The Department of History

News Spotlight

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.

Featured Story

Three generations of Lindsay Little's family

Sometimes history is about the grand sweep of events, but at other times it can be very personal. Last fall, senior history major Lindsay Little was worried that a piece of history was in danger of being lost—the history of her own family. “On my mother’s side we have a huge family. My grandmother, Maria Cornelia Crisantos, was the eldest of twelve children. She came to the U.S. from Mexico, and for many years lived as a migrant farm worker in California. Now she was getting older, and we didn’t know all the names and stories, let alone all the details. So my mom, and my aunt and uncle, asked me to start writing down the stories and to get back in touch with that history.”

Faculty Book Corner

In Motherless Tongues, Vicente L. Rafael examines the vexed relationship between language and history gleaned from the workings of translation in the Philippines, the United States, and beyond. Moving across a range of colonial and postcolonial settings, he demonstrates translation's agency in the making and understanding of events. These include nationalist efforts to vernacularize politics, U.S. projects to weaponize languages in wartime, and autobiographical attempts by area studies scholars to translate the otherness of their lives amid the Cold War. In all cases, translation is at war with itself, generating divergent effects. Over the course of this journey, Rafael delineates the untranslatable that inheres in every act of translation, asking about the politics and ethics of uneven linguistic and semiotic exchanges.