Every year students from across Washington and around the world come to study at Washington State University. But during their time here, how much do they really get to know the beauty, history, and unique landscapes of their Palouse home?
An interdisciplinary WSU team, including faculty from Earth sciences and history, has received a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant to develop a series of courses for students to dig deeply into Palouse history and culture. They hope the program will give students a greater understanding of the unique region while also helping them to grow strong roots — building understanding of what it means to be an active citizen and to be part of a community wherever they end up. The project is one of 224 education grants for curriculum innovation in the humanities awarded by NEH.
The Palouse Matters program will consist of humanities-oriented, interdisciplinary classes that focus on the Palouse and its landscapes. The courses, which will include “Landscapes of the Palouse,” “Digital Palouse,” and “Reading the American Landscape,” will combine content and methods from environmental history, design, ecology, cultural landscape studies, and place-based education, enabling students to make connections among seemingly incongruous subjects and diverse populations.
With the one-year planning grant, the researchers hope to begin offering the courses as part of a new, general education humanities pathway in fall of 2021.