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College of Arts and Sciences History

Historical detective story traces Indian Ocean slave saga

Illustration from book coverA detailed family saga set against the broader context of South Asian slavery, plantation life, Parisian society and French colonization, “Madeleine’s Children: Family, Freedom, Secrets, and Lies in France’s Indian Ocean Colonies” by history professor Sue Peabody traces the multigenerational biography of a slave family and their legal battles for freedom.

Peabody is one of the world’s leading authorities on slavery in the French Empire. The research took her to » More …

History professors launch community conversations

WSU Vancouver history professor Sue Peabody and adjunct professor Donna Sinclair were looking at the demographic records of Clark County, Washington, and noticed some surprising facts. The local population has more than doubled in the past three decades, from 221,654 to nearly 500,000 in 2017. And while more than half (54 percent) of the current residents were born in another state, another 10 percent of the county’s residents were born in another country altogether.

The data started them thinking: “How did all these people come to Clark County?” and “How is Clark County changing in response to this growth?” » More …

Bridging world history: African metalworking, Caribbean foods, and more

faculty portrait photograph, outsideAlthough she spent much of her career in administrative positions, history professor Candice Goucher has always thought of herself as a scholar first and foremost.

Her research combines the theories and methods of history, archaeology, ethnography, art history, ecology and chemistry. She is well known for her books and articles on African foodways, metallurgy, and popular and political culture, as well as global themes in world history. Candace is currently collaborating on “Striking Iron: The Arts of the African Blacksmith,” an exhibition set to open in June 2018 at the Fowler Museum in Los Angeles, and working on a related book and yet another volume about African ironworking. She’s also an award-winning food history author: her book on how European, African and Asian foods, » More …

Wine industry history project earns Boeing graduate fellowship

vineyardFour years ago, on his way home to Walla Walla from school in Arizona, Taylor Hermsen was thumbing through an in-flight magazine when he was struck by an idea for his doctoral research.

“The magazine was all about wine,” Hermsen said. “Being a native of the Inland Northwest, I thought I knew a lot about my home, but the fact that many people visiting eastern Washington are doing so because of the wine industry had never really occurred to me before. I started wondering how it all got going, and the project kind of snowballed from there.” » More …

History project showcases rare footage of Washington’s 161st Infantry Regiment

WWII archive photo of 161st Infantry soldiers relaxingSometimes you just get lucky. Graduate students Laura Briere and Jared Chastain, along with their faculty adviser, historian Orlan Svingen, were in College Park, Maryland, last spring looking for information about the storied 161st Infantry Regiment when they stepped off the elevator on the wrong floor.

It turned out to be a fortunate mistake. » More …

China Town Hall to focus on state, local impact

China Town Hall“The annual CHINA Town Hall aims to help people nationwide understand the challenges and opportunities of what has been characterized as the most important bilateral relationship of the twenty-first century,” said Lydia Gerber, clinical associate professor of history and director of the WSU Asia Program, the local event sponsor.

As the top U.S. state exporter to China, Washington has an enormous stake in U.S.-China relations. From wheat to apples and Microsoft to Boeing, businesses and industries statewide are directly affected by America’s political and economic strategy regarding China. » More …

African American history at Hanford focus of WSU-National Park Service project

(c) DOE Dupont Collection, waitress and customersWSU Tri-Cities will partner with the U.S. Department of the Interior National Park Service to research and document the African American migration, segregation and overall civil rights history at the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, Hanford.

Michael Mays, WSU Tri-Cities director of the Hanford History Project, said the African American story and perspective remains largely undocumented and untold at the Hanford nuclear site, which is one of three locations of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.

“The history of the science of the Manhattan Project is well known, but the social history, especially with regard to questions of race, class and gender, is much less clearly understood,” he said. » More …

Resilience topic of Asia Program ‘East Meets West’ lecture series

Taj Mahal at sunriseThemes of resilience from multiple regional and disciplinary perspectives will be explored as the WSU Asia Program’s “East Meets West” lecture series continues Sept. 19–Oct. 24 on the WSU Pullman campus.

The 2017 series features seven lectures and one documentary film. All events are free and open to the public.

“We chose the theme of resilience to inspire our students to explore the values of flexibility and courage in response to challenges on both a personal level and through historical and contemporary examples—from the documentary about civil rights » More …

CAS students receive Carson, Auvil undergraduate research awards

portion of the cover of printed programA total of 10 College of Arts and Sciences students received two types of awards from the WSU Office of Undergraduate Research.

Recipients of the Carson and Auvil awards will work with faculty mentors throughout the 2017-18 academic year on research, scholarly and creative projects that advance or create new knowledge in a specific field. » More …

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