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History | Instructors

Yvonne Berliner

Yvonne Berliner
Wilson-Short Hall 349

Yvonne received a PhD in History from the Universidad de Chile in Santiago, Chile in 2006 and an M.A. in History of the Americas there in 1999. She also holds an M.Ed. from Virginia Tech and a B.A. in Political Science from Bryn Mawr College. She has taught at the Universidad de los Andes in Chile and began teaching at WSU in the Spring of 2009. Her areas of expertise include Latin American History, World History and a special interest in Latin American Women’s History.

Roger Chan

Roger Chan
Wilson-Short Hall 318

Roger is a full-time instructor in the Roots of Contemporary Issues (RCI) program.

Roger’s teaching and research interests are centered on late Imperial China, modern China, modern Japan, and Western legal history. In addition to courses in Asian studies, Chan teaches world civilizations in the General Education Program.

Julian Dodson

Julian Dodson

Wilson-Short Hall 343

Julian earned his Ph.D in history from the University of New Mexico in 2015. He earned his MA in history from The University of North Carolina, Charlotte and he holds a BA in history from North Carolina A&T State University. He is a Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in the Roots of Contemporary Issues (RCI) program. Julian’s teaching and research interests include nineteenth and twentieth-century Mexican history, specifically the period of the Mexican revolution, 1910-1940.  Other interests include the history of the U.S.-Mexico border, U.S.-Mexico diplomatic relations, environmental history, transnational history, the history of the Mexican Catholic church, gender and cultural history.

Rebecca Ellis




Wilson-Short Hall 345



Dr. Ellis is a post-doctoral fellow in the Roots of Contemporary Issues program at Washington State University. She graduated in May 2016 from the University of New Mexico with a doctorate in Latin American History specializing in the histories of gender, labor, and disability in Argentina. Her dissertation, “‘Basically Intelligent:’ The Blind, Intelligence, and Gender in Argentina, 1880-1939,” is one of the first historical analyses of disability in Latin America. It examines the ways that blind leaders and sighted advocates for the blind attempted to differentiate the blind as “safe” in an era of eugenic claims about the dangers of inherited disability. She argues that the contested meanings of blindness created avenues for blind leaders to take control over institutions for the blind and redirect services for the blind around their own goals.

Dr. Ellis conducted research for her dissertation with the aid of a Fulbright International Research Fellowship, the Russell J. and Dorothy S. Bilinski Dissertation Fellowship and the Latin American and Iberian Institute Dissertation Fellowship. Aspects of her dissertation research will be published in the forthcoming volume Disability and Masculinity from Oxford University Press.

Phillip Guingona





Wilson-Short Hall 313


Phillip Guingona is a historian of transnational Asia who recently completed his PhD at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He joined the Department of History at WSU as a postdoctoral fellow in the Roots of Contemporary Issues program in 2016. He is excited to bring an Asian-global perspective to his RCI courses and discuss topics such as South China Sea disputes, early-modern entrepôts and trade-systems, Orientalism, and diverse ways of viewing gender, race, and space. His dissertation, “Crafted Links and Accidental Connections of Empire: A History of Early Twentieth Century Sino-Philippine Interaction,” which examines avenues of interaction between China and the Philippines during a period of rapid change, proposes a transnational model that incorporates both ultra-national and sub-national scales through related cases. He is working on turning this work into a monograph. His article about Albino Sycip, an influential Chinese scholar and businessman from the Philippines, will appear soon in the Journal of World History (27, no. 1). He recently completed another article about the 16th century mariner (or pirate) Limahong and alternative nationalisms in China and the Philippines, and he is working on new projects on Chinese students in the Philippines, forestry in Asia, the Bureau of Non-Christian Tribes, and mixed-heritage Asian marriages in port-city Asia. For more on Phillip’s research and teaching, see his website:

Shawna Herzog

Shawna Herzog
Wilson-Short Hall 314

Dr. Herzog received her PhD in World History in July 2013 from Washington State University. She earned an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis on History, Women’s Studies, and Political Science from California State University, Fresno, where she also completed a B.A. in German Language and Criminology. Dr. Herzog spent several years as a Victim’s Advocate in a county prosecutor’s office providing services to victims of domestic and sexual violence.

Dr. Herzog’s primary research and teaching fields are imperialism, gender, modern Britain/ British Empire, and slavery in the Indian Ocean World. Her work focuses on the Indian Ocean World and slave trading networks, Abolitionism, as well as modern ideas of gender and sexuality.

Ling Ma




Visiting Scholar
Wilson-Short 354





Dr. Ma specializes in Twentieth-Century Chinese social and cultural history. Her PhD dissertation, titled “Gender, Law, and Society: Abortion in Early-Twentieth-Century China,” examines the connections among medicine, gender discourses, and legal-judicial practices in late Qing and Republican China through a history of abortion lawmaking, law enforcement, and lawbreaking. She is currently working on expanding her project to the post-1949 socialist and reform eras. Dr. Ma has taught survey courses on early modern and modern Asia, as well as special topics on Asian cinema and twentieth-century Chinese politics.

Lipi Turner-Rahman

Lipi Turner-Rahman
120B Terrell Library

Dr. Turner-Rahman received her Ph.D. from Washington State University.  Her teaching and research are interdisciplinary in nature and include  the history of Islam, orthodoxy and Qur’anic interpretation, feminist Islamic exegesis, Transnational Islam and Bollywood.

Matthew Unangst


Post Doctoral Fellow
Wilson-Short 346


Matthew Unangst is a historian of modern Germany and East Africa. He completed his Ph.D. from Temple University in 2015 and is a postdoctoral teaching fellow in the Roots of Contemporary Issues Program at Washington State University. Dr. Unangst’s current manuscript project, The Geography of Empire: German Colonialism, Race, and Space in East Africa, 1884-1905, explores the ways in which German, African, and Arab ideas about East African spaces and their relationship to their inhabitants shaped ideas about race, governance, and world history. Elements of that project have been published in Colloquia Germanica. His research interests are in the intellectual history of empire and the history of geography, as well as in German and African intellectual history.

Sean Wempe

Sean Wempe
Wilson-Short Hall 342

Dr. Wempe is currently a Teaching Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of History at Washington State University. He completed his doctorate at Emory University in Spring 2015. He holds an MA from Emory University (2012) and BAs in History and German Language from Missouri State University (2009). His current manuscript project, derived from his dissertation (Lost at Locarno? Colonial Germans and the Redefinition of “Imperial” Germany, 1919-1933), examines “Colonial Germans” and how they made use of interwar internationalism to create new niches for themselves in the League of Nations’ Mandates System following Germany’s loss of its colonies in 1919. His research and teaching interests include imperialism, internationalism, Germany, the history of religion, and the history of science.

Aaron D. Whelchel

Aaron Whelchel
WSU Vancouver

Our goal as professional historians is not to collect fact and figures about past events and individuals but rather craft narratives explaining historical change based on reliable evidence. As a researcher I hope to contribute to the story of the development of modern educational systems by emphasizing methodological and organizational techniques that were diffused, adapted, and implemented across the globe. As a teacher of history my goal is to aid students to understand that the shape of the world they live in is highly contingent on numerous historical processes that were neither inevitable or permanent. By stressing the interpretive nature of history, I aim to build critical thinking skills in my students so that they may better evaluate the soundness of the messages they encounter in the wider world.

Washington State University