In this time of intense focus on technology, what good is a degree in the humanities?
Plenty, say not only Washington State University professors but leading high-tech companies too. And WSU humanities alumni are proving it.
Only weeks before collecting her bachelor of arts degree through the WSU Department of English last December, Allison Hartinger walked right past a job-fair booth seeking software engineers: “I just didn’t see myself with that title,” she said.
The American West was a man’s world in the 19th century, so it wasn’t unusual for some women to dress like men, says Peter Boag, professor of history, and author of Re-Dressing America’s Frontier Past. (University of California Press, 2011)
“(W)hen I started uncovering all these female-to-male cross dressers, I also started to uncover hundreds of stories of men who dressed as women.”
Ask early Hanford workers what they remember about the 1940s, and you’re likely to hear a story about the wind and the dust it whipped up from a desert being scraped bare for new construction. Their stories are among several collected in recent months as part of the oral history project of the Hanford History Partnership, a community collaboration led by WSU Tri-Cities.
“There was a terminator wind, and there was probably 3 to 4 inches of sand blew into our front lawn,” remembered Harold Copeland, who started working at Hanford in 1947 and lived in worker housing in the government town of Richland. “The way they took care of it was the fire department came out with their tanker trucks and hoses and hosed it off our lawns.”
Recently uncovered documents about prewar Japanese intelligence that offer new insights to the World War II Pacific theater will be discussed in a free, public presentation on Wednesday, Sept. 25, at WSU Pullman. Tosh Minohara, professor in the Graduate School of Law at Kobe University, Japan, will present “Reconsidering the Road to Pearl Harbor: The Role of Intelligence in Decision Making,” noon-1:30 p.m., Sept. 25, in Bryan Hall 324.
His approach will be two-fold: first, to briefly overview the obscure history of the Japanese Black Chamber, a code breaking operation; and second, to examine the intelligence dimension of policy formulation in Tokyo. This will include the impact of signals intelligence on decision making, most notably at the critical juncture of November 1941 during U.S.-Japan negotiations. The talk is sponsored by the WSU Department of History, the George and Bernadine Converse Historical Endowment, and the WSU Asia Program.
Elaine Zakarison, Pullman resident and daughter of Fred Yoder, founder of the sociology department, and LeRoy Ashby, retired history professor, are among members of the WSU community who have special memories of attending the March on Washington (D.C.) in 1963, when Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech.