The seventh book by Sue Peabody, Meyer Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and History at WSU Vancouver, has been called “a meticulous work of archival detective work” and “both biography and global history at their very best.”
It took 10 years of painstaking research for Peabody to earn that high praise. The result is “Madeleine’s Children: Family, Freedom, Secrets, and Lies in France’s Indian Ocean Colonies,” published in 2017 by Oxford University Press. It is the first full-length biography tracing the lives of slaves in the Indian Ocean world, and it affirms her reputation as the world’s foremost expert on the law of slavery and race in the French Empire.
The narrative brings many dramatic moments to life as Peabody uncovers intimate relationships and legal disputes between slaves and free people in the Indian Ocean world that have been hidden for two centuries.
Peabody calls the book a “microhistory.” That is, it follows one family’s story to paint a broader picture of society in their time. The individual histories of family members illuminate the types of labor slaves performed and the varying nature of their relationships with society and plantation owners.
Tribal organization says students missing out on funding for education
A new organization in Clark County is pressing area school districts to improve identification and counting of Native American students and to reinstate funding for their educational programs.
The Pacific Northwest Center for Cultural Education is a group of tribal members and educators pushing to improve educational opportunities for American Indians and Alaskan Native children. The recently founded organization is still in the process of securing 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, but hopes to make inroads with area school districts this summer.
Steven Fountain, a Washington State University Vancouver professor of history and coordinator of Native American programs for the campus, is among those working with the organization.
“There’s a whole lot of kids who aren’t being served,” Fountain said. “That’s where this larger issue of the under-counting for our Native American community comes in.”
In this podcast episode of George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Dr. Joseph Stoltz sits down with Washington Library research fellow Dr. Lawrence B.A. Hatter, an associate professor of early American history at Washington State University, to discuss his topic, “Negotiating Independence: American Overseas Merchant Communities in the Age of Revolution.”
Hatter is the author of Citizens of Convenience: The Imperial Origins of American Nationhood on the U.S.-Canadian Border (Charlottesville, 2017), which won the 2016 Walker Cowan Memorial Prize.
Seven Washington State University faculty members—all in the College of Arts and Sciences—received fellowships through the 2018 Arts and Humanities Fellowship Program, a program funded by the WSU Office of Research.
The program awarded $60,153 to support six projects that focus on faculty professional goals to advance university-wide arts and humanities initiatives. The provisionally approved Center for the Arts and Humanities will host a monthly Fellows Seminar during the 2018-19 academic year to support and promote the projects.
“These grants showcase the range and innovation of creative and humanistic work at WSU,” said Todd Butler, chair of the fellowship review committee. “These faculty are taking on challenging questions and demonstrating the vital contributions the arts and humanities can make to both today’s society and our knowledge of the past.”
The winning faculty are: Carol Siegel, Department of English, WSU Vancouver; Hallie Meredith, Department of Fine Art, WSU Pullman; Sue Peabody, Department of History, WSU Vancouver; Michael Goldsby and Samantha Noll, Department of Philosophy, WSU Pullman; Julia Cassaniti, Department of Anthropology, WSU Pullman; and Troy Bennefield, School of Music, WSU Pullman.
The War of 1812 holds lessons about the costly error of tariffs — not the threat of Canadians.
By Lawrence B. A. Hatter, associate professor of history at Washington State University and author of Citizens of Convenience: The Imperial Origins of American Nationhood on the U.S.-Canadian Border
Flames may as well have erupted in the White House for a second time in its history last month when President Trump, in a heated phone call with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, invoked the burning of the Executive Mansion by British forces during the War of 1812. The call came as Trump started to impose tariffs on Canada in the name of national security, a move he reinforced last week with attacks on Trudeau after the latter objected to the tariffs during a tumultuous Group of Seven summit in Quebec.
But when it comes both to the war and to national-security threats, Trump has gotten Canada all wrong. First, he erred in painting the United States as the victim of the War of the 1812. In reality, it was the United States that began the war by launching an invasion of Canada, not the other way around. British soldiers set ablaze much of Washington in 1814 — but only in retaliation for U.S. soldiers burning the Upper Canadian capital building in present-day Toronto.
And in fact, the actual history of the war reveals that Trump’s trade policies are deeply misguided as well. By attempting to impose steel tariffs against Canada in the name of national security, Trump is repeating the very mistakes that led to the War of 1812 in the first place. The difference: This time it is the people of the United States who will get burned, rather than the White House.