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Washington State University
History | Jeffrey C. Sanders

Professor of History

Wilson-Short Hall 353

Visit the American West & Pacific Northwest website


Ph.D., University of New Mexico, 2005
M.A., History, Boston University, 1998
B.A., History, University of Washington, 1996
B.A., Comparative History of Ideas, University of Washington, 1996
A.A., Seattle Central College, 1994

Research and Teaching Interests

Environment, cities, and the Pacific Northwest.

My teaching and research focuses on the relationship between place, politics, and culture in the twentieth-century United States. I teach Pacific Northwest History, Environmental History, and research seminars. In my classes I emphasize original research projects that draw on rich local primary source collections and oral histories available at WSU, helping students reckon with the layered historical landscapes and people of this region.




Razing Kids: Youth, Environment, and the Postwar American West (Cambridge University Press, 2020).

Seattle and the Roots of Urban Sustainability: Inventing Ecotopia  (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010).

McClellan Park: The Life and Death of an Urban Green Space (Albuquerque: Albuquerque Museum Press, 2004).


Journal Articles and Refereed Chapters in Edited Collections

“Assaying Risk: Project Sunshine and the Half-lives of Strontium 90” in Making the Unseen Visible: Science and the Contested Histories of Radiation Exposure, Eds. Jacob Darwin Hamblin and Linda Marie Richard, Corvallis, Oregon State University Press (book proposal under review).

Saving Trees, Land and Boys”: Juveniles, Environment, and the “Unfinished City,” Journal of Urban History (2021). 

Dwelling with the Entwined Ecotopian and Techno-utopian Legacies of Cascadia” in Green Contradictions: Urban Cascadia and the Pursuit of Environmental Justice, eds., Nik Janos and Corina McKendry (University of Washington Press, 2021).

From Bomb to Bone: Children and the Politics of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty,” in The Nature of Hope: Grassroots Organizing, Environmental Justice, and Social Change, eds. Char Miller and Jeff Crane, (University of Colorado Press, 2019).

“Animal Trouble and Urban Anxiety: Human-animal interactions in post-Earth Day Seattle,” Environmental History 16:2 (April 2011): 226-261.

“Building an ‘Urban Homestead’: Survival Self-Sufficiency, and Nature in Seattle, 1970-1980” in Greening the City (University of Virginia Press, 2011).

“Public Art, Memory, and Mobility in 1920s New Mexico” in City Dreams and Country Schemes: Utopian Visions of the Twentieth-Century American West, eds., Kathleen Brosnan and Amy Scott (Reno: University of Nevada Press, 2011).

“The Battle for Fort Lawton: Competing Environmental Claims in Postwar Seattle,” Pacific Historical Review 77:2 (May 2008): 203-235.

Honors & Awards

US-UK Fulbright Awards Programme, Fulbright-Cardiff University, United Kingdom, 2022.

Arts and Humanities Fellowship, College of Arts and Sciences (WSU), 2021-2022.

Co-PI, Palouse Matters, National Endowment for the Humanities, Connections Planning Grant, 2019-2021.

Simon Visiting Professor Fellowship, University of Manchester, United Kingdom, June 2019.

University Distinguished Teaching Fellow, Washington State University, 2017-.

Berry Family CAS Faculty Excellence Fellows, College of Liberal Arts, Washington State University, 2015.

Charles Redd Center Visiting Scholars Program, Brigham Young University, fall, 2014.

“Atomic West/Atomic World: Landmarks of American History and Culture: Workshops for School Teachers,” NEH Landmarks of American History, July, 2014.

Wallis Annenberg Research Grant, Special Collections Library, University of Southern California, 2014.

Berry Family CLA Faculty Excellence Fellows, College of Liberal Arts, Washington State University, 2009.

Institute for Pacific Northwest History Dissertation Prize, University of Idaho, 2006.