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

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

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.