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Dr. Overtoom publishes new article

Assistant Professor Nikolaus Overtoom celebrates for the release of “The Parthians’ Failed Vassalage of Syria: The Shortsighted Western Policy of Phraates II and the Second Reign of Demetrius II (129-125 BCE)” in Acta Antiqua Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, 60.1-2 (2020).

“Acta Antiqua publishes original research papers, review articles and book reviews in the field of ancient studies. It covers the field of history, literature, philology and material culture of the Ancient East, the Classical Antiquity and, to a lesser part, of Byzantium and the Latin culture of Mediaeval, Renaissance and Early Modern Europe, as well as the ’Nachleben’ of Classical Antiquity,” (AKJournals).

Dr. Sue Peabody consulted on L’étrange histoire de Furcy Madeline – catalog companion now available!

A new book Dr. Sue Peabody consulted on, L’étrange histoire de Furcy Madeline, a catalogue companion to the exhibit which opened last fall in Réunion, is now available. Together with the museum director, she is in the process of creating a bilingual traveling exhibit, as well as a pedagogical website. An independent documentary film is also in the works. Congratulations!

Dr. Noriko Kawamura presents in the Malcolm Renfrew Interdisciplinary Colloquium

To Transnationalize War Memory
for Peace and Kyosei: Reconciliation
of Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima


How we remember World War II in the Pacific is clearly divided by national boundaries. The contrast between how Americans and Japanese remember Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor and the U.S. use of the atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki clearly demonstrates this point. This divide is hard to erase in a world that consists of nation-states, but this talk will explore how we may be able to make conscious efforts to build bridges across national boundaries that exist in war memories by learning the other side’s experiences and understanding the common humanity beyond nation-states.

This talk was originally planned as part of the Hiroshima exhibit organized by the University of Idaho Library for the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. The exhibit depicts the exchange of gifts between Hiroshima University and the University of Idaho to share their hopes and commitments to humanity and world peace.

Noriko Kawamura is the Arnold M. and Atsuko Craft Professor in the Department of History in Washington State University in Pullman. She earned a B.A. from Keio University in Tokyo, Japan, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in History from the University of Washington in Seattle. She first taught at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia, and joined WSU’s History Department in 1992.

Kawamura’s research focuses on the history of war, peace, and diplomacy in the Pacific World. She teaches the history of U.S. foreign relations, U.S. military history, World War II in the Pacific, and the Cold War. Her publications include Emperor Hirohito and the Pacific War (University of Washington Press, 2015), Turbulence in the Pacific: Japanese–U.S. Relations during World War I (Praeger, 2000), and Building New Pathways to Peace (University of Washington Press, 2011). She is currently writing a book about Emperor Hirohito’s Cold War, under contract with the University of Washington Press.

A special collection donated to the University of Idaho by Hiroshima University in Japan is on display on the second floor of the U of I Library.  In the early 1950s, as Hiroshima University began to rebuild from the effects of the atomic bomb, the university reached out around the world to ask for book donations. U of I responded with a book and gift of $5 to purchase a tree.

In 2011, U of I received a gift from students at Hiroshima University to recognize the donation. The box included a set of manga about the bomb, copies of the correspondence from 1951-1952, and roof tiles that had been blown off of a local building during the bomb blast and had been dredged off the floor of the Hiroshima River.  See a video tour of the exhibit, “Growing from Ground Zero

The library exhibit and Prof. Kawamura’s talk are co-sponsored by the Borah Foundation and the Martin Institute at the University of Idaho. Sign up for this event at the link here.

Dr. Linda Heidenreich, new book!

Dr Linda Heidenreich’s new book, Nepantla Squared: Transgender Mestiz@ Histories in Times of Global Shift. Published by University of Nebraska Press, you can read about the book and Dr. Heidenreich by clicking here!

Also, click here to check out the Daily Evergreen interview by DE reporter, Anna Young. Dr. Heidenreich talks about the history of the book and explains their writing process and influences for Nepantla Squared. Congratulations Dr. Heidenreich!

Dr. Boag interviewed on iHeartRadio and Jefferson Public Radio!

Professor Peter Boag, historian of the American West, the Pacific Northwest, modern America, the environment, and sexuality, recently guest starred in and iHeartRadio podcast this summer. “Dressed: The History of Fashion – Re-Dressing America’s Frontier Past,” can be found in the iHeart Radio podcast database – click here to listen!

Peter also provided an interview with Jefferson Public Radio (out of Southern Oregon) about the painter William S. Parrott. It was originally live, but the digital version is now available on their website, click here to lsiten!


Dr. Nikolaus Overtoom’s new book, Reign of Arrows: The Rise of the Parthian Empire in the Hellenistic Middle East

Dr. Nikolaus Overtoom’s new book, Reign of Arrows: The Rise of the Parthian Empire in the Hellenistic Middle East is officially published in the US with Oxford University Press!

Reign of Arrows: The Rise of the Parthian Empire in the Hellenistic Middle East provides the first comprehensive study, in almost a century, dedicated entirely to early Parthian history.

Check out the book here!

“Implications of COVID-19 for Atrocity Prevention”

The Seattle Holocaust Center for Humanity will be hosting a noon-hour virtual presentation via Zoom and Facebook Live by a major genocide expert, Dr. James Waller. While COVID-19’s impact continues on a global scale – economically, socially, politically, and existentially – it will be particularly felt in deeply divided, fragile, conflict-prone, or at-risk societies.  In such societies, it is absolutely vital that policy measures be taken for preventive action before risk escalates to the point of mass atrocity.  This presentation will review some of those pressure points related to governance, economic conditions, and social fragmentation.  The pandemic, and its potential to serve as a trigger for mass violence, makes our shared work of atrocity prevention more urgent than ever.



Dr. Andra Chastain has been awarded the Students’ Award for Teaching Excellence!

Dr. Andra Chastain has been awarded the Students’ Award for Teaching Excellence. She will be honored for this at graduation. Details are below. Congrats Andra!


Students’ Award for Teaching Excellence

Andra Chastain

Assistant Professor of History, College of Arts & Sciences


The Students’ Award for Teaching Excellence recognizes a faculty member who commits time outside of the classroom to prevent students from falling through the cracks, demonstrates an enthusiasm for the subject matter, and instills enthusiasm and passion in students.

Andra Chastain may ask a lot of her students, but she gives even more than she asks. In nominating her for the teaching award, a student praised her “desire and commitment to help students succeed” and her willingness to be available whenever a student needs her. “She inspires and helps encourage me as a researcher to dig deeper, think harder and aim beyond what I thought possible,” the nominator added.

Chastain teaches introductory and advanced history classes. Her research and teaching interests include modern Latin America, with a focus on Chile in a global context; the transnational history of aid and development; the global Cold War; urban and environmental history; and the history of science and technology. Her broad curiosity lends excitement in the classroom and an uncommon ability to make students fall in love with history. “I want students to see how knowledge about the past is dynamic and contested—and has serious implications for the present,” she said.

She encourages students to speak up, and her classes are lively with discussion. “I love the opportunity to build a sense of community in my classroom,” she said. “We establish a culture of respectful dialogue from the start.”

Chastain believes in setting high expectations, communicating them clearly and then showing how they are attainable. She is honest about the challenges of the research and writing process. “I know from experience that if a goal seems impossible, procrastination and guilt take over,” she said. “But if a seemingly insurmountable project is broken down into small tasks, and you have the support from peers and your professors to achieve these tasks, you can go farther than you had imagined.”

Chastain earned her bachelor’s degree in 2008 from Reed College in Portland, then went on to earn a master’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2012, both an M.A. and an M.Phil. from Yale University in 2014; and a Ph.D. from Yale in 2018. She has been teaching at WSU Vancouver ever since. She is currently revising her dissertation into a book about the history of the metro system in Santiago, Chile.

While she loves sharing her passions with students, she gains a lot from them too. “I guide the ship, but we are all learning together,” she said. “Their questions provide a foundation for a lively conversation in class—and the process of creating knowledge is all about keeping that conversation going.”