College of Arts and Sciences

Department of History

Recent Headlines

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.”


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.

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."

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):”

Amir Selmanovic

Amir Selmanovic (PhD candidate) presented a conference paper based upon his dissertation research at the Rocky Mountain Interdisciplinary History Conference organized by the University of Colorado—Boulder, held on September 5–7. His paper was titled “Bringing Workers’ Self-Management to the League of Communists of Yugoslavia: The First Step of Legitimization of a New Socio-Economic System.”

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!!”


Jennifer Binczewski

The Catholic Record Society (UK) has awarded Jennifer Binczewski a David Rogers Research Award for 2014. The award is for 500 pounds ($830) to support the research this Fall for her dissertation: "Solitary Sparrows: Widowhood and the Catholic Community in Post-Reformation England, 1570–1620."  Jennifer's faculty advisor is Professor Jesse Spohnholz.


ai wang

On July 28, Ai Wang successfully defended her doctoral dissertation, titled "City of the River:  The Hai River and the City of Tianjin , 1897-1948." Her advisor was Professor David Pietz.


Robert Franklin

Robert Franklin has signed on as co-coordinator of the Society of Architectural Historians Archipedia Project with Dr. Phil Gruen of the School of Design and Construction as the other co-coordinator.  This is a two-year project with an estimated live date of July 2016 to list the "Washington 100", 100 buildings, structures, or sites that best represent the architectural history of Washington State. The encyclopedia is online and is jointly published by the SAH and University of Virginia Press, although several states (including Washington) are in process of being completed and not available yet.  

Jennifer Binczewski

Graduate Student Research Award: The Catholic Record Society (UK) has awarded Jennifer Binczewski a David Rogers Research Award for 2014. The award is for 500 pounds ($830) to support the research this fall for her dissertation, "Solitary Sparrows: Widowhood and the Catholic Community in Post-Reformation England, 1570–1620." Jennifer's mentor is Dr. Jesse Spohnholz.

Greg Atkins

Greg Atkins presented "Rise of the Evangelical Mecca: Boosters, Young Life, and the Navigators in Colorado Springs, 1940-1953" on Friday, August 15th at the 107th Annual Meeting of the the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association in Portland, Oregon.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.”

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.

More news and headlines »
Graduate student news »

In Memory of a Friend and Colleague

Scott StrattonThe 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.

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