Skip to main content Skip to navigation
History | Archives

2017 Celebration of Assessment Excellence

The Department of History is honored to receive praise from the Office of Assessment of Teaching and Learning for not only the success of the general history courses being offered, but also for the success of the Roots of Contemporary Issues UCORE program. History as a whole department was recognized for its high quality learning and assessment practices while RCI was recognized for its exemplary student learning assessment system for a UCORE program in partnership with WSU Libraries.

Marina Tolmacheva attends summer conferences

As we settle into this new academic year we want to take a moment to look back and appreciate some achievements that were not previously recognized over the last few months as we transitioned through staff changes!

Marina Tolmacheva traveled to two international meetings this summer. In August, she attended the 25th International Congress of the History of Science and Technology in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Tolmacheva presented a paper in the symposium on the “History of Islamic Science: Global and Local,” and also gave the academic year’s Inaugural Lecture in the Geography Program at the Universidade Federal da Integração Latino-Americana (Foz do Iguaçu, Parana). In July, she attended the regional conference of the Central Eurasian Studies Society in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic. The conference was hosted by the American University of Central Asia. In addition to presenting a paper, Tolmacheva was invited to speak at two other local universities: the International Relations Faculty at Balasagyn National University and in the Department of Foreign Languages at the International University of Kyrgyzstan.

Review the conferences and their content at the links below!

Professor Sue Peabody has a new book out!

Professor Sue Peabody has published a new book: Madeleine’s Children: Family, Freedom, Secrets, and Lies in France’s Indian Ocean Colonies.

Madeleine’s Children is rare narrative in world history of an enslaved person challenging his status in court and winning his freedom. It is the first full length biography tracing slavery in the Indian Ocean world and contains a detailed family saga of love, betrayal, hope, and struggle set against the broader context of plantation slavery, Parisian society, and colonization.

Madeleine’s Children

History Faculty

Raymond Sun with students

WSU history faculty have a number of responsibilities: teaching, research, and service to the department, the university and the profession.

Our faculty consists of Full, Associate, Assistant, and Clinical Professors, as well as Instructors and Senior Instructors. All ranks participate in the department’s research and teaching mission.

Our professors have published extensively in a wide range of fields and have earned a reputation for high-quality classroom teaching.  Our senior faculty routinely teach undergraduate courses and participate in faculty-mentored student research at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Whether you are a freshman, a transfer student, or a senior, you will find many opportunities to interact with a wide variety of committed and talent teachers and scholars.

Guide to Graduate Fields of Study & Major Professors

Faculty MemberE-mail
Bauman, Robert (Tri-Cities)
American history and public history
Boag, Peter (Pullman)
American West, the Pacific Northwest, modern America, the environment, and sexuality
Brecher, W. Puck (Pullman)
Early and Modern Japan
Chastain, Andra (Vancouver)
Modern Latin America, transnational history, urban history, and the history of technology
Farley, Brigit (Tri-Cities)
Russian and East European history
Gordillo, Luz Maria (Vancouver)
Transnational and immigration studies, Chicana feminist theory, transnational sexualities, and global feminism
Hatter, Lawrence B. A. (Pullman)
Early America, Atlantic World, Borderlands history
Heidenreich, Linda (Pullman)
Chicana/Chicano Studies, Queer Studies, History and Culture of 19th-Century Greater Mexico
Hoch, Steven (Tri-Cities)
Modern Russian history, European agrarian history, and historical demography
Kale, Steven D. (Pullman)
19th-century Europe, modern France, and postwar Europe
Kawamura, Noriko (Pullman)
U.S. foreign relations, U.S.–East Asian relations, and modern Japanese history
McCoy, Robert (Pullman)
Public history
Mercier, Laurie (Vancouver)
United States, the American West, the Pacific Northwest, immigration and migration, and American labor
Peabody, Sue (Vancouver)
Early modern Europe, Atlantic and Indian Ocean, world slavery and race, History in Media and Popular Culture
Sanders, Jeffrey (Pullman)
Environmental, Pacific Northwest, and U.S. West history
Spohnholz, Jesse (Pullman)
Early modern European social, cultural, and religious history
Sun, Raymond (Pullman)
Social history of religion, modern German history, Holocaust and genocide studies, military history
Sutton, Matthew A. (Pullman)
20th-century United States, cultural, and religious history
Svingen, Orlan (Pullman)
Public and United States history
Thigpen, Jennifer (Pullman)
19th-century U.S. history, women and gender, colonialism, and the West
Wang, Xiuyu (Vancouver)
Modern Chinese history, ethnicity, religion and nationalism in China, modern East Asian history, and world history
Wright, Ashley (Pullman)
Modern Britain, colonial Burma, British Empire, World History

History Club

The WSU History Club is a recognized student organization open to students from any major.  History Club members participate in in a variety of social, educational, and service activities.

facebook logo   Join the Facebook HERE!

History Department Chair and French historian, Dr. Steve Kale, delivers a talk and answers questions from more than 230 students as part of a History Club-sponsored presentation following the ISIS attack on Paris in late 2015.

The History Club’s goal is to help students, of any year and major, explore their historical interests and interact with lovers of history on campus.

This year the History Club has elected an entirely new panel of student leaders and is planning a year full of on campus events, trivia, debate, and internship opportunities.

2018 – 2019 Officers and Meeting Info


President:  Hunter Orcutt


Vice President:  Colton Steele


Treasurer:  Elizabeth Biggs


Secretary: Timothy Shevchuk



Meetings are held bi-weekly on Thursdays

in Wilson Short 03 @ 4:10 – 5:00 PM

(ground floor next to the Ombudsman’s Office)





The Hanford History Project

Through the Hanford History Project, WSU leads a coalition of community partners in preserving—and enabling research on—the history of the greater Hanford community.

Hanford B Reactor under construction, 1944
Hanford B Reactor under construction, 1944

From its crucial role in the Manhattan Project through the present-day focus on environmental cleanup and lingering health effects, the history of the Tri Cities is fundamental to major historical questions regarding national security, urban planning, the American West, science and technology, the environment, and other topics.

Through contract with the US Department of Energy and donations from community partners, the Hanford History Project is developing an archive and museum from major collections of never-before-seen documents and unique artifacts. Current priorities include digitizing our collection of oral histories and connecting them to relevant researchers. Student interns are hard are work cataloging the archival collections we have received from the Department of Energy, after which we will turn towards developing finding aids and making the collections accessible to scholars.

Eventually, we hope to establish a museum and archival reading room near (or at) the planned visitor center for the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, of which Hanford represents one-third (along with Los Alamos and Oak Ridge). This will help in bringing local residents and tourists into these historical conversations.

Robert Bauman

Robert Bauman

Associate Professor of History

WSU Tri-Cities



Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara, 1998

Academic & Professional Interests

Bauman teaches American history and public history courses, including courses on the civil rights movement, immigration, migration and ethnic identity, and the Cold War. Bauman’s research interests are in the areas of race and ethnicity in the American West and poverty and public policy.


Bauman’s most recent publications include “Jim Crow in the Tri-Cities, 1943–1950,” Pacific Northwest Quarterly (Summer 2005), “The Black Power and Chicano Movements in the Poverty Wars in Los Angeles,” Journal of Urban History (January 2007), and “Kind of a Secular Sacrament,” Catholic Historical Review, April 2013. His latest book Race & The War on Poverty From Watts to East L.A.was published by the University of Oklahoma Press fall 2008.

Honors & Awards

Professor Bauman has been invited to present his research on the War on Poverty at prestigious academic institutions, including Dartmouth College, the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University, and the Miller Center for Public Affairs at the University of Virginia.

His article on racial segregation in the Tri-Cities was given the Charles Gates Award for the best article to appear in the Pacific Northwest Quarterly in 2005.

W. Puck Brecher

W. Puck Brecher


Associate Professor of History
Wilson-Short 313


Ph.D., University of Southern California, 2005

Academic & Professional Interests

Dr. Brecher specializes in early modern and modern Japanese social and cultural history. His past research projects have focused on early modern Japanese thought, aesthetics, and urban history, as well as contemporary environmental issues. Currently he is working on several projects pertaining to race relations during the Asia-Pacific War and the historical development of private spheres in Japan.




2019 Co-editor. Defamiliarizing Japan’s Asia-Pacific War, University of Hawaii Press.

Honored and Dishonored Guests: Westerners in Wartime Japan (Harvard University Asia Center, 2017).

The Aesthetics of Strangeness: Eccentricity and Madness in Early Modern Japan (University of Hawaii Press, 2013).

Articles & Chapters


2018 “Contested Utopias: Civilization and Leisure in the Meiji Era,” Asian Ethnology 77:1&2 (2018): 31-53.

2017 “Eurasians and Racial Capital in a ‘Race War’,” Asia Pacific Perspectives 14:2 (Spring 2017): 4-19.

2016 “Warugaki de aru koto: Edo jidai no kodomotachi no hankô no rinri,” in Edo no naka no Nihon, Nihon no naka no Edo, Peter Nosco, James E. Ketelaar, and Yasunori Kojima, eds. Tokyo: Kashiwa shobo

2016    A Miscellany of Eccentricities: Spirituality and Obsession in Hyakka kikōden,” Asian Ethnology 75:2.

2015    “Being a Brat: The Ethics of Child Disobedience in the Edo Period,” in Values, Identity, and Equality in 18th– and 19th-Century Japan, Peter Nosco, James E. Ketelaar, and Yasunori Kojima, eds. Leiden, Boston, Tokyo: Brill, pp. 80-109.

2014    “Precarity, Kawaii, and their Impact on Environmental Discourse in Japan,” in Visions of Precarity in Japanese Popular Culture and Literature, Roman Rosenbaum and Kristina Iwata Weickgenannt, eds. London, New York: Routledge, pp. 43-63.

2013    “Sustainability as Community: Healing in a Japanese Ecovillage,” The Electronic Journal of Contemporary Japanese Studies 13:3 (2013), pp. 1-23.

2013    “Post-Disaster Japan’s Environmental Transition,” in Values in Sustainable Development, ed. Jack Appleton. London, New York: Routledge, pp. 172-181.

2012    “Useless Losers: Marginality and Modernization in Early Meiji Japan,” The European Legacy 17:6 (2012): pp. 803-817.

2010    “In Appreciation of Buffoonery, Egotism, and the Shômon School: Koikawa Harumachi’s Kachô kakurenbô.” Early Modern Japan: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 18 (2010): pp. 88-102.

2010    “Eccentricity as Ideology: Biographies of Meiji Kijin.” Japanese Language and Literature, 44:2 (October 2010): pp. 213-237.

2010    “Kôetsumura: Of Rhythms and Reminiscence in Hon’ami Kôetsu’s Commune.” Japan Review, 22: pp. 27-53.

2010    “Brewing Spirits, Brewing Songs: Saké, Haikai, and the Aestheticization of Suburban Space in Edo Period Itami.” Japan Studies Review, XIV: pp. 17-44.

2009    “Down and Out in Negishi: Reclusion and Struggle in an Edo Suburb,” Journal of Japanese Studies 35:1 (Winter 2009): pp. 1-35.

2006    “Bungei ni okeru ‘ki’: rekishi wo kaeru gendôryoku ka? Sore to mo senryakuteki junnô ka?Nichibunken 35: 27-34.

2005    “To Romp in Heaven: A Translation of the Hôsa Kyôshaden.” Early Modern Japan: An Interdisciplinary Journal 13 (Spring 2005): pp. 11-27.

1999    “Shizen to bunka no hikaku shakaigaku,” in Chiiki to Bunka, Yasui Koji, ed. Nagano, Japan: Kyôdô Press, pp. 233-59.


Steven Hoch

Steven Hoch

Professor of History

WSU Tri-Cities


Ph.D., Princeton University, 1983

Academic & Professional Interests

Hoch’s research focuses on modern Russian history, European agrarian history, and historical demography.


Hoch’s publications include the prize-winning Serfdom and Social Control in Russia: Petrovskoe, a Village in Tambov, a translation from French into Russian of Louis Henri’s Metodika analiza v istoricheskoi demografii, and numerous articles and essays on Russian social and economic history.

Washington State University