College of Arts and Sciences

Department of History

Recent Headlines

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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. 

Phil Travis

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

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. 

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!).

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.

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.

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.

Poster 2014 History Graduates

Cheers and Congratulations
to all of our graduates
this Spring!

Here’s wishing all of our graduates
a joyous day of celebration
and the very best in your future paths.

Download the poster

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.

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.”

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!

Michael Mickey Dennis

Michael “Mickey” Dennis, an MA candidate in Public History working with Professor Orlan Svingen, has received an internship from the Museum of the City of New York in their archives department over the summer, specifically working in the Manuscripts & Ephemera and Theater archives.

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.    

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.

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.

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)

Dongjo Shin

Dongjo Shin has been awarded a Graduate Student Professional Development Award ($750), and will be using the grant for fieldwork in China this summer.


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.”

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 scholarship fund in Scott's name will be posted soon.

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