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History | History Events

RCI George & Bernadine Converse Lecture with Dr. Breland-Noble

“AAKOMA: Understanding Global-Historical Context and Complexity of Mental Health & Depression Disparities in Black Youth”

While the prevalence of depression rates varies little across racial groups of teens, Black (African American, Caribbean Black, Black African and Black Latinx) youth face significant disparities in accessing state of the art care. This presentation will illuminate the underlying historical and globally applicable psychological barriers to depression treatment engagement and research participation cited by Black youth, families and communities.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019 at 7 PM – 9 PM
CUB Sr. Ballroom  220

Reframing Landscapes: Digital Practices and Place-based Learning

Landscapes are persistent and dynamic characters in our lives, yet they often go unexamined. We may easily take for granted the crisscrossed and subdivided roadways, zoning ordinances, waterways, and cultural assumptions that give shape to our online maps and automated GPS systems. At the heart of WSU’s land grant mission is the idea that places matter, that they have a history, that our relationships to places are deeply connected to the people with whom we share them and the histories that animate them. But how can we better make places a conscious factor in our scholarship and research, our decision-making, our teaching, and our community-building efforts that extend beyond the University landscapes? How can we reframe landscapes that are indelibly marked by colonial and violent histories? The 2019 Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation’s Spring Symposium will highlight projects both external and internal to WSU that seek to reframe assumed narratives, representations, and relationships to and with place, new digital projects and techniques, and innovative pedagogical practices with an eye toward collaborations and meaningful partnerships.


Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation, WSU Libraries, WSU English Department, WSU History Department, WSU College of Education, WSU Native Programs, Pettyjohn Memorial Fund, WSU Office of the Provost.


Monday, March 4th, 10:00am-3:00pm

CUB Junior Ballroom


Tuesday, March 5th

Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation, 4th Floor, Holland Library

Dr. Boag’s talk, “Alternative Masculinities in the ‘Old West’: Some Stories of Subversion, Resistance, and Acceptance” for LCHS

The Latah County Historical Society is hosting a series of talks exploring some of the myths that are so common about the American West. The series begins on Tuesday, February 19 with WSU History Department professor and Columbia Chair in the History of the American West, Dr. Peter Boag. Dr. Boag’s talk, “Alternative Masculinities in the ‘Old West’: Some Stories of Subversion, Resistance, and Acceptance” shares stories of individuals whose truths subvert common wisdom about the region’s gender stereotypes, whose lives of resistance to societal norms question masculinity and femininity, and whose oft-times acceptance by their communities flies in the face of stereotypes, prejudices, and violence against difference that plagues the region to this day.
The public is invited to join in for this free event on Tuesday, February 19 at 6 p.m. in the Arts Workshop at the 1912 Center (412 East 3rd St, Moscow). Additional dates in the series are March 26, “American Indian Education and Contested Power” with Philip Stevens, and April 16, “Women’s Work in the West” with Katrina Eichner.
For more information, please contact or call (208) 882-1004.

Guest Lecture with Professor Peter A. Kopp, “Hoptopia”

“Hoptopia: A World of Agriculture and Beer in Oregon’s Willamette Valley”

Prof. Kopp is an Environmental historian of the American West in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. His first book Hoptopia: A World of Agriculture and Beer in Oregon’s Willamette Valley (Berkeley, 2016) won the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association’s Book Award in 2017.

Kopp is Associate Professor of History and Director of Public History at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Associate Professor of Religion David Eastman gives talk

“Why are Abraham’s Children Fighting”

Wed, April 4, 4pm, Todd 216

Free & Open to the Public

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are the three primary religious traditions of the western world. All three trace their roots back to Abraham, so how can they be so different from each other? And why has there been such a history of animosity between followers of these religious traditions? This discussion begins with the story of Abraham himself, because the seeds of dissent and rivalry are sown there. After considering the historical perspective, we will then consider how a better understanding of religious narratives can empower us to be more thoughtful and responsible citizens of our contemporary world.

Professor Dee Garceau speaks on March 27th

“Narrative and Counter – Narrative in Commemorative Performance: Native American Powwow Dancing and African American Stepping”

Tuesday, 27 March 2017

4:00 to 5:00 p.m., Elson S. Floyd Cultural Center


Historian and filmmaker Dee Garceau discusses and presents clips from her two documentaries “We Sing” and “Stepping: Beyond the Line,” exploring powwow dances and songs of Blackfeet and Salish people in Montana, an intertribal drum in Idaho Falls, and African-American stepping, a percussive dance invented in the twentieth century by black fraternities and sororities. Both African-American and Native American dances and songs commemorate historic identities in ways that differ from conventional historical narratives about each group. In the process, they broaden audience perceptions about their cultures in the American West. In discussing her work, Prof. Garceau also looks introspectively, commenting on the challenges of her role as a white filmmaker who examines cultures to which she is an outsider. The program is open to the university community and the general public.


In addition to the documentary films noted here, Dee Garceau, Professor of History, Emerita, Rhodes College, and formerly chair of the Women’s Studies Program at Rhodes, is author of Creating Family: Cohabitation in the Intermountain West, 1890-1959 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, forthcoming) and The Important Things of Life: Women, Work and Family in Sweetwater County, Wyoming, 1880-1929 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1997). She has also co-edited Across the Great Divide: Cultures of Manhood in the American West (New York: Routledge, 2001). By the way, Dr. Garceau earned her M.A. in history at WSU in 1981.

HIST/WST 298 at WSUV visited by author Michael Helquist!

Undergraduate students in Dr. Mercier’s Women’s History course loved Michael Helquist’s book about the fiery and uncompromising radical physician Marie Equi. Students not only find Equi fascinating—a professional woman in a man’s world, an open lesbian, a committed activist for the causes affecting women and workers—but they especially connect to someone who lived in their own backyard of the Pacific Northwest. Helquist’s balanced, gracefully written, and accessible study pieces together scattered sources to tell a terrific story, one that introduces students to important themes of early 20th century, such as the Progressive era, suffrage movements, the IWW and workers’ struggles, the Red Scare, women’s social and political networks, and women’s health issues and illegal abortion. This is a book that will be useful to teachers and professors wishing to engage a wide variety and level of students.

Michael Helquist provided a detailed report of his visit to Washington State University Vancouver and his interaction with the students of HIST/WST 298. Take a look at his kind words here.

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.

Under the Skin: Dismantling Borders within Borders

You are warmly invited to this exhibit of collective art works on representing identity and stereotypes at Gallery 3 Fine Arts Department WSU. This will include work completed by our own Yvonne Burliner at the Under the Skin workshop last Thursday with some of her students. There will be food and a chance to share thoughts.


“Under the Skin is a community that started to be formed in 2016 and continues to offer spaces of dialogue, creation, and healing. Our revolution is a process and a practice to decolonize the self by continuously attempting to listen to our voices, write our stories, and transform our discourses and interactions. Under the Skin is an invitation to be part of a critical and dialogical community that dismantles stereotypes and labels.”