College of Arts and Sciences

Department of History

 American West & Pacific Northwest

Past Programming

Chairman Michael O. Finley
"Contemporary Pathways in Indian Country"
Confederated Tribes of Colville
Wednesday, 01 February 2012
12:00–1:00, CUB Junior Ballroom

Michael O. Finley, chairman of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation and co-author of Finding Chief Kamiakin: A Life and Legacy of a Northwest Patriot (Pullman: Washington State University Press, 2008), will be speaking on issues confronting Native Americans in the United States, in particular from the perspective of Native Americans whose ancestral homes are in eastern Washington state.


Professor Kathleen Brosnan
"Old Vines, Global Wines: The Cultural and Environmental Impacts of European Viticulture in the New World"
Department of History, University of Houston
Wednesday, 09 November 2011
1:10–2:00, CUB Junior Ballroom

Kathleen Brosnan is an environmental historian whose first book is Uniting Mountain and Plain: Cities, Law, and Environmental Change along the Front Range (2002). She will be speaking at WSU on her projected three-book series that deals with the history of the wine industry. The first projected book focuses on how industry and consumerism shaped the environment of the Napa Valley. The second examines European viticulture as a form of ecological imperialism around the world. The third investigates how U.S. land grant institutions' roles in the development of food products, including wine, have shaped environments.


Professor Andrew Kirk
"Doom Towns of the West"
Department of History, University of Nevada-Las Vegas
Wednesday, 21 September 2011
1:10–2:00, CUB Junior Ballroom

Andy Kirk's research and teaching focus on the intersections of cultural and environmental history in the modern U.S. with a special interest in the American West and public history. His recent publications include Counterculture Green: The Whole Earth Catalog and American Environmentalism (rev. ed., 2011) and "From Wilderness Prophets to Tool Freaks: Post WWII Environmentalism" in The Blackwell Companion to American Environmental History. His current work includes "The Art of Testing and the Culture of Secrecy at the Nevada Test Site." His talk at WSU, "Doom Towns of the West," concerns the nuclear industry and western places.


Professor Kate Brown
Department of History, University of Maryland
4 November 2010
Public Lecture at 1:10 p.m. in the CUB Junior Ballroom (Room 210)
Brown-Bag Seminar at 3:00 p.m. in Wilson-Short Hall 333

Kate Brown earned her Ph.D at the University of Washington. An expert in Russian and Eastern European history, Professor Brown's publications have included Biography of No Place: From Ethnic Border to Soviet Heartland (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005). It won the George Louis Beer Prize from the American Historical Society given in recognition of outstanding contributions to modern European international history. Her current project is "A Tale of Two Nuclear Cities," which explores and compares the histories of Chernobyl in the former U.S.S.R. and Hanford in Washington state.


Professor Andrew H. Fisher
Department of History, The College of William and Mary
11 October 2010
Public Lecture at 1:00 p.m. in the CUB Junior Ballroom (Room 210)
Brown-Bag Seminar at 4:00 p.m. in Wilson-Short Hall 333

Andrew Fisher received his Ph.D. from Arizona State University. His research and teaching interests focus on modern Native American history, environmental history, and the American West. His recently completed book is Shadow Tribe: The Making of Columbia River Indian Identity (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2010). It examines off-reservation communities and processes of tribal ethnogenesis in the Columbia River Basin of the Pacific Northwest. You can find more on this important work at www.washington.edu/uwpress/search/books/FISSHA.html.


Heartsong of Charging Elk, Spring 2010

March 27, 2010  |  5:30–9:00 p.m.  |  Kimbrough Music Building, Room 101
Washington State University, Pullman

5:30–7:00  Kathryn Shanley and Raymond DeMallie
7:00–7:30  Reception
7:00–9:00  Wayne Horvitz and "Heartsong of Charging Elk"

World-renowned Seattle composer Wayne Horvitz will present his oratorio "Heartsong of Charging Elk" at Pullman.

The performance will take place the evening after a performance at WSU Vancouver; it culminates for that campus a weeklong humanities and honors mini-course and lecture series on indigenous peoples, historical fiction, and the mythical Wild West.

Horvitz's oratorio for four voices and ten chamber instruments is based on James Welch's novel The Heartsong of Charging Elk (New York: Doubleday, 2000). Welch (1940–2003) was one of the best-known Native American writers of his time. Of Blackfeet and Gros Ventre ancestry, Welch studied writing under Richard Hugo at the University of Montana. His early works include Winter in the Blood (1974) and Fools Crow (1986).

Heartsong, which is inspired by actual historical events, tells the story of Oglala Sioux Charging Elk who, while touring with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, was hospitalized for broken ribs and influenza in 1889 Marseilles, France. The Wild West Show moved on, leaving Charging Elk, now recovered from his illness and injuries, stranded and speaking neither French nor English.

"Using that historical predicament for his springboard," Horvitz has written, "James Welch conjures a poetic narrative of Charging Elk's displaced existence following his abandonment in The Heartsong of Charging Elk."

Wayne Horvitz is a native of New York and now resides in Seattle. He is an internationally known keyboardist, composer, and producer. Perhaps best known as a jazz musician, nevertheless, Horvitz works in many musical genres. He has had commissioning grants from Meet the Composer, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Arts Council, the Mary Flagler Carey Trust, the Seattle Arts Commission, the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund, the Fund for U.S. Artists, and a Rockefeller MAP grant. He has composed and produced music for PBS programming and even for film director Gus Van Sant.

Horvitz will travel to Pullman with his musicians and a conductor. The latter will perform the piece, and Horvitz will provide a short lecture and question and answer about the oratorio with the audience.

In addition to this performance and Horvitz's discussion of his music, the event will also bring to campus two speakers, Professors Kathryn Shanley and Raymond J. Demallie, who are experts on James Welch and on Black Elk, a real Sioux man who did travel with the Wild West Show and actually was stranded in France, eventually making his way to England and then back to his home on the Great Plains.

Professor Kathryn Shanley earned her Ph.D. in English and Native American literature at the University of Michigan. A member of the Assiniboine Tribe, Shanley is now a professor of Native American studies and assistant to the president and provost of the University of Montana. She has edited Native American Literature: Boundaries and Sovereignties (2001) and is working on a book on James Welch.

Professor Raymond J. Demaille is chancellor's professor of anthropology and adjunct professor of folklore, director of the American Indian Studies Research Institute, and curator of North American ethnology at the Mathers Museum at Indiana University. Demaille has researched and written extensively on Great Plains tribes. In 2008 he annotated a new edition of John G. Neihardt's famous Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux, first published in 1932.

Columbia Chair in the History of the American West, sponsor
Humanities Washington, co-sponsor
Plateau Center for American Indian Studies, WSU, co-sponsor
Visual, Performing, & Literary Arts Committee (VPLAC), WSU, co-sponsor
School of Music, WSU, co-sponsor
Global Travel, Pullman, Washington, co-sponsor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Department of History, PO Box 644030, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-4030
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