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College of Arts and Sciences Published research/scholarship/creative work

Social tensions preceded disruptions in ancient Pueblo societies

Cliff Palace of the Ancestral Pueblo people.Drought is often blamed for the periodic disruptions of ancient Pueblo societies, but research with potential implications for the modern world, a WSU archaeologist has found evidence that slowly accumulating social tension likely played a substantial role in three dramatic upheavals in Pueblo development.

“Societies that are cohesive can often find ways to overcome climate challenges,” said Tim Kohler, Regents professor of » More …

Students pen original songs of protest, social commentary

Jacob Wade, Letícia Monteiro, America Hoxeng, and Gabe Condon.From the morality of science and the banality of pandemic lockdown to struggles with money, police, queerness, and being the only girl in the band—the diverse topics of songs composed by students in Gabe Condon’s Songwriting II course reflect a wide range of social concerns and music created to address them.

For their capstone project, the 11 emerging songwriters composed songs focused on topics of protest and social commentary, one of several thematic areas they studied during the semester. » More …

Protein limits in prehistoric Pacific Coast diets

Salmon jumping upstream.Humans cannot live on protein alone—not even the ancient indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest whose diet was once thought to be almost all salmon.

In a new paper led by WSU anthropologist Shannon Tushingham, researchers document the many dietary solutions ancient Pacific Coast people in North America likely employed to avoid “salmon starvation,” a toxic and potentially fatal condition brought on by eating too much lean protein. » More …

Author explores family’s life in the wilderness

Remote: Finding home in the Bitterroots, DJ Lee.Many of DJ Lee’s stories in Remote: Finding Home in the Bitterroots embody the powerful force of the Selway River that carves out a portion of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness in Idaho and Montana, the spiritual home Lee discovered in midlife. Lee’s 2020 memoir is also the culmination of research into her family history with the wilderness area, as well as a tribute to her missing friend and retired wilderness ranger, Connie Saylor Johnson.

“My family has been connected to the Selway-Bitterroot for nearly a century, but I » More …

Study shows recovery can start without sobriety

People at a table with coffee.Harm reduction treatment helped people experiencing homelessness and alcohol use disorder reduce their drinking and improve their health–even if they didn’t quit drinking alcohol.

“This approach has the potential to help anybody who would like to change their alcohol use but might not be ready or able to stop entirely,” said WSU psychology professor Susan » More …

Working forward

Stefan Bradley.Growing up in Yakima, Washington, Stefan Bradley (’98 MA history) realized that he learned about Black history mostly at home and at church⁠—not in school.

“Most of the things that we discussed in class that had to do with Black people ended up being uncomfortable,” Bradley recalls. “And I’m not blaming this precisely on the educators that I had, because I had really good educators. It’s just what » More …

NEH essay sheds light on 1921 Tulsa Massacre

The heart of the prosperous African-American district of Greenwood after the massacre. National Archives.Shock, horror, shame, disgust, sadness, inspiration, appreciation…

Thabiti Lewis’ essay on the 1921 Tulsa Massacre elicits a gamut of emotions throughout its 3,500 gripping words. The WSU Vancouver professor of English and associate vice chancellor for academic affairs co-authored the piece on an overlooked series of historic tragedies that he hopes can help spur change 100 years later. » More …

Overcoming pandemic challenges

Greg Yasinistky.Award-winning WSU saxophonist Greg Yasinitsky takes a little time each year to sit down at his computer and digitally mix a birthday song for his daughter.

His nearly 20 years of experience integrating self-recoded vocal and instrument tracks into an ever more seamless rendition of ‘Happy Birthday to You’ paid off big last March when the coronavirus pandemic hit. » More …

Rapid evolution may help adaptation to climate change, competition

Fruit flies on a leaf.Loss of biodiversity is a growing worldwide concern. A new study shows that species can adapt rapidly to an invader and that this evolutionary change can affect how they deal with a stressful climate.

“Our results demonstrate that interactions with competitors, including invasive species, can shape a species’ evolution in response to climatic change,” said co-author Seth Rudman, a WSU Vancouver » More …

Review: Legacies of the Manhattan Project

Book Cover: Legacies of the Manhattan Project: Reflections on 75 Years of a Nuclear World.A scholarly retrospective that goes beyond the Hanford Site, this second book in the Hanford Histories series explores the myriad impacts that the top-secret government operation has left on the world, from education, health, and the environment to politics and pop culture. The depth and breadth of the collection makes clear that the history of implosion science remains relevant.

In his introduction, Michael Mays, professor of English at WSU Tri-Cities, director of the Hanford History Project, series editor, and » More …