College of Arts and Sciences

Department of History

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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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