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History | History Events

Roots of Contemporary Issues Free Lecture Feb 7, 7 pm, CUB 220

“Coke Isn’t Dope! The Ecological Limits of Coca-Cola Capitalism” is the subject Dr. Bart Elmore of The Ohio State University will speak on at this lecture sponsored by the George and Bernadine Converse Historical Endowment.  The Coca-Cola Company sells billions of servings daily in over 190 countries worldwide.  The flyer can be seen here.

Additional sponsors for this lecture are the Roots of Contemporary Issues Program, Department of History; the WSU College of Arts and Sciences, and the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service.


Dr. Noriko Kawamura at the German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ)

Noriko KawamuraDr. Kawamura, of the Department of History, WSU, will give an invited talk at the last session of the DIJ History and Humanities Study Group in 2016: Thursday, December 8 in Tokyo, Japan.

Emperor Hirohito from the Pacific War to the Cold War.

Emperor Showa, better known in the English-speaking world as Emperor Hirohito, has been one of the most controversial figures in the history of the Pacific War. He was both sovereign of the state and commander in chief of the Japanese imperial forces; but above all, he was the manifestation of divinity and a symbol of the national and cultural identity of Japan. Yet under the Allied occupation the emperor was spared from the Tokyo war crimes trial and continued to reign in postwar Japan until his death in 1989 as “the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people” under the new democratic constitution written by the U.S. occupiers.

This talk will examine the extraordinary transformation of Emperor Hirohito from a divine monarch during the Pacific War to a humanized symbolic monarch supposedly with no political power during the occupation years (1945-1952). The talk will focus on the paradoxical role Emperor Hirohito played at home and abroad as tension between the United States and the Soviet Union escalated into the Cold War in East Asia.

Kawamura suggests that underneath the stereotypical portrayal of Emperor Hirohito as a passive but shrewd survivor/collaborator of the U.S. occupiers, he acted as a major player in U.S.-Japanese diplomatic negotiations behind closed doors and participated in the shaping of Japan’s domestic and national security policies. The talk will explore possible reasons behind the emperor’s actions.

Free lecture: Volcanoes, Climate and People… Dr. John Wolff Nov. 9, 7 p.m.

mount-st_-helensProfessor and Associate Director, John Wolff, of the School of the Environment, is giving a Roots of Contemporary Issues-sponsored lecture on Wednesday, Nov 9, 7pm, CUB 220 (Senior Ballroom). The lecture is titled “Volcanoes, Climate, and People: Natural vs. Anthropogenic Causes of Global Change.”   This lecture is also in partnership with the WSU Cougar Historical Society.

For more detailed information on the subject, see more here.

Dr. Lawrence Hatter to give talk at Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy Nov. 3.

Lawrence HatterDr. Lawrence Hatter will give a talk November 3 on his forthcoming book, “Citizens of Convenience: The Imperial Origins of American Nationhood on the U. S. – Canadian Border” at the University of Missouri’s Kinder Institute for Constitutional Democracy.  See the link to the UM Colloquium Series.

He received his M.A. in History from University of Missouri and his Ph.D. from University of Virginia, and he currently serves as Assistant Professor of History at Washington State University. He has published articles in Journal of the Early Republic, Diplomatic History, and American Review of Canadian Studies, among other places, and his current book project, Citizens of Convenience: Nationhood, Empire, and the Northern Border of the American Republic, 1783-1820 is under contract with University of Virginia Press, to be published as part of the Early American Histories series.

Dr. Mandy Link, (PhD 2015) to give lecture Nov 3, 6:00 pm

townsleyDr. Mandy Link, who earned her PhD in  World History in 2015 at WSU, is a guest lecturer for the Honors 380 class November 3, at 6 p.m. in the Elmina White Honors Hall Lounge on the WSU campus.  The title of the lecture is “A Foolish Idea? Building the Irish National War Memorial and the Construction of National Identity.”

Dr. Link is a visiting assistant professor at Eastern Oregon University.  See the flyer here.



Dr. Matthew Sutton to give talk October 17 at 5 p.m. in Todd 430

Matthew SuttonDr. Matthew Sutton will give a talk titled “Anticipating the Antichrist: The Rise of American Fundamentalism in a Global Age.”

Starting in the early 20th century, a colorful and charismatic group of radical Protestants, anticipating the end of the world, paradoxically transformed it. Perceiving the United States as besieged by Satanic forces—communism and secularism, family breakdown and government encroachment—Billy Sunday, Billy Graham, and many others took to the pulpit and airwaves to explain how Biblical end-times prophecy made sense of a world ravaged by global wars, genocide, and the threat of nuclear extinction. Rather than withdraw from their communities to wait for Armageddon, they used what little time was left to warn of the coming Antichrist, save souls, and prepare the United States for God’s final judgment. In his talk, Prof. Sutton will show the rise of the American Christian Right from the beginning of the 20th century until today.  See the poster for sponsorship information.


Roots of Contemporary Issues Conference Oct. 29 in CUE 518

The Roots program and History Graduate Student Association are pleased to circulate the program for this Fall’s Undergraduate Research Conference. The conference will take place on Saturday, October 29 in CUE 518. Fourteen former Roots students will present the results of their semester-long research projects and compete for cash awards. Graduate students and faculty have graciously volunteered their time and energy to serve as judges, mentors, and panel chairs.

The conference is being held in conjunction with one of the University’s Academic Showcase events.

You are cordially invited to attend, and please circulate the attached program to your students and encourage them to attend as well.

Please direct any questions to Dr. Clif Stratton.

Dr. Erik Loomis, University of Rhode Island will give lecture Oct. 14

erik_loomissized1Erik Loomis, Assistant Professor of History at the University of Rhode Island will be giving a lecture on campus next Friday, October 14 @ 11am in the Bundy Reading Room (Avery Hall).

His talk is titled “Working-Class Environmentalism: Labor Unions and the Pacific Northwest Forests.” Loomis is the author of two recent books on labor and environment, Empire of Timber: Labor Unions and the Pacific Northwest Forests (Cambridge University Press, 2015) and Out of Sight: The Long and Disturbing Story of Corporations Outsourcing Catastrophe (The New Press, 2015).

Erik will also be giving a talk at the University of Idaho that same afternoon at 3:30pm in the Teaching Learning Center (TLC) on the UI campus, room 032.

Washington State University