The Department of History

NEWS

The department congratulates history undergraduate Sara Leonetti, who was named as a 2015 recipient of the highly prestigious University of Washington's President's Medal.

This award recognizes the two graduating seniors who have achieved the most distinguished academic records at the university - one who earned the bulk of his or her degree at UW, and one who completed at UW after transferring from a Washington community college.

Leonetti is completing her undergraduate career with degrees in history and philosophy. Her love of history was invigorated by her experiences at UW. "Initially I was interested in journalism. But that first year I took a course on the history of the Medieval World, and that was the class that made me want to jump out of bed in the morning. As I started to focus more on a career in the law, it became clear that a history degree was the right choice for me. The skills I was learning in my history courses were great preparation for law school, and at the same time I could major in something I love."

Leonetti's enthusiasim for history has shone through in the leading role she has taken in departmental activities. This year she participated in the History Honors and the History Fellows programs, as well as serving as president of the UW chapter of the national Phi Alpha Theta honors society. 

Leonetti plans to take a year abroad to teach English in Asia, before starting law school in 2016. The department wishes her all the best!

 

STORIES

The conference "Ever Closer to Freedom: The Work and Legacies of Stephanie M. H. Camp" was held at the University of Washington on May 7th and 8th. Professor Camp was a beloved member of the history faculty, as well as a widely-admired and influential historian of African American slavery, the American South, women and gender. She passed away in 2014.

In 2002, Camp organized a conference entitled "New Studies in American Slavery." A watershed event, that conference sparked tremendous energy in the study of slavery, gender and black history. Among its results was an edited volume, New Studies in the History of American Slavery, edited jointly by Camp and Ed Baptist of Cornell University. Together, the conference and book inspired a generation of researchers in these fields to embrace new ideas, interpretations and methods.

The 2015 conference sought to build on this legacy. The emotional and intellectual energy at the various panels and talks was palpable, creating many memorable moments. A particular highlight was the keynote lecture by UCLA Professor Robin Kelly. In his talk, Kelly underscored the many ways that Camp had advanced the study of slavery in America, while also emphasizing the great relevance of Camp's work to the events which have shaken America's cities in the last year. And, like the 2002 conference, this event is also expected to lead to the publication of an edited volume.

The conference served to advance the fields of study that had inspired Stephanie Camp, but it also allowed those who knew her an opportunity to reflect on her passionate spirit, eloquent scholarship, and warm affection. In this, participants were aided by a pair of special guests, her parents Don and Marie Camp, who attended from Philadelphia.

Click to see conference slideshow

NEW BOOKS

As early modern Europe launched its multiple projects of global empire, it simultaneously embarked on an ambitious program of describing and picturing the world. The shapes and meanings of the extraordinary global images that emerged from this process form the subject of this highly original and richly textured study of cultural geography. Inventing Exoticism draws on a vast range of sources from history, literature, science, and art to describe the energetic and sustained international engagements that gave birth to our modern conceptions of exoticism and globalism.