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Critically queer: L Heidenreich explores transgender Mestiz@ history

Linda Heidenreich

As someone who identifies as gender queer, Mestiz@, materialist, and Catholic, L Heidenreich brings a unique perspective to the study of history that is hard to find in most classrooms.

“I loved my history classes growing up, but my family wasn’t in them,” said Heidenreich, an associate professor of history at Washington State University. “It wasn’t until I got to grad school and could choose my focus that I had the opportunity to study the histories I wanted. I think we as history educators have an obligation to make it easier for future generations.”

In the classroom, Heidenreich said the goal of their work is to give young people a broader perspective about the lives and history of LGBTQ people, an area of history which is integral to America’s past and present but is often marginalized. “October is LGBTQ History Month and it’s sad that we need a month to acknowledge the history of our communities,” Heidenreich said. “But nevertheless, I think it is important to send a message about the vital importance of recognizing and exploring the role of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in American history.”

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WSU Insider

Award honors Peabody’s groundbreaking historical work

Sue Peabody.

The French Colonial Historical Society has established a new prize in honor of Sue Peabody, Meyer Distinguished Professor of History at WSU Vancouver. The Sue Peabody Award will be granted to a scholar with a doctoral degree and a full-time position at a scholarly institution outside Europe or North America to support attendance at the FCHS annual meeting.

The award is intended “to further Sue Peabody’s work promoting diversity and internationalization in the Society and in the field,” wrote Jennifer L. Palmer and Richard S. Fogarty, president and past president of the FCHS, respectively, in a letter announcing the award. They praised Peabody for “her eminent stature in the international field of French colonial history and … the high esteem in which she is held in that field and beyond.”

The letter notes in particular that Peabody is recognized for helping to support and promote the work of emerging scholars, including those from Africa, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean. In doing so, Palmer and Fogarty write, “she has expanded the global reach and significance of FCHS as an intellectual organization.”

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WSU Insider

Ways to bridge community divides

Helping to bridge divides of understanding within communities is at the heart of four free, public presentations by Washington State University professors to be hosted online in October.

Jennifer Sherman.
Michael Goldsby.

Sociologist Jennifer Sherman will present “Diamonds in the Rough: The Gentrification of Rural Washington” on Tuesday, Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. and on Tuesday, Oct. 12, at noon. Philosopher Michael Goldsby will present “Why Deny Science” on Wednesday, Oct. 6, at 5:30 p.m. and on Wednesday, Oct. 27, at 6:30 p.m.

Matthew Avery Sutton.
Stephen Stehr.
Stephen Stehr
Bill Kabasenche.

In addition to Sherman and Goldsby, WSU professors Bill Kabasenche in philosophy, Matthew A. Sutton in history and Steven Stehr in political science are members of the Humanities Washington (HW) Speakers Bureau for 2021–23.

The non-partisan Foley Institute seeks to broaden the educational experience of WSU students and the surrounding community by engaging prominent speakers who encourage thought-provoking discussions and by supporting student internships in public service and scholarly research into public policy and political institutions.

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WSU Insider

We the People: The reasoning behind the Vietnam War was not as simple as stopping the spread of communism

Each week, The Spokesman-Review examines one question from the Naturalization Test immigrants must pass to become United States citizens.

Today’s question: Why did the United States enter the Vietnam War?

Matthew Avery Sutton.

“It was about communism, but it was also about capitalism,” said Matthew Sutton, a professor of modern U.S. history at Washington State University.

Sutton, chair of the Washington State University History Department and Berry Family Distinguished Professor in the Liberal Arts, said the roots of America’s involvement in Vietnam go back to the era of European colonialism.

Harry Truman was blamed as the president who “lost China,” Sutton said. None of his predecessors wanted to be labeled as the one who lost South Vietnam. Eisenhower sent advisers and assistance with the condition that the South Vietnamese government lived up to certain standards which it failed to meet.

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Opinion: Evangelicals are one step closer to the ultimate prize: ending abortion in America

Matthew Avery Sutton.

By Matthew Avery Sutton, professor and chair of history at WSU

Thanks to the supreme court’s refusal to act on a new Texas law, American evangelicals are now one step closer to achieving a goal they have pursued for generations: the end of legal abortion in the United States. They believe that stopping abortion is central to keeping the United States a holy and righteous nation, staving off the judgments of God, and surviving the coming apocalypse.

Abortion has not always been controversial among American Protestants. Since colonial times, most Protestants in the United States saw abortion as a legitimate form of birth control. They did not make a clear distinction between terminating a pregnancy and preventing one. Those who believed that contraception was an appropriate practice often had few qualms about abortion when the procedure was performed before “quickening” (the time when a woman begins to feel the fetus move).

This theology cultivates in believers a sense of urgency and certainty and a vision of the world defined in absolute terms. They believe that they are engaged in a zero-sum game of good-versus-evil. Anticipation of the end of time gives evangelicals motivation to act – to preach, to evangelize and to wage culture war.

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The Guardian