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History | Student News

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.

Jennifer Binczewski successfully defends dissertation

Jennifer Binczewski successfully defended her dissertation, “Solitary Sparrows: Widowhood and the Catholic Community in Post-Reformation England, 1580-1630,” on November 13th. Her research entailed work in twenty-one archives, hunting down evidence about scores of widowed women who supported underground Catholicism in Protestant England.

Congratulations Jennifer!

Briere and Chastain study the 161st Infantry Regiment

We are proud to highlight the work of graduate students Laura Briere and Jared Chastain, along with their faculty adviser, Professor Orlan Svingen. They were in College Park, Maryland last spring looking for information about the storied 161st Infantry Regiment when they mistakenly got off the elevator on the wrong floor. Take a look at their incredible story here in the WSU Insider News:

History project showcases rare footage of Washington’s 161st Infantry Regiment

Philip W. Travis, PhD

Philip W. Travis, PhD, will be on the Peace and Justice Report on Sarasota Public Radio WSLR 96.5 at 9am eastern time, Wed. Oct. 4 discussing his recent book “Reagan’s War on Terrorism in Nicaragua: The Outlaw State.”

If you are interested in checking the program out it streams live and will be archived (follow the link below for the live stream and/or the archived program after the live broadcast).

Peace & Justice Report

Ryan Booth speaks at Gonzaga University

Please join us in congratulating PhD student, Ryan Booth, on his invitation to speak at Gonzaga University. The event, “’They Are Always at the Front:’ Native American Soldiers in the Great War,” will be held in Wolff Auditorium at 6:00 PM on Tuesday, October 31, 2017.

Ryan’s research focuses on Native American military scouts and military service from the mid-nineteenth century through World War I.

Above is a photo that Ryan has included with the presentation of his research; image credit to the Mather’s Museum of World Cultures, Indiana University.

PhD candidate, Greg Atkins’ entry published by ABC-CLIO

ABC-CLIO published Atkins’ entry on Josiah Strong in their encyclopedia, Reforming America: A Thematic Encyclopedia and Document Collection of the Progressive Era.  The entire article can be read here.  Congratulations, Greg!

Dr. Jeffrey Johnson edited the two-volume encyclopedia and took his PhD from WSU.

Reforming America presents a detailed look at the individuals, themes, and moments that shaped this important Progressive Era in American history, this valuable reference spans 25 years of reform and provides multidisciplinary insights into the period.”




“Legacies of the Manhattan Project at 75 Years” call for papers

The Hanford History Project and Washington State University Press are soliciting papers for a collection of essays on the March 2017 conference theme, “Legacies of the Manhattan Project at 75 Years.”  The collection is NOT a “conference proceedings” but rather an effort to gather recent, cutting-edge research that reflects current scholarship on any aspect of the Manhattan Project/Cold War inheritance. We would be delighted to consider for inclusion any work you are presently engaged in pertaining to that theme. See the flyer here for submission information and deadline.

Well over 100 people registered and participated in the March conference. There were outstanding panel discussions, informative updates regarding the evolution of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, and a round-table discussion that concluded the formal program.  The Park’s Hanford unit was visited as well as its crown jewel, B Reactor.

The conference in March also underscored the need to continue to expand the scope of historical inquiry and interpretation, to encompass those stories that have yet to garner the attention they deserve: the stories of often-overlooked groups (African-American and domestic laborers, for instance) without whose efforts the Manhattan Project would have remained a thing of whimsy, a pipe-dream; the stories of the Native American tribes-people and the pre-1943 farming families who were peremptorily uprooted, abruptly divorced from their traditions and ways of life, in order to make way for the government’s massive undertaking; the stories of the tragic human and environmental impacts that were the unintended consequences of an arms race conducted with a war-time sense of urgency; and, more positively, the stories of scientific and technological innovation and advancement developed to remedy those consequences.

The Hanford History Project will be hosting another conference at a date yet to be determined (spring or fall 2019).  A series of events is also planned for Fall 2017…more information forthcoming.

World Politics & Statecraft Fellowship for PhD research available

The Smith Richardson Foundation is pleased to announce its annual World Politics & Statecraft Fellowship competition to support Ph.D. dissertation research on American foreign policy, international relations, international security, strategic studies, area studies, and diplomatic and military history.

The purpose of the program is to strengthen the U.S. community of young scholars and researchers conducting policy analysis in these fields by supporting the research and writing of policy-relevant dissertations through funding of field work, archival research, and language training.

The Foundation will award up to twenty grants of $7,500 each.

The deadline is October 20, 2017.

For further information, please visit:

Please submit your application to do not mail a hard copy.

Smith Richardson Foundation
60 Jesup Road
Westport, CT 06880

Washington State University