The Department of History

News Spotlight

The UW Department of History knows how to appreciate quality teaching—and with the help of our donors, we are happy to give it the recognition it deserves. At last spring’s History awards ceremony, the department was pleased to confer the Pressly Prize for Excellence in Secondary Education to Glenna Roderick of Todd Beamer High School in Federal Way. Named for University of Washington emeritus professor of History Thomas Pressly and his wife, Cameron, the prize is awarded annually to the outstanding teacher of history at the high school level in the state of Washington. 

Featured Story

Katja Schatte is a PhD candidate, studying post-World War II socialist societies. Her interests range from Cuba to the Soviet Union, and almost everywhere in-between, but her dissertation focuses on the history of Jews in East Germany, a rarely studied community that survived both the Nazi Holocaust and communist religious repression. Schatte seeks to move past the official narratives of the East German regime and Jewish community leaders, to access the everyday experience of what it was like to live as a Jew in the communist bloc. 

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.