Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Faculty Focus

marina-tolmacheva_114x132Dr. Marina Tolmacheva completes professional leave project

Marina Tolmacheva completed her professional leave project on “Exploring the Indian Ocean on the Eve of the Portuguese and Ottoman Eras.” She presented the research at two conferences and contributed a chapter to the edited volume Early Maritime Cultures on the East African Coast, to be published in Oxford, UK. Her article “Of Ibn Battuta’s Children,” on the itinerant household of the world traveler Ibn Battuta (14th century), appeared in Russian in the festschrift honoring Professor Anna Dolinina at St. Petersburg, Russia. Tolmacheva’s scholarship was further recognized internationally by reprints of her earlier publications in Manifesta Memorabilia and in Studia et Documenta Turcologica (Babes-Bolyai University, Romania).

Dr. Jesse Spohnholz’s activities, past and future

Jesse Spohnholz’s book The Convent of Wesel: The Event That Never Was and the Invention of Tradition (Cambridge University Press) will be published this year. It already has been called one of the best books in early modern European history in a generation, garnering such praise as: “gripping as any murder mystery”; “must-read for all historians”; and “Jesse Spohnholz can easily hold his own with Conan Doyle’s famous sleuth.”

Spohnholz’s co-edited volume Archeologies of Confession: Writing the German Reformation, 1517-2017 (Berghahn Books, 2017), also will appear this year. In June, he will speak at an international conference on Exile and Religious Identity in Early Modern Europe held in Emden, Germany, with 23 guest speakers from 13 countries. He is now in the third year of co-directing a six-year, €750,000 research grant funded by the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research.

His article “Archiving and Narration in Post-Reformation Germany and the Netherlanders” was published in Past and Present, 2016 Supplement. The article offers an example for how the “literary turn” and the more recent “archival turn” speak to Reformation history.

The College of Arts and Sciences awarded Spohnholz the William F. Mullen Memorial Teaching award.

Dr. Candice Goucher wins Vancouver Chancellor’s Award

Candice Goucher received this year’s Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence, which is given annually to a WSU Vancouver faculty member whose research quality and quantity are exemplary and whose work has had a positive influence on the broader community. It is the University’s highest research honor.

Goucher is an exceptionally productive scholar, who, in the last five years, published four books (in five volumes), four journal articles, and six invited chapters; edited a special issue of a scholarly journal; created a blogsite; contributed 31 short essays and/or encyclopedia articles to various publications; and curated two exhibitions. Goucher joined WSU in 2000 after serving as chair of the Black Studies Department at Portland State University. Read more about Professor Goucher’s work.

Notable Faculty news

Dr. Clif Stratton, Clinical Assistant Professor

The Association of Washington Historians invited Clif Stratton to deliver the keynote address, “From Stories to Skills: Teaching History in the Age of Automation and Austerity,” at their annual meeting at Columbia Basin College in Richland, Washington, in April.

Stratton wrote a guest blog post titled “Educators Argue that Trump’s Immigration Policies Belong in the History Books” for the University of California Press also in April. For the entire article, visit the UC Press blog .

In conjunction with the WSU Common Reading Program featuring the book I Am Malala, Stratton offered a presentation on “War and Terrorism in Historical and Political Context” in November.

Dr. Katy Fry, Clinical Assistant Professor

Katy Fry was named the new Curriculum Coordinator for the Roots of Contemporary Issues (RCI) program. She will focus on curriculum within the program, including instructional training of faculty and graduate teaching assistants, coordinating class observations and curriculum review, producing new curriculum, and managing the shared lesson plans, website, and Library Research Assignments.

Fry is the inaugural recipient of the WSU Global Campus Excellence in Teaching Award and was recognized for her work teaching History 305. Student nominators noted her responsiveness and dedication, passion for the material, quality of feedback and “organization of material and assignments in ways that cater to different learning styles.”

Dr. Charles Weller, Clinical Assistant Professor

Charles Weller published two articles in two days(!): “Overturning Civil Rights? Trump’s Immigration-Deportation Policies and White Nationalist-Racist Revival” in The Islamic Monthly, March 8, 2017; and “Islam in the life of [the] Kazakhs: From conversion to current times,” in both English and Russian, by the Central Asian Analytical Network.

In September, Weller delivered a public lecture about Islamic contributions to Western civilization as part of WSU’s Common Reading of I am Malala.

Dr. Sean Wempe, Post-doctoral Teaching Fellow

Sean Wempe published a new article “Peripheral Players? German Colonial Interests, The Press, and the Spirit of Locarno,” in the March 2017 edition of The International History Review. You can read the abstract here.

Dr. Lawrence Hatter, Assistant Professor

The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon, Virginia, awarded Lawrence Hatter a month-long research fellowship 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. Hatter will begin work on his new book project tentatively titled Negotiating Independence: American Overseas Merchant Communities in the Age of Revolution.

The Grand Forks Herald published Hatter’s op-ed “Stop dismissing Standing Rock Sioux as dupes” on December 30, 2016.

The Kinder Institute for Constitutional Democracy at the University of Missouri invited Hatter to speak about his new book, Citizens of Convenience: The Imperial Origins of American Nationhood on the U.S. Canadian-Border. During his visit in November, Hatter also served an interlocutor at the Missouri Regional Seminar on Early American History in St. Louis.

Hatter also spoke about American Indian resistance to European and U.S. colonialism with Oregon state teachers at the Portland Art Museum in October as part of a Teacher Initiative Workshop organized by George Washington’s Mount Vernon.

Dr. Barbara Traver, Lecturer

Barbara Traver’s article “The Benefits of Their Liberty: Race and the Eurafricans of Gorée in Eighteenth-Century French Guiana” was published in the French Colonial History Journal.  Read the article abstract here.

Traver is a 2011 PhD recipient and teaches at WSU Vancouver and at Portland State University. Her research interests focus on French Guiana and the French Atlantic colonial world in the late 18th century.

Dr. Susan Peabody, Meyer Distinguished Professor

Beginning August 2017, Susan Peabody will assume the lifetime title of Edward G. Meyer Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts.

Stanford University’s Department of Iberian and Latin American Cultures Forced Migrations Workshop invited her to present the lecture, “Complicating Freedom: Biographical Investigation of Transnational Migration in the Age of Emancipation,” in May. Read more about it here.

In June, Peabody will present the invited paper “Barriers to Accessing France’s Sol Libre in Early Modern France” at the conference “Negotiating Status and Scope of Action—Interrelations between Slavery and Other Forms of Dependency in Early Modern Europe,” sponsored by the European Research Council at the University of Bremen, Germany.

Also in June, Peabody will present the invited paper “Enslaved Wet Nurses and Migration from France’s Colonies to the Metropole, 1763-1848” at the conference “Working the Empire/Travailler l’Empire: Gendered Conversations and Circulations in Imperial History/Conversations genrées et circulations dans l’histoire des empires,” hosted by the Université Paris Descartes, Sorbonne Paris Cite, Penn State University, and the Institut d’Etudes Avancées de Paris.

Peabody has organized a series of graduate student workshops in Aix-en-Provence, France, for the annual meeting of the French Colonial Historical Society. Students from Stanford, Columbia, the Sorbonne, and many other universities will be introduced to the Archives Nationales d’Outre-Mer (France’s archives for the study of its former colonies) and will receive tips about publishing books and articles and obtaining fellowships in the field of French colonial history. Peabody is also on the local arrangements committee bringing the French Colonial Historical Society to Seattle in May-June 2018.

Dr. Noriko Kawamura, Associate Professor

The Pritzker Military Museum and Library in Chicago invited Noriko Kawamura to speak about her first book, Turbulence in the Pacific: Japanese-U.S. Relations during World War I in March 2017. The event, sponsored by Colonel Jennifer N. Pritzker and the United States World War One Centennial Commission, helped mark the centenary of the United States entry into the First World War.

Kawamura delivered the talk “Emperor Hirohito from the Pacific War to the Cold War” at the German Institute for Japanese Studies in Tokyo in December.

Dr. Ashley Wright, Assistant Professor

The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History published Ashley Wright’s new article “Maintaining the Bar: Regulating European Barmaids in Colonial Calcutta and Rangoon.”

Dr. Matthew A. Sutton, Meyer Distinguished Professor

The National Endowment for the Humanities awarded Matthew Sutton a Public Scholar Fellowship to pursue his new book project, tentatively titled (Un)Holy Spies: Religion and American Espionage in World War II. During the past year, Sutton gave invited lectures on this new project at a number of venues, including Duke University, Princeton University, and the University of North Carolina. He was also interviewed in the Spokesman-Review.

Sutton’s chapter “Reading the Bible in War and Crisis to Know the Future” was included in the edited volume The Bible in American Life, Then and Now published by Oxford University Press. Sutton also published two articles: “Donald J. Trump and American Evangelicalism, ”which appeared in a forum on religion and the 2016 election in the journal Religion & American Culture (Winter 2017); and “New Trends in the Historiography of American Fundamentalism: Roundtable on Religion” published in the Journal of American Studies (UK).

On the subject of religion and politics in the recent presidential election, Sutton published an op-ed in the Seattle Times on September 30, 2016.

Dr. Raymond Sun, Associate Professor

The Spokesman-Review published Raymond Sun’s op-ed on the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. On April 6, 2017, Sun also delivered the keynote address at the ROTC commemoration of the centenary of the United States’ entry into World War I.

Dr. Jennifer Thigpen, Associate Professor

WSU’s College of Arts and Science featured the latest research of Jennifer Thigpen in the November 2016 edition of Connect: “New research by Jennifer Thigpen, associate professor of history and an expert on America’s foreign mission movement, demonstrates that, as American Protestant missionaries and their wives labored to bring Christianity to the region’s native inhabitants in the early nineteenth century, they also carefully built networks across a complex set of competing local, national and international interests.”

Going Out to the World: The American Foreign Mission Movement in the Global West is the tentative title of Thigpen’s new book-length project.” ASWSU awarded her the student-nominated Exceptional Professor award for the College of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Steven Kale, Professor and Chair

Steven Kale presented the lecture “French Secularism as a Target for Jihad” for WSU audiences in September as part of the Asia Program Lecture Series focused on the Middle East and the West.

In April, he participated in a roundtable on the 2017 French Presidential Election hosted by the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service at WSU.

Dr. Roger Chan, Instructor

The WSU Office of Undergraduate Education awarded Roger Chan the Learning Communities Excellence award for his participation in the First Year Focus.

Dr. Lydia Gerber, Clinical Associate Professor

The Associated Students of Washington State University (ASWSU) awarded Lydia Gerber the student-nominated Exceptional Professor award for the Honors College.

Dr. Lipi Turner-Rahman, Instructor

Lipi Turner-Rahman received the WSU Common Reading Excellence award for her “outstanding contributions to the use of I am Malala.”

Dr. Peter Boag, Columbia Professor

Peter Boag’s chapter “Gender and the Historicity of Parricide: A Case Study from the Nineteenth-Century North American West” is to be published in Parricide and Violence against Parents throughout History: (De)Constructing Family and Authority?, edited by Marianna Muravyeva and Raisa Maria Toivo (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017).