Stories Archive

History in Action: Department Supports Ferguson Teach-In

Organizers Stephanie Smallwood (right) and Ralina Joseph

Department of History faculty, staff and students played an important part in a one-day teach-in event on the University of Washington campus, entitled: “Ferguson and Beyond: Race, State Violence, and Activist Agendas for Social Justice in the 21st Century.” History Professor Stephanie Smallwood took a leading role in organizing the event, in conjunction with Professor Ralina Joseph of the Communications Department, and with the assistance of many units and individuals across the university and beyond.

The teach-in, held on January 23rd, drew a crowd of two hundred and seventy people from throughout the Seattle area to the university’s Ethnic Cultural Center. The aim of the event was to connect past, present and future in order to address the pressing issue of racial and state violence in a constructive way. The morning session, entitled “The Past is Always Present,” sought to look back in time, and contextualize current events by reference to historical experience. The afternoon portion turned toward the future, by emphasizing the urgent imperative for universal social justice, encouraging student and youth activism as an engine for change, and ending with an open-ended discussion of “The Way Forward.”

Professor Smallwood explained the format grew out of her own experience attending teach-ins as an undergraduate. “In hindsight,” she said, “those events turned out to be the rare moments to engage faculty outside the classroom, as real people.” A faculty member herself now, Smallwood saw that “we scholars of race, of U.S. history, had something to say, that needed to be said, and wasn’t being said.”

Alumni Profile: Christine Charbonneau

Today, Christine R. Charbonneau (B.A., 1982) is the CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, but she started out as a volunteer while studying History at the University of Washington. Planned Parenthood, whose reproductive health mission includes health services, education, and advocacy, is one of the twenty largest not-for-profit organizations in Washington State. Ms. Charbonneau has 500 employees.

Alumni Profile: Jim Maddock

Jim Maddock

When recent graduate Jim Maddock (B.A./B.S. 2014) first came to the University of Washington he had planned to utilize his strong background in math and “hard” science to complete a degree in computer science. However, he recalls, he quickly learned two things about himself:

Alumni Profile: Sarah Lindsley

Sarah Lindsley (Ph.D., 2011) completed her History Ph.D. in twentieth century American history with a focus on gender, sexuality and race. Today, she is a Senior Equal Opportunity Specialist at the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Her successful trajectory from doctoral student to public sector professional, illustrates one of the many diverse career paths open to History graduates.

UW History Professors facilitate NEH workshops, Atomic West, Atomic World

Hanford B Reactor, 1940s

This summer, UW History professors John Findlay and Bruce Hevly shared their expertise with a national audience of K-12 educators as facilitators in workshops on the development of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State. Professors Findlay and Hevly are co-authors of the book Atomic Frontier Days: Hanford and the American West (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2011). In addition to Findlay and Hevly, a third workshop facilitator, Kate Brown, also has ties to the University of Washington Department of History—she is an alumna, having specialized in Russian history. Brown’s book Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters compares the towns around Hanford to equivalent towns in the Soviet Union.

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New Course on American Citizenship Examines the Narrative of “Equal Rights for All” in U.S. History

In Autumn 2014 the Department of History will offer a new course in American history – HSTAA 110 American Citizenship. Designed and taught by Professor John M. Findlay, this course presents a clear, thematic focus on citizenship – an issue that is of enduring interest and importance today -- that supplements the department's introductory survey course in United States history.

Graduate Student Profile: Eleanor Mahoney

History PhD Candidate Eleanor Mahoney

Eleanor Mahoney is a PhD Candidate in the History Department. Her dissertation examines changes in American land use patterns from roughly the Great Society to the election of Ronald Reagan. In particular, Mahoney traces connections between the rise of environmentalism in the 1970’s and the decline of industry – linkages frequently ignored in scholarly and popular histories of the period.

Graduate Student Profile: Antony Adler

History PhD Candidate Antony Adler

Antony Adler is a doctoral candidate in the History of Science. His dissertation project, The Ocean Laboratory: Exploration, Fieldwork, and Science at Sea, presents a comprehensive transnational history of the changing practices of scientific oceanic fieldwork from the late eighteenth century to the early twentieth century using British, French, and American case studies.