The Department of History

News Spotlight

At the Monroe Correctional Complex, PhD Candidate Katja Schatte has been teaching world history as part of the University Beyond Bars program. With this program, students from Monroe’s Correctional facility can pursue degrees in history and look toward a more secure future. According to recent studies, participants in these education programs are 43 percent less likely to reoffend. Katja Schatte’s courses tackles issues ranging from criminal justice reform to the Black Lives Matter movement to the need for educational reform. The Associated Press did an article on the University Beyond Bars Program.

Featured Story

Josué Estrada

Josué Estrada recently earned his master’s degree in history, and is moving full speed ahead with his doctoral work. His dissertation will expand on themes he explored in his MA research: internal migration in the U.S., the complex formation of rural Mexican American communities, the dynamics of voter suppression among Mexican Americans, and the Mexican American movement against voter literacy tests.

“Studying Chicano communities in places like Washington State offers new perspective on the struggles for racial equality and cultural identity taking place in the 1960s and 1970s. For example, this research sheds light on the results and limits of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 outside the American South,” remarked Estrada. “It also shows that Chicanos were not just challenging literacy tests, but expanding the definition of American citizenship to include their distinctive racial, cultural, linguistic, and transborder identity.”

Faculty Book Corner

In the late 1960s and early 1970s hundreds of thousands of white middle-class American youths suddenly became hippies. This short overview of the hippie social movement in the United States examines the movement's beliefs and practices, including psychedelic drugs, casual sex, and rock music, as well as the phenomena of spiritual seeking, hostility to politics, and communes. W. J. Rorabaugh synthesizes how hippies strived for authenticity, expressed individualism, and yearned for community. Viewing the tumultuous Sixties from a new angle, Rorabaugh shows how the counterculture led to subsequent social and cultural changes in the United States with legacies including casual sex, natural foods, and even the personal computer.