The Department of History stands with President Kirk Schulz and the WSU community in supporting Black Lives Matter!
Note from President Kirk Schulz:
Racism looms over our nation’s soul.
Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery. George Floyd. Three on a seemingly endless list of African American fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, loved ones, and family members, all of whom were killed because they were black.
Each a recent and stark reminder and memorial of the ugliness of historic, systemic inequality.
Each a victim of our country’s severe racial and class disparities.
The COVID‑19 pandemic has laid bare the truth about the unequal access to health care that people of color—specifically African Americans—face. This fact only compounds the current outrage.
We are still so far from achieving the aspirations of racial and social justice.
How do we acknowledge the atrocity and pain of past and recent tragedies? How, especially, do we acknowledge and respond to the ongoing racism suffered by African American students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members when they aren’t treated with the humanity and dignity they deserve?
Given the recent killings and the protests and destruction of the past few days, the words of Martin Luther King Jr. offer a truth worth repeating. In a 1967 speech in which Dr. King referenced the nationwide riots of that summer, he said:
Black lives matter. Racial violence impacts our WSU family. As an intellectual community committed to learning and seeking truth, we must reflect on our own failures—individually and collectively.
In that spirit, we soon will release a report from an investigation into WSU police arrest rates that illustrates we have much work to do. We, like Bill Gardner, chief of university police, are committed to confronting this issue and will, in dialogue with the WSU community, work toward a just solution.
Change starts with each of us, and we must hold ourselves and each other accountable.
We must consider our own roles in maintaining systemic racism and accepting racial violence, even when it makes us uncomfortable. When our actions are informed by the truth of others, we can move forward, together, courageously and realize the aspirations of racial and social justice. Only then can we begin to create an authentic space from which to proceed.
History has long been at the center of a liberal arts education and it remains so today. As both a humanities discipline and a social science, History possesses elements of literary studies, anthropology, economics, and sociology and teaches a variety of skills that are relevant across the entire range of majors offered by the College of Arts and Sciences. At WSU, the Department of History’s Roots of Contemporary Issues Program is at the heart of the university’s general education requirements.
Alongside the History major, the MA, and the PhD, the Department collaborates with a range of graduate and undergraduate programs, including teacher education, pre-law, and interdisciplinary majors in Asian Studies, Women’s History, Political Science, and Cultural Studies. We also offer a of number graduate and undergraduate scholarships and opportunity for students to conduct faculty-mentored research.
“History is about challenge. At WSU, professors and peers challenged me to think outside the box, and create original thoughts and theories often times going against perceived norms. History at WSU challenges students to go beyond, be diligent, and persevere academically. Writing, reading, and thinking skills are developed and molded to form an ever changing and perfecting student experience. I credit my study of history with all my success at WSU and with all the success I hope to have in the future.”
– Kevin Schilling
B.A. History (2017) and Top Ten Senior Awardee
“As the ASWSU student body president, I regularly rely on the skills and competencies I gained in history courses at Washington State University. Critical thinking is consistently reinforced in the WSU Department of History, and that helps me solve complex problems involving student fee increases, curriculum changes, and student safety needs. Additionally, the Department of History places an emphasis on crafting original arguments, and backing them up with credible, solid sources. My position as the top advocate for students requires me to engage in discussions on a daily basis with university staff, faculty, and administrators, as we try to come up with ways to make the WSU student experience the best it can be. With a historical mindset, I am confident in my ability to lead the students of Washington State University into the future.”
– Jordan Frost
Associated Students of Washington State University 2017-2018
The Department of History has produced a 2019 newsletter. We hope to reach out to our friends and supporters every year. Read the Department of History’s annual newsletter here!
Washington State University’s Department of History has long been recognized for its premiere graduate program in the American West—a region rich in cultural, social, and environmental diversity.
Global Leadership Certificate
The Global Leadership Certificate can be integrated with any major and allows students to gain leaderships skills, cross-cultural understanding, and global knowledge. Currently, there are 12 HISTORY courses included on the “coursework” list that count towards the completion of a GLC!