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History | Faculty News

“Ambitions and Intellect: Pioneering Women at Washington State University

Lipi Turner-RahmanA new exhibit in WSU’s Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections (MASC), “Ambitions and Intellect: Pioneering Women at WSU,” explores the stories of early women contributors at the fledgling college. It is part of this year’s events around Women’s History Month and the Common Reading book “I Am Malala.” An opening reception is planned from 3-4:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 22, in the MASC lobby. Please join us.

Before 1900, women were denied entrance to many Eastern colleges, which were strictly for men only. But in the western states, where there were fewer people, many colleges were coeducational, including Washington Agricultural College and School of Science. The small land-grant college in farm country did something the larger Eastern universities would not do: give women the chance to use their intellect and demonstrate the benefits of higher education for all.

 The exhibit also highlights women’s determination to get an education and how they made their mark in society afterward.

“Countless contributions and achievements of women are absent from our historical memory,” said Lipi Turner-Rahman, exhibit curator and WSU Libraries’ Kimble database coordinator. “The 1862 Morrill Act helped remove educational barriers for women in Washington State at a time when most women were not encouraged to go to college.”

For more information about the exhibit, contact Turner-Rahman at

Dr. Charles Weller translated & edited “The Agony of Socialism: Kazakh Memoirs of the Soviet Past”

Charles WellerDr. Weller translated, edited and published a book by a senior Kazakh scholar, Garifolla Yesim, The Agony of Socialism: Kazakh Memoirs of the Soviet Past (Asia Research Associates, 2017). The book was peer reviewed in Kazakhstan before its original publication in Kazakh and Russian. Dr. Raymond Sun, along with one other senior Soviet/Central Asian scholar,  reviewed and endorsed the English translation before publication. Along with supplying a brief bibliography and recommended reading list and providing editorial clarifications in footnotes, Weller wrote a brief (3-pp) ‘Editorial Preface’ for it. Following is the link to the book:

Dr. Weller is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Roots of Contemporary Issues program (History 105/305).  Read more about Dr. Weller here.



March 15-18 “Legacies of the Manhattan Project Conference” Coming Soon

The Legacies of the Manhattan Project: Reflections on 75 years of a Nuclear World Conference will be held in Richland, Washington from March 15-18.

The conference will focus on the history of the Hanford nuclear production facilities and the site’s impact on the Tri Cities area.  We expect papers on such topics as: the environmental legacies of nuclear materials production; the politics of science, national security, and the state; atomic diplomacy and the Cold War, among others.  See the website for registration, as well as the schedule.

Jillian Gardner-Andrews (, the Project Coordinator, provided an update on the event:

“We are getting closer and closer to the start of the Legacies of the Manhattan Project Conference, and we hope that all of you are as excited as we are. I wanted to take a moment to let all of you know about different events that we have recently added to the conference program.

“The first event is a historic walk on Richland’s Urban Greenbelt Trail (UGT), a 3.2 mile stroll through the city’s center.  Along the way, we’ll stop and look at photos of what the city looked like before the Manhattan Project as well as during its government-owned days. This tour is graciously being led by Richland Parks and Recreation Commission volunteer Nancy Doran. The tour is free and open to the public, will begin at 3:00 on Wednesday March 15th in the lobby of the Richland Red Lion Hotel, and is approximately two hours long. The forecast for Wednesday afternoon is 65 degrees and partly cloudy which will be a nice change from the winter we had. If you are interested in participating in this historic walk before the kick off of our Legacies Conference, please contact me via email or at (509) 372-7447.

“The second event is a tour of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) facilities in North Richland. LIGO is a large-scale physics experiment and observatory to detect cosmic gravitational waves and to develop gravitational-wave observations as an astronomical tool. Two large observatories were built in the United States with the aim of detecting gravitational waves by laser interferometry. The LIGO search conducted from September, 2015 to January, 2016 resulted in the first observation of gravitational waves. This tour which will begin at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday March 16 is being sponsored by the Columbia Chapter of the Health Physics Society. Cost for this tour is $7 (cash or check only). If you are interested in attending this tour please RSVP to Brett Rosenberg at by close of business on Tuesday, March 14. The LIGO observatory has a limit to the number of people they can host so registration will fill up quickly. Tour attendees will need to leave the Richland Red Lion between 5:15-5:30 on Thursday as it is a bit of a drive out to the LIGO Hanford Observatory. Please let Brett know if you are able to shuttle other conference participants or if you are in need of a ride out to the observatory. The link below provides navigational tips for getting to the LIGO facilities.

“Please let me know if you have any questions about either of these events or the conference itself. Also, feel free to share this information with other individuals who may be interested.”


Dr. Sean Wempe’s second article published

Sean Wempe“Peripheral Players? German Colonial Interests, The Press, and the Spirit of Locarno,” has been published in The International History Review, DOI: 10.1080/07075332.2017.1298530.  The abstract of the article can be found here.

Dr. Wempe is an instructor for the Roots of Contemporary Issues Program (History 105).  More information can be found on the “Instructor” page.

Dr. Lawrence Hatter awarded Mount Vernon fellowship

Dr. Lawrence Hatter has been awarded a month-long research fellowship at the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon in Vernon, Virginia.  His fellowship is for the 2017-2018 academic year. Awards are available for research focused on the life and leadership of George Washington, and his place in the development of American civic life and culture.

Dr. Hatter’s research will focus on “Negotiating Independence: American Overseas Merchant Communities in the Age of Revolution.”

Dr. Hatter is the author of Citizens of Convenience: The Imperial Origins of American Nationhood on the U.S.-Canadian Border (University of Virginia Press).


Dr. Barbara Traver’s Article Published in French Colonial History (16) Journal

“The Benefits of Their Liberty”: Race and the Eurafricans of Gorée in Eighteenth-Century French Guiana was published in the French Colonial History Journal, Vol. 16, 2016.  Dr. Traver is a 2011 PhD recipient and teaches at Washington State University Vancouver in Vancouver, Washington and at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon.  Her research interests focus on French Guiana and the French Atlantic colonial world in the late eighteenth century.

The abstract of the article can be viewed here.

Dr. Noriko Kawamura to give talk on her 2000 book in Chicago, Mar 7

“Turbulence in the Pacific: Japanese-U.S. Relations during World War I,” is Noriko Kawamura’s book that was published in 2000.  She will give a talk on March 7, 2017 at the Pritzker Military Museum and Library in Chicago, IL. Colonel Jennifer N. Pritzker and the United States World War One Centennial Commission sponsor the event, and Chicago Public Television will broadcast it later. It will become available through via streaming video and as an audio podcast through iTunes and Stitcher. See the announcement below.


W. Puck Brecher’s new book published by Harvard University Press

Associate Professor W. Puck Brecher of the Department of History had his latest book published:  “Honored and Dishonored Guests – Westerners in Wartime Japan” by Harvard University Press.

Brecher credits Nicholas, Patrick and Michael Frank who entrusted him with the family’s collection of journals, letters, memoirs, interviews, and photos from the war yeas and earlier.  Many others with personal ties to wartime Japan were also kind enough to furnish Brecher with their own unpublished or otherwise proprietary materials.

See the publisher’s web site here, for more information


Lawrence Hatter’s book published

The University of Virginia Press has published Dr. Lawrence Hatter’s book Citizens of Convenience: The Imperial Origins of American Nationhood on the U.S.-Canadian Border. Dr. Hatter’s book received the 2016 Walker Cowen Memorial Prize for ‘an outstanding work of scholarship in eighteenth-century studies.’

See more here.





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