The Department of History

News Spotlight

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 This year, the Department of History is honoring Professor Richard Johnson, who is retiring after forty-four years at the University of Washington. One of our department’s many recipients of a Distinguished Teaching Award, Professor Johnson taught early American history. Professor Johnson spent his career focused on training students how to be historians. “I am interested in conveying history as a discipline, as a method of argument, not as a rote memorization of facts and dates,” he stated. When discussing why undergraduate education was so important, Professor Johnson pointed to a drawer filled to capacity with notecards.

Featured Story

The History Community was saddened to hear of the passing of former Graduate student Chris Grorud, who passed away January 24, 2016 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Chris studied Indonesian history and politics and was passionate about working with the people of Indonesia, doing field research in history and with the Jackson School of International Studies’ Southeast Asia Center. Chris’ family has established an endowed memorial fund in Chris’ name to support students of Southeast Asian history. To donate to the fund, please follow the link Christian Grorud Endowed Memorial Fund. To read Chris’ obituary, follow the link Chris Grorud Obituary.

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.