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Washington State University
History | Peter Boag

Professor and Columbia Chair in the History of the American West


Visit the American West & Pacific Northwest website


Ph.D., University of Oregon, 1988

Research and Teaching Interests

Professor Boag’s teaching and research interests focus on society and culture in the U.S. (1850-1950), the Pacific Northwest, and the American West.


Professor Boag is currently working on two projects—a biography of the early Pacific Northwest landscape painter, William Samuel Parrott (1844-1915), and a study of his own ancestors’ story in the context of world history. He is the author of four books, Environment and Experience: Settlement Culture in Nineteenth-Century Oregon (University of California Press, 1992), Same-Sex Affairs: Constructing and Controlling Homosexuality in the Pacific Northwest (University of California Press, 2003), Re-Dressing America’s Frontier Past (University of California Press, 2011), and Pioneering Death: The Violence of Boyhood in Turn-of-the-Century Oregon (University of Washington Press, 2022). He has also written articles, essays, and book chapters on the history of gender, sexuality, the environment, and culture in the American West and the Pacific Northwest.


Honors & Awards

Honorary Lifetime Membership Award, Western History Association, 2022

Leadership in History Award, American Association of State and Local History, for “Crossing Boundaries: Portraits of a Transgender West,” Washington State History Museum exhibition, 2022

Queer Heroes Northwest, 2018

Ray Allen Billington Prize, Best Book in American Frontier History, Organization of American Historians, 2013

Over the Rainbow Books Commendation, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table, American Library Association, 2013

Fulbright German Distinguished Chair, 2012-2013

Lambda Literary Award, Finalist, Transgender Nonfiction, 2012

Armitage-Jameson Book Prize, Coalition for Western Women’s History, honorable mention, 2012

Audre Lorde Prize, Committee on Lesbian and Gay History, honorable mention, 2006

Joan Jensen-Darlis Miller Prize, Coalition for Western Women’s History, honorable mention, 2006

Joel Palmer Award, Best article, Oregon Historical Quarterly, 2001, 2005

Oscar O. Winter Prize, Best article in the Western Historical Quarterly, 2006