Faculty and Staff Spotlight

Department of History hosts “Past as Prologue”

Northwest Public Broadcasting.History department faculty launched a new partnership with Northwest Public Radio titled “Past as Prologue.” Faculty and students have been recording history segments that play on Fridays during Morning Edition.

Please explore the “Past as Prologue” series and take a look at the episodes below:

  • Robert Bauman presented “What is an American? Asks a Soldier from Pasco Whose Family Was Interned.”
  • Peter Boag presented “Harry Allen in the Northwest and the Slow History of Trans Acceptance.”
  • Julian Dodson presented “The Cristero War and U.S. Immigration.”
  • Ken Faunce presented “A Seattle Police Bootlegging Racket Informs Lessons of Modern Drug Cartels.”
  • Robert Franklin presented “Remembering a Pasco Civil Rights Protest and Discrimination that Built the Tri-Cities.”
  • Tracey Hanshew presented “How Northwest Women in Rodeo Changed Perceptions of Ability.”
  • Robert McCoy presented “Sheep, Ranching, and The Beginning of Industrial Agriculture in the Northwest.”
  • Karen Phoenix presented “How the Namesake of Pullman Tried to Improve Worker’s Lives but Failed.”
  • Matthew A. Sutton presented “End Times Preaching in Seattle and the Politics of the Apocalypse.”
  • Jennifer Thigpen presented “Race, Missionaries, and the Whitmans’ Marriage.”

Puck Brecher promoted to professor

Puck BrecherRecently promoted to full professor, Puck Brecher teaches courses on East Asia and specializes in early modern and modern Japanese social and cultural history. His past research projects have focused on Japanese thought, aesthetics, urban history, and race, as well as contemporary environmental issues. Currently he is working on several projects pertaining to the history of Japanese veterinary medicine and the historical development of private spheres in Japan.

Theresa Jordan promoted to professor, career track

Theresa Jordan Recently promoted to full professor, career track, Theresa Jordan taught at Idaho State University from 1992 through 2001 and began teaching at WSU in 2001. Her primary interests include Secondary Teacher Education, World History, European Medieval History, and Roman History.

Andra Chastain published in Comparativ

Andra ChastainAssistant Professor Andra Chastain published “Rethinking Basic Infrastructure: French Aid and Metro Development in Postwar Latin America” in Comparativ. The article examines French metro-building in Latin America as part of a special issue on urbanization and international development in Africa and Latin America since 1945. Andra B. Chastain, “Rethinking Basic Infrastructure: French Aid and Metro Development in Postwar Latin America,” Comparativ vol. 30 no. 1/2 (2020): 128-141.

You can read the abstract for this article in Comparativ.

Ken Faunce presents at Latah County Historical Society

Ken Faunce, associate professor, career track, presented “Say it Loud: The Civil Rights Movement and American Pop Culture” for the Latah County Historical Society. Faunce’s presentation has been embedded below for easy viewing!

Lawrence Hatter in the Washington Post

Associate Professor Lawrence Hatter authored a piece on the last siege of the Capitol in the Washington Post titled “The Similarities to the Last Invasion of the Capitol Matter, So Do the Differences.”

He writes, “Americans are struggling to make sense of the chaotic sense of armed insurrectionists rampaging through the halls of the capitol on Wednesday. In such moments of crisis, it is only natural that we look to what we know. For some historians and pundits, that meant the parallels to the attempt by British forces to burn the building on Aug. 24, 1814.”

You can read Hatter’s article in the Washington Post.

Daily Evergreen writes about Linda Heidenreich’s Nepantla Squared

WSU’s student paper, The Daily Evergreen, published an article about Associate Professor Linda Heidenreich’s new book, Nepantla Squared.

The Daily Evergreen‘s Anna Young interviewed Heidenreich, inquiring about inspirations and exploring the writing process. Young also spoke with doctoral candidate, Veronica Sandoval about her experience assisting with the bibliography for the book and her experience working with, and learning from Heidenreich.

You can read the article, “New book tracks trans Mestiz@ history,” in The Daily Evergreen.

Shawna Herzog presents for Honors Student Advisory Council

Shawna HerzogThis spring Instructor Shawna Herzog discussed her research and recent publication, Negotiating Abolition, for the Honors Student Advisory Council Distinguished Lecture. The event was held on April 5, 2021.

Learn more about Negotiating Abolition: The Antislavery Project in the British Straits Settlements, 1786–1843.

Noriko Kawamura essay published in edited volume

Professor Noriko Kawamura’s essay “Naval Powers in the Pacific at the Crossroads” appears in Tosh Minohara and Evan Dawley’s edited volume, Beyond Versailles: The 1919 Moment and a New Order in East Asia, published with Lexington Books in 2020. The essays examine the effects of the Great War and the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in East Asia.

You can find further description of this collection by clicking here.

JoAnn LoSavio published in International Journal of History of Sport

JoAnn LoSavio, assistant professor, career track, published, “Burma in the Southeast Asia Peninsula Games, 1950-1970: Buddhism, Bodhisattvas, Decolonization, and Nation Making through Sport” in the International Journal of the History of Sport. You can read the abstract or full article via Taylor & Francis Online by clicking here.

Nikolaus Overtoom published in Acta Antiqua Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae and leads virtual presentations

Nikolaus Overtoom, assistant professor, career track, published, “The Parthians’ Failed Vassalage of Syria: The Shortsighted Western Policy of Phraates II and the Second Reign of Demetrius II (129-125 BCE)” in Acta Antiqua Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae in 2020.

Overtoom also presented work from his publication, Reign of Arrows, for the Dallas Fort-Worth Archeological Institute of America, sponsored by World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, hosted virtually by the University of North Texas. He was also featured on the Study of Antiquity and the Middle Ages YouTube channel.

You can view the World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures speaker series, and watch his Study of Antiquity and the Middle Ages episode on the Parthians.

Sue Peabody consulted on L’étrange histoire de Furcy Madeline and essay publication

Professor Sue Peabody recently consulted on L’étrange histoire de Furcy Madeline, a catalogue companion to the exhibit by the same name which opened last fall in Réunion. Together with the museum director, she is in the process of creating a bilingual traveling exhibit, as well as a pedagogical website. An independent documentary film is also in the works. You can learn more about the L’étrange histoire de Furcy Madeleine, 1786-1856 exhibit.

Peabody also published an essay, “Slaves as Witnesses, Slaves as Evidence: French and British Prosecution of the Slave Trade in the Indian Ocean,”  in Voices in the Legal Archives in the French Colonial World: “The King is Listening,” edited by Nancy Christie, Michael Gauvreau and out through Routledge in 2021. You can read the full book description for Voices in the Legal Archives in the French Colonial World: “The King is Listening.”

Jesse Spohnholz featured on New Books Network

Professor Jesse Spohnholz was featured on the New Books Network podcast discussing his book, The Convent of Wesel: The Event that Never was and the Invention of Tradition from Cambridge University Press in 2017, paperback 2020. This episode was hosted by Jana Byars, the Academic Director of Netherlands: International Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender. You can listen to this discussion between Drs. Spohnholz and Byars.


Clif Stratton published in Atlanta Studies

Clif Stratton, associate professor, career track, published “Bronze Hammer: Race and the Politics of Commemorating Henry Louis Aaron” in Atlanta Studies om February 2021.

The journal editor introduces the article by noting, “In the immediate wake of the passing of Henry Aaron on January 22, 2021, Clif Stratton examines how race shaped Atlanta’s historical efforts to memorialize the accomplishments of the home run king.” You can read the entirety of Stratton’s article.

Ray Sun’s Fallen Cougars project and work with U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

Raymond SunAssociate Professor Raymond Sun’s Fallen Cougars project was featured in WSU Magazine’s Winter 2020 issue. The article “Fallen, but not from history” discusses the work done on the project by Sun and History department students.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Sun also helped to initiate collaboration between WSU and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to bring the Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff Annual Lecture and programming to the Northwest. This is the beginning of a multi-year regional initiative to address anti-Semitism, racism, and histories of persecution in North America. You can read about this collaboration in the WSU Insider.

Matthew Sutton published in The New Republic

In response to the U.S. Capitol riot in January 2021, Professor Matthew Sutton published “The Capitol Riot Revealed the Darkest Nightmares of White Evangelical America” in The New Republic. 

“While Americans around the country watched an inflamed mob overrun the Capitol on January 6,” Sutton writes, “the evangelical participants in that mob saw something else: a holy war. Insurgents carried signs that read ‘Jesus Saves,’ ‘In God We Trust,’ ‘Jesus 2020,’ and ‘Jesus Is My Savior, Trump Is My President.’” You can read the full article in The New Republic.

Katy Whalen on Oyster Soiree panel

Katy Whalen, associate professor, career track, was on a panel co-sponsored by the Museum of Food and Drink and New York public radio on October 27, 2020, to talk about social and environmental issues in oystering, past and present. Whalen spoke about the role played by Japanese immigrants and Japanese American oyster laborers in Washington state in creating and facilitating transnational networks in the 20th century.