (Ashgate, 2013).

Laura Woodworth-Ney

The Department of History congratulates Laura Woodworth-Ney, new provost and vice president for academic affairs at Idaho State University.  Woodworth-Ney earned a PhD in American history and public history from Washington State University in 1996.  Her faculty advisor was Orlan Svingen.

"In addition to being a scholar of history and the humanities, Dr. Woodworth-Ney has excellent credentials as an administrator," said ISU President Arthur C. Vailas. Woodworth-Ney, who has served as ISU associate vice president for academic affairs the past three years, was selected after a national search was carried out.

At Idaho State, another WSU PhD, Kevin Marsh, is Chair of the ISU History Department, and a third WSU PhD in American Studies with a History emphasis, Erika Kuhlman, is Director of the Women's Studies Program.

McCoy and Sanders

Congratulations to Professors Rob McCoy and Jeff Sanders for receiving a NEH “Landmarks of American History and Culture” grant for Summer 2014.  Rob and Jeff’s grant is titled “Atomic West, Atomic World” and will center around summer 2014 workshops for K-12 educators about the historic, cultural, environmental, and human impact of the Hanford nuclear site. The grant is a collaborative effort between Northeast Washington Educational Service District 101, Washington State University, and our department.

Photo of Lawrence Hatter Assistant History Professor Lawrence Hatter has received a New Faculty Seed Grant for $19,000 for AY 2013-2014 to complete research and make manuscript revisions on his book project "Border Wars: The Laurentine Trade and the Making of American Nationhood, 1783-1846."
Sue Peabody

Prof. Sue Peabody shared that she is leaving for her two-week sabbatical research trip to the Archives Nationales d’Outre-Mer in Aix-en-Provence. She has been hard at work, with the following projects recently or soon coming to fruition:

  • Her co-authored book with Brazilian historian Keila Grinberg, Escravidão e Liberdade nas Américas, (Rio de Janeiro, Editora da Fundação Getúlio Vargas, 2013), has just been published. If you are up on your Portuguese, (or have colleagues in Brazil to share the title), here is the website of the publisher:
  • She presented her invited paper, “Furcy and France’s Free Soil Policy in the Nineteenth Century,” at the conference “Blacks of France: New Directions in the History and Historiography of an African Diaspora, University of California, Berkeley, 20 March 2014.
  • She will present her paper, “Slavery, Citizenship, and Patriarchy: French Approaches to Citizenship for Slaves and Free People of Color after Napoleon,” at the European Social Science History Conference on 26 April in Vienna, Austria.
  • She will present her paper, ““Charles Auguste Bissette and The Police des Noirs in the Nineteenth Century” at the Association of Caribbean Historians’ annual meeting in Fort-de-France, Martinique on May 11.
  • Taylor & Francis invited her to submit a proposal to re-issue her Special Issue of Slavery & Abolition on “Free Soil in the Atlantic World” for their select hard-cover reprint series.
Lawrence Hatter

Assistant Prof. Lawrence Hatter offered a chapter from his book manuscript for discussion at the Pacific North West Early American seminar hosted at the University of Washington on November 2. Lawrence’s manuscript is titled “Border Wars: The Laurentine Trade and the Making of American Nationhood, 1783-1846.”

Steve Fountain

Clinical Assistant Professor Steve Fountain (Vancouver) writes of his recent participation in the Pacific Coast Branch of the AHA: “I was an invited panelist on a roundtable “Seeing Animals in History," session chair and comment for “Peoplescape and Landscape: Overlapping Environmental and Social Histories in Twentieth Century Natural Resource Management," and named to the local arrangements committee for next August in Portland. I also am a WSUV Faculty Diversity Fellow for 2013-2014 and will be working on Native American program coordination efforts on and off campus in our service region."

Beth Erdey

Beth Erdey successfully defended her dissertation Nov. 25.  The dissertation title is “Wildly Contentious:  The Battle for North Idaho’s Roads, Rivers, and Wilderness.”  Her advisor was Associate Professor Robert McCoy; Jeff Sanders and Bob Bauman also served on her committee. Congratulations all around!

Lee Ann Powell

Warm collective congratulations to Lee Ann Powell, who, on November 18, successfully defended her dissertation: “Culture, Cold War, Conservatism, and the End of the Atomic Age:  Richland, Washington 1943-1989.” Dr. Powell’s faculty advisor was Associate Professor Jeff Sanders; Professors Robert Bauman and Laurie Mercier also served on her committee.

Hanford video link

Prof. Bob Bauman shared a link to a TV news story (KING TV, Seattle) that aired Nov. 15 about the Hanford Oral History Project that he is directing. The project is the centerpiece of Prof. Bauman's seminar in Public History (History 528) next semester. Watch the video

Jesse Spohnholz

On Friday, November 22, Professor Jesse Spohnholz will speak at the University of Leiden (Netherlands) in an invited lecture as part of an annual seminar series in European history. His talk is titled “Seeing like a Church: Archival Power and the Problem of Confessionalism in Reformation History”.

Two WSU Vancouver history grads have each recently won prestigious academic awards—the Roelker and Prelinger—and both will be honored in January at the annual conference of the American Historical Association (the nation's largest historical association) in Washington DC.

Shari Conditt was a recipient of the WSU Association of Faculty Women's best MA student award last year. She received her MA in History from WSUV in spring, earlier having been designated a James Madison fellow, which awarded her tuition expenses for WSUV and Georgetown University. Shari completed her degree while a full-time high school history teacher in nearby Woodland, parent of two young children, and president of her teacher's union. Read the press release »

Donna Sinclair graduated with her BA in history in 1995, as a single parent of 3 children. She worked as an intern at the Center for Columbia River History, then attended and received her MA in history from Portland State U. She has worked with Professor Laurie Mercier on various public history projects in the region, and she began working on her PhD in urban studies at PSU a few years ago. She has been teaching as an adjunct instructor in our WSUV history program for several years.

Jesse Spohnholz

On October 25, Jesse Spohnholz presented from his recent research at the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico. His  talk was titled “Multiconfessionalism and the Problem of Confessionalism: A Microhistory”. His presentation addressed methodological problems concerning the history of religious toleration.

Karoline (Kaja) Cook The History Department is pleased to announce the hiring of Karoline (Kaja) Cook to teach in the Roots of Contemporary Issues Program beginning Fall 2013. She has a PhD in history from Princeton University (2008). She is currently completing her book, Forbidden Crossings: Moriscos and Muslims in Spanish America, 1492-1650 for publication with the University of Pennsylvania Press.
Karen Phoenix The History Department is pleased to announce the hiring of Karen Phoenix to teach in the Roots of Contemporary Issues Program beginning Fall 2013. She has a PhD in history from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2010). Her dissertation, “Not By Might, Nor by Power, But by Spirit: The Global Reform Efforts of the Young Women’s Christian Association of the United States, 1895-1939” explores U.S. cultural imperialism before the second world war in Argentina, Nigeria, India and the Philippines.
Katy Fry The History Department is pleased to announce that Katy Fry has been hired to teach in the Roots of Contemporary Issues Program beginning Fall 2013. Fry has a PhD in history from Washington State University (2011) and is currently revising her book manuscript, “Farming the Water: Japanese Oyster Laborers in Washington State and the Creation of Trans-Pacific Industry.”
Joel Tishken

Assistant Professor Joel E. Tishken's article "Neither Anglican nor Ethiopian: Schism, Race, and Ecclesiastical Politics in the Nineteenth-Century Liberian Episcopal Church" was recently accepted for publication in the Journal of Africana Religions.

Amanda Van Lanen

Amanda Van Lanen (WSU PhD in US and public history 2009) has joined the faculty at Lewis and Clark State College just down the road in Lewiston, Idaho.  She previously taught at Misericordia University in Dallas, PA. 

Ashley Wright The History Department is pleased to welcome Assistant Professor Ashley Wright, a specialist in European Imperialism. She will teach History 436, Imperialism in the Modern World, and History 569, Field Course in Modern European History.
Middle Ground Journal Nathan Sowry (MA 2011) published an article in the online scholarly journal of World History and Global Studies, The Middle Ground. The title is "Cross-Colonial Cooperation in Nineteenth-Century Java: Examining the Sepoy Conspiracy in a World History Context." Nathan explains that “This is essentially the condensed, thirty-page version of my MA thesis that resulted from Dr. Sun's Writing Seminar my final semester at WSU (Spring 2011).” Nathan is currently working at the Smithsonian African Art Museum.
Jeff Sanders Professor Jeff Sanders was elected to the Council of the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association (PCB-AHA).
Robert Bauman Professor Robert Bauman published an article, " 'Kind of a Secular Sacrament': Father Geno Baroni, Monsignor John J. Egan and the Catholic War on Poverty,” in the April 2013 issue of The Catholic Historical Review.
Mandy Townsley

Mandy Townsley (PhD Candidate in British history) has had her first article accepted for publication in Remembrance and Solidarity Studies in 20th century European History, Issue No 2 (Special issue on "War and Modern Memory: The Great War and After"). Her article is titled “Neither for King nor Empire: Irish Remembrance of the Great War, 1914-1939.” Mandy’s advisor is Heather Streets-Salter (now at Northeastern University).

Amanda Townsley Mandy Townsley, a doctoral candidate in British and Irish history, has published a book review, "Doing Their Bit," on Catriona Pennell's A Kingdom United: Popular Responses to the Outbreak of the First World War in Britain and Ireland (Oxford University Press, 2012) in the Fall 2013 issue of the Irish Literary Supplement which is published in association with the Center for Irish Programs of Boston College, Massachusetts.
Lawrence Hatter Professor Lawrence Hatter’s article "The Jay Charter: Rethinking the American National State in the West, 1796-1819" has been published in the September issue of Diplomatic History. He has also been informed that H-Diplo (the h-net discussion group for Diplomatic History) will review the article in the near future.

Lawrence also gave a talk on September 12 at the University of Nevada sponsored by the Grace Griffin Chair in Western History at the University of Nevada (Reno) titled: "The Fur Trade: The Global Dimensions of the Early American West."
Shawna Herzog Shawna Herzog defended her doctoral dissertation this past July 1. The dissertation is titled “Convenient Compromise: A History of Slavery in the British East Indies, 1795-1841.” Her advisor was Heather Streets-Salter (now at Northeastern University), and committee members were Professors Candice Goucher (co-chair) and Jennifer Thigpen. Dr. Herzog is now an Instructor in the History Department, teaching our World Civilizations sequence (Hist. 120-121) and junior seminar (HIst. 300).
Beth Erdey

Beth Erdey (PhD candidate, Public History) writes that she has “just returned from a National Park Service Field Course at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, September 8 - 14, in Bayfield, Wisconsin. The course, Preservation and Treatment of Park Cultural Resources, focused on skills and knowledge necessary in direction of and oversight pertaining to the preservation, treatment, and maintenance of park cultural resources. At the course, students worked to develop a preservation and treatment plan for a group of historic structures recently acquired by the National Park Service. "

Peter Boag

On Monday, October 7th, Professor Peter Boag will deliver the 17th Susan B. Cone Family Distinguished Lecture in History at the University of Wyoming in Laramie.  His presentation is, “Using Transgressive Sexuality and Gender to Reimagine the American West.” 

Charles Weller

Dr. Charles Weller participated in the World History Association Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota June 26-29 as Panel Organizer and Chair: "The Great Game and Great Reforms of Asia, 1850-1940" with Dr. Heather Streets-Salter (Northeastern University), Dr. Jon Davidann (Hawaii Pacific), and Dr. Wynn Gadkar-Wilcox (Western Conn State Univ). Dr. Weller also presented a paper: "Ibrai Altynsaryn's 1884 Publication 'Shariat-ul Islam' and Its 1991 Re-Publication: Comparative Implications for Kazakh Identity in the Late 19th and Late 20th Centuries."


Congratulations to Professor Joel Tishken on the publication of his book Isaiah Shembe’s Prophetic Uhlanga: The Worldview of the Nazareth Baptist Church in Colonial South Africa (New York: Peter Lang, 2013), which examines the worldview generated and sustained by the Zulu Zionist prophet Isaiah Shembe and his congregation, the Nazareth Baptist Church, during South Africa’s colonial era.

Peter Boag

Dr. Peter Boag will present "Death and Oregon's Settler Generation: Connecting Parricide, Agricultural Decline, and Dying Pioneers at the Turn of the 20th Century" at the Oregon Historical Quarterly Symposium Death and the Settling and Unsettling of Oregon on November 7. Download the pdf for details.


Jen Brown, WSU PhD 2012, has been named a Visiting Scholar at the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

Photo of Jon Middaugh Professor Jon Middaugh has accepted a three-year position at the U. S. Army Center of Military History at Fort McNair, Washington, D. C. He will be part of a team that will write the history of the U. S. Army's involvement in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn (Iraq after the summer of 2010). We are pleased for Dr. Middaugh, but sorry to share the news that one of our long-time alumnus will be leaving after the second summer session 2013. John received his M.A. and PhD (2010) from WSU and has been an instructor for the department in courses ranging from World Civilizations to Latin American history and, most recently, U. S. miliary history.
WSU logo

On May 3, the History Department recognized and celebrated the work of five outstanding students for their research in conjunction with Spring Semester History 469 and 300 courses. A reception was held in the Center for Undergraduate Education The students honored are:

Matthew Kenyon, whose work is entitled "The Question of Women's Suffrage: Radicals, Rhetoric, and Reform in Washington State."

Nicole Scheuerman's work is entitled "Hungarian Victims of Communism: A Remembrance."

Kaitlyn Gromala's work is entitled "How the My Lai Massacre Evolved into Scapegoat Policy."

Kyle Jacob Toyra's work is entitled "Black Listed: Nixon's 'Enemies List' Uncovered."

Megan Ockerman's work is entitled "Tales of a Green Beret: One Man's Struggle to Cope with the Legacy of Vietnam."

Instructors for History 469 are Drs. Jenny Thigpen, David Stratton, and Scott Stratton.


Photo of Amitava Chowdhury Amitava Chowdhury (WSU PhD 2010) presented his paper, “The “coolie” and the “creole”: Post-emancipation labor regimes and identarian invocations in the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean,” at the international conference, Global History of Agrarian Labor Regimes, 1750-2000, at The Weatherhead Initiative on Global History, Harvard University. He subsequently learned that he has named Harvard Visiting Fellow for 2013-2014.   Amitava is an assistant professor of Caribbean and World History, Indian Ocean South Asian Diaspora at Queen’s University (Canada).
photo of Sue Peabody The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) awarded Sue Peabody, professor of history at WSU Vancouver, a fellowship of $65,000 to complete her book, Slavery and Emancipation in the Indian Ocean World:  A Family Biography. She will be on sabbatical leave during 2013-2014. Read the entire news release in WSUNews. She was one of 65 recipients of ACLS fellowships out of a total of 1,121 applicants this year (5.8%). 
Photo of Laurie Mercier Professor Laurie Mercier of the WSU Vancouver campus, was notified that she has received a semester-long Fulbright Award to work in Canada in Academic Year 2013-2014. She will be collaborating with colleagues at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta.
Photo of Rob McCoy Associate Professor Rob McCoy teaches History 529: Interpreting History through Material Culture. A National Park Service Nez Perce Historic Images Collection will be on exhibit beginning April 11, in WSU Libraries Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections. The Historic Images Collection will be on display throughout the summer. Graduate students Robert Franklin, April Grube, Dulce Kersting, Michelle Winmill and Kris Skelton were instrumental in making this exhibit a success. Thank you for a job well done!
Photo of Jeff Sanders Jeff Sanders has received tenure and promotion to the rank of Associate Professor, effective August 2013. A celebration for Jeff's accomplishment will be included in a general end-of-semester social event. Congratulations, Jeff!
photo of David Pietz Professor David Pietz has been named a Research Fellow by the WSU Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service for academic year 2012-2013 and 2013-2014. This comes with an award of $5,000 to be applied to inviting outside scholars for scholarly collaboration and public presentations, and to support Dr. Pietz' research activities. Dr. Pietz is also the recipient of a $30,000 two-year WSU Center for Environmental Research, Education and Outreach (CEREO) Fellowship to support his project on "Water and Indigenous Peoples." The fellowship is intended to help David and his collaborators lay the groundwork to create a network of scholars and major external funding initiatives. Finally, Dr. Pietz was recently elected to the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) Committee on Committees.
Photo of Charles Weller Dr. Charles Weller writes that he gave a public lecture at the University of Washington May 10 on "Ethnicity, Language and Politics in Post-Soviet Kazakhstan." His talk was hosted by the Central/Inner Asian Studies Seminar and the Jackson School of International Studies.
Photo of Matt Sutton Dr. Matt Sutton presented sections from his forthcoming book Friday, May 10, at a workshop at Yale on "International Fundamentals: Early Fundamentalism and the American Century." He recently presented chapter two his forthcoming book entitled "Global War and Christian Nationalism" (on World War I) at the Rothermere American Institute, Oxford University. In another trip to the United Kingdom, he gave a paper entitled "Al Smith, the Roaring Twenties and the Rise of Fundamentalist Political Conservatism" at a symposium on Religion and Politics in the Unites States at King's College, London.
WSU logo History Department faculty in WSUNews: see the link to WSUNews for more information and photographs of Theresa Jordan and Ken Faunce at the sixth annual University College awards ceremony held April 16.
Photo of Kris Skelton Congratulations to Graduate Students Kris Skelton (advisor Professor Rob McCoy) and Dulce Kersting (advisor Professor Peter Boag), who are graduating with Master of Arts degrees May 4. They will be missed (although as noted last week, Dulce will change hats and serve as the curator for the Latah County Historical Society in nearby Moscow, Idaho).
Photo of Nikki Brueggeman The College of Arts and Sciences honored twenty-five outstanding students for their academic and extracurricular achievements at the CAS Senior Recognition event May 3. Two of the twenty-five are majoring in History. Nikki Brueggeman, earned a BA in Asian Studies and history, with a minor in Japanese. The second student is Matthew Kenyon, who earned a BA in History. See the complete news article in WSUNews dated May 2, 2013.
Photo of Dulce Kersting Dulce Kersting, who graduated with an MA this semester, has accepted a position as curator for the Latah County Historical Society in Moscow, Idaho. Her faculty mentor is Peter Boag. Congratulations, Dulce! And thanks to the History Faculty who helped her achieve her MA! The Moscow-Latah County area will benefit from Dulce's expertise and the cumulative training received in WSU's History Department. WSU, will, in turn, benefit from her nearby presence.
Photo of Robert Franklin Robert Franklin, a History graduate student, has received the Lawrence Stark Archives Graduate Fellowship from WSU's Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections (MASC) to do archival work during summer 2013. Congratulations Robert! Robert's faculty mentor is Dr. Robert McCoy.
Photo of Nikki Brueggeman Nikki Brueggeman, graduated May 4, has won one of four university-wide undergraduate research awards for $500.00 from the WSU Emeritus Society. Her award was in the category of Arts and Humanities. She was honored at the University College Awards Ceremony April 16 at the Lewis Alumni Centre.
Photo of Ken Faunce Dr. Ken Faunce, an Instructor in the Roots of Contemporary Issues (RCI) program, won the Learning Community Excellence Award for his outstanding teaching and service with the Freshman Focus program. He was honored Tuesday, April 16 at the University College awards ceremony held at the Alumni Centre. His letter of notification states: "Each of your hall partners in the many residence halls you have worked with have particularly noted the success of your out-of-class programs with freshmen, your positive and collaborative approach, and your enthusiasm about engaging with students in a variety of ways. Attending opening hall barbeques, holding occasional office hours in the residence halls, screening relevant films, and holding your very successful research writing workshop - each of these are events that you have helped develop into hallmarks of Freshman Focus. Also deserving of recognition have been your leadership in the use of the Common Reading each year, and in the development of History 105 as a course designed to utilize learning community opportunities for out-of-class student engagement." This marks the third year in a row that a History faculty member has received this award. Previous winners are Jesse Spohnholz and Clif Stratton.
Photo of Theresa Jordan Assistant Clinical Professor Theresa Jordan has been named the inaugural recipient of the Richard G. Law Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. Theresa was honored at the WSU University College Awards ceremony on Tuesday, April 16 in the Lewis Alumni Centre, Great Hall. This ceremony recognized WSU faculty and students for outstanding achievements and contributions to undergraduate education.
photo of Lipi Turner-Rahman Israt (Lipi) Turner-Rahman, a part-time instructor for the History Department and a Library employee, is involved in a project to digitally scan old newspaper clippings for the Kimble Northwest History Database. Private donations from the Wallis and Marilyn Kimble family have made this project a reality. A recent article in WSUNews explains how the Kimble Northwest History Database was begun.
photo of Peter Boag Professor Peter Boag, Columbia Chair in the History of the American West,  has been awarded the Ray Allen Billington Prize by the Organization of American Historians (OAH) for the best book in American frontier history, for his book Re-Dressing America’s Frontier Past (University of California Press, 2011).  Dr. Boag's book carefully examines a subject that has long hidden in plain sight: cross-dressing in the nineteenth-century West. It reveals the complicated stories of cross dressers and connects late nineteenth-century understandings of sexuality and gender to the formation of the frontier idea and its prominent place in American culture. More information about the Ray Allen Billington Prize can be found at the OAH Web site. Updated information will be available May 13, 2013.



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