Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Washington State University

Faculty Publications

In addition to teaching, WSU History faculty share new knowledge by publishing widely on a variety of fascinating and important research topics.


Peter BoagPeter Boag published his latest book, Pioneering Death: The Violence of Boyhood in Turn-of-the-Century Oregon with the University of Washington Press. On an autumn day in 1895, eighteen-year-old Loyd Montgomery shot his parents and a neighbor in a gruesome act that reverberated beyond the small confines of Montgomery’s Oregon farming community. The dispassionate slaying and Montgomery’s consequent hanging exposed the fault lines of a rapidly industrializing and urbanizing society and revealed the burdens of pioneer narratives inherited by boys of the time. Boag examines the Brownsville parricide as an allegory for the destabilizing transitions within the rural United States at the end of the nineteenth century. While pioneer families celebrated and memorialized founders of Western White settler society, their children faced a present and future in frightening decline. Connecting a fascinating true-crime story with the broader forces that produced the murders, Boag uncovers how Loyd’s violent acts reflected the brutality of American colonizing efforts, the anxieties of global capitalism, and the buried traumas of childhood in the American West.

Pioneering Death: The Violence of Boyhood in Turn-of-the-Century Oregon


Puck BrecherPuck Brecher published Animal Care in Japanese Tradition: A Short History with the Association for Asian Studies, distributed by Columbia University Press, 2022.

This volume provides an historical overview of Japan’s relationship with animals from ancient times to the 1950s. Its analysis serves as a lens through which to scrutinize Japanese tradition and interrogate ahistorical claims about Japan’s culturally endemic empathy for the natural world. Departing from existing scholarship on the subject, the book also connects Japan’s much-maligned record of animal exploitation with its strong adherence to contextual, needs-based moral memory.

Animal Care in Japanese Tradition: A Short History


Shawna HerzogShawna Herzog published a chapter titled “Gender and Slavery in Asia” in the anthology Slavery and Bonded Labor in Asia (Brill, 2021).


JoAnn LoSavioJoAnn LoSavio published two articles. The first honored sport historian Susan Birrell: “The Figure of the Sportswoman, Sport, and Nationalism in Burma, 1956-70,” Journal of Sport History Volume 48, Number 2 (Summer 2021): 135-150. She also published “Temporary Thais: Circular Thai–US Migration in the 1960s” in the Journal of American Ethnic History Vol. 40, No. 4 (Summer 2021): 41-85.


Laurie MercierLaurie Mercier published “Oral History with Margaret Butler: Advocate for Workers’ Rights and Jobs with Justice,” in Oregon Historical Quarterly.


Nik OvertoomNik Overtoom published  “Reassessing the Role of Parthia and Rome in the Origins of the First Romano-Parthian War (56/5-50 BCE)” in The Journal of Ancient History and “A Fight to Reclaim the Central Asian Frontier: The Seleucid and Parthian Rivalry in the 230s BC” in Studia Hercynia: Journal of the Institute of Classical Archaeology. He also 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.


Sue PeabodySue Peabody published “Microhistory and ‘Prize Negroes’: Reconstructing the Origins and Fates of African Captives in the Indian Ocean World through Serial Data,” in Regenerated Identities: Documenting African Lives. She also published “Political and Legal Histories,” in Writing the History of Slavery (Bloomsbury, 2022).


Eugene SmelyanskyEugene Smelyansky published “Heretical Refugees and Persecution of German Waldensians, 1393–1400” in the Journal of Medieval History.


Jesse SpohnholzJesse Spohnholz published “Reformed Exiles and International Calvinism in Reformation-Era Europe” in The Oxford Handbook of Calvin and Calvinism (Oxford University Press, 2021). He also published “Reformed Exiles and the Calvinist International in Reformation-Era Europe: A Reappraisal.” The Oxford Handbook of Calvin and Calvinism, edited by Bruce Gordon and Carl Trueman (Oxford University Press, 2021).


Matt SuttonMatt Sutton published “God’s Spooks: Religion, the CIA, and Church-State Collaboration,” in Beyond the Culture Wars: Recasting Religion and Politics in the Twentieth Century (University of Notre Dame Press, 2021).