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

Quintard Taylor, Emeritus Professor of American History, was recently featured in an article on KPLU. Professor Taylor, who recently gave a lecture entitled “The Peopling of Seattle: Race, Migration, and Immigration” for the History Lecture Series “Excavating Seattle’s Histories,” specializes in African American History. KPLU’s article highlights Professor Taylor’s website BlackPast.org, which has become one of the leading internet resources on African American History. To read the article, follow the link KPLU BlackPast Article. To view a video of Professor Taylor’s lecture on Seattle History, please follow the link History Lecture Series.

Faculty Book Corner

Serious and silly, unifying and polarizing, presidential elections have become events that Americans love and hate. Today's elections cost billions of dollars and consume the nation's attention for months, filling television airwaves and online media with endless advertising and political punditry, often heated, vitriolic, and petty. Yet presidential elections also provoke and inspire mass engagement of ordinary citizens in the political system. No matter how frustrated or disinterested voters might be about politics and government, every four years, on the first Tuesday in November, the attention of the nation—and the world—focuses on the candidates, the contest, and the issues. The partisan election process has been a way for a messy, jumbled, raucous nation to come together as a slightly-more-perfect union.