The Department of History

NEWS

The department is pleased to congratulate undergraduate Richard Ruoff, who was selected for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program for 2015-16.

Richard is a student in the History and Near Eastern Studies departments. Coming off a year studying abroad at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, Richard hoped to continue his language and cultural studies in the Anatolian heartland, far away from the cosmopolitan metropolis of Istanbul. In applying to the Fulbright Program, he sought to work in a newly-established university in a provincial locale, where he will be able to absorb the language in less urbanized and more traditional parts of Turkish society.

While Richard looks forward to living and learning in a region where English is virtually unknown, he also intends to help his host community take a step toward changing the status quo. Having accepted a Fulbright English Teaching Assistanceship, he looks forward to providing his future students with prolonged exposure and access to a native English speaker, which Richard knows can be a rare sight outside of Turkey's main tourist cities. He hopes it will be a relationship of great mutual benefit

Richard's work in Turkey will prepare him to continue his education in a graduate program specializing in Ottoman studies, laying the foundation for a successful career in academia.

Read more about Richard's experiences in Turkey here, and more about the award here.

 

 

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

From the time of the Crimean War through the fall of the Tsar, the question of what to do about the Russian empire's large Muslim population was a highly contested issue among educated Russians both inside and outside the government. As formulated in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the Muslim Question comprised a complex set of ideas and concerns that centered on the problems of reimagining and governing the tremendously diverse Russian empire in the face of the challenges presented by the modernizing world. Basing her analysis on extensive research in archival and primary sources, Elena I. Campbell reconstructs the issues, debates, and personalities that shaped the development of Russian policies toward the empire's Muslims and the impact of the Muslim Question on the modernizing path that Russia would follow.