The Department of History

NEWS

The Department of History congratulates Professor Quintard Taylor, chosen as grand winner among the five Washington State Jefferson Award recipients for 2015. Taylor will go on to represent Washington in the national competition later this year.

The Jefferson Awards, established in 1972, are among the most prestigious prizes awarded for public service in the United States. The award aims to recognize acts of volunteerism and public spirit which make our communities, our nation and our world better places to live.

Taylor was celebrated for his work establishing and developing the comprehensive African American and African history site, http://www.blackpast.org. Launched in 2007, blackpast.org is designed to take the knowledge and resources of the university, and make them available on every computer screen. The site currently offers 10,000 pages of information, documents and resources, and draws an average of 20,000 users every day. 

For more information, see the Washington State Jefferson Awards website: 
https://www.seattlecityclub.org/initiatives/jefferson-awards

 

 

STORIES

Organizers Stephanie Smallwood (right) and Ralina Joseph

Department of History faculty, staff and students played an important part in a one-day teach-in event on the University of Washington campus, entitled “Ferguson and Beyond: Race, State Violence, and Activist Agendas for Social Justice in the 21st Century.” History Professor Stephanie Smallwood took a leading role in organizing the event, in conjunction with Professor Ralina Joseph of the Communications Department, and with the assistance of many units and individuals across the university and beyond.

The teach-in, held January 23rd, drew a crowd of two hundred and seventy people from throughout the Seattle area to the university’s Ethnic Cultural Center. The aim of the event was to connect past, present and future in order to address the pressing issue of racial and state violence in a constructive way. The morning session, “The Past is Always Present,” sought to look back in time and contextualize current events by reference to historical experience. The afternoon portion turned toward the future, by emphasizing the urgent imperative for universal social justice, encouraging student and youth activism as an engine for change, and ending with an open-ended discussion of “The Way Forward.”

Professor Smallwood explained that the format grew out of her own experience attending teach-ins as an undergraduate. “In hindsight,” she said, “those events turned out to be the rare moments to engage faculty outside the classroom, as real people.” A faculty member herself now, Smallwood saw that “we scholars of race, of U.S. history, had something to say, that needed to be said, and wasn’t being said.”

NEW BOOKS

Greece: A Short History of a Long Story presents a comprehensive overview of the history of Greece by exploring the continuity of Greek culture from its Neolithic origins to the modern era. This book tells the story of Greece through individual personalities that inhabited various periods in the lengthy sweep of Greek history; uses an approach based on recent research that includes DNA analysis and analyses of archaeological materials; explores ways in which the nature of Greek culture was continually reshaped over time; and features illustrations that portray the people of different eras in Greek history along with maps that demonstrate the physical sphere of Greece and major events in each of the periods.