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News | October 29, 2019

‘I belong in this community.’ A new museum tells the Pacific Northwest history of Latinx identity

It’s 2 p.m. on a Thursday afternoon and the crowd at a new Mexican American cultural center in South Park is at capacity. Bailadores de Bronce, Washington’s oldest Mexican folkloric dance group, takes the stage to present two distinct traditional dances that reveal the variety within Mexican culture. “I think when I was growing up I had…


News | September 3, 2020

75 years after WWII, those who lived it share how it changed them, Seattle

PEACE! ran across the top of the Sept. 2, 1945, edition of The Seattle Sunday Times.    Japan had surrendered. World War II was over. Peace, wrote a reporter from aboard a battleship, had formally come to the entire world after history’s most devastating war. “Today, the guns are silent. A great tragedy has ended. A great…


Course | HSTAA 540

African American Urban History: 1700-2000

Examines the growth and evolution of African-American urban communities from the colonial era to the present, with particular emphasis on cities of the West.

Course | HSTAA 313

African Americans in the American West

Explores pre-1848 Spanish-speaking black settlers, slavery, post-civil war migration, buffalo soldiers. 19th and 20th century black urban settlers, World War II migration, the civil rights movement in the West, the interaction of African Americans with other people of color. Particular focus on Seattle and the Pacific Northwest.

News | September 1, 2020

After push from Native organizations, King County will add tribal affiliations to its homelessness database

For the first time since government officials began collecting data on the thousands of people living homeless in King County, a new category on people’s tribal affiliations will soon be added to the system. The move comes after a years-long push from Native homeless service providers to collect better information on Native people in the county’s federally mandated homelessness database. In recent years, these providers have demanded…


News | August 4, 2020

After two months of protests, Seattle activists say work not done

The mass protests against police brutality and for racial equity that have dominated Seattle and the nation for the past two months are like few others in American history — a sustained, daily movement, in major cities, sleepy suburbs and rural towns, with no central organizing hub, driven by social media and word-of-mouth. Locally, the…


Course | HSTAA 508, URBDP 565

American Urban History

Intensive lecture/seminar designed to provide students the opportunity for immersion in historical scholarship that addresses social, economic, political, technological, and cultural forces that have shaped the development of American cities.

Course | HSTAA 426

American Urban History Since 1870

Development of American cities for the past century. Topics include physical development, immigration, politics, and changes in society and culture.

Scholar

Arbella Bet-Shlimon

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News | November 19, 2019

Can Amazon shake its suburban mindset and become a responsible urban citizen?

What kind of urban citizen is Amazon going to be? High tech companies are traditionally a suburban phenomenon, and the burbs have been a gentler place for expansion than the heart of a city. The prototype, of course, is Silicon Valley, south of San Francisco, and Seattle’s Eastside. In such places tech companies could sprawl,…


Course | HSTAM 332

Central Middle Ages

Europe in the central Middle Ages: culture of cathedrals and universities, formation of national states, development of urban society.

Course | HSTAS 460 / SISEA 46

Cities in China: Past and Present

Economic, political, social, and cultural functions of the city in modern Chinese history. Changes in China's urban system. The city as cultural center and focus of literary and cinematic representation. Attention to architecture, commerce, urbanization, the role of capital cities in the power of the state.

Course | AFRAM 334 / HSTAA 334

Civil Rights and Black Power in the United States

Examines the politics and culture of the modern African American freedom struggle, which began after WWII and continued into the 1970s. Interrogates political strategies associated with nonviolent direct action, armed self-reliance, and black nationalism, as well as the cultural expression that reflect these political currents.

Course | HSTAA 353

Class, Labor, and American Capitalism

The history of workers and class formation form early industrialization to the present. Emphasizes the interaction of class with race, ethnicity, gender, and political culture within the context of American economic development. Explores the role of unions, labor politics, and radical movements.

News | July 2, 2020

Don’t be fooled by Seattle’s police-free zone

Seattle’s police-free “autonomous zone” is coming to an end. After two largely peaceful weeks, shootings over the last several days near the Capitol Hill Organized Protest area, CHOP for short, left a 19-year-old man dead and three others wounded. Mayor Jenny Durkan announced on June 22 that the city would retake the abandoned police precinct at the heart of…


News | December 5, 2019

Don’t blame tech bros for the housing crisis

Can Big Tech solve the housing crisis? That’s the hope behind recent announcements by Apple, Facebook and Google, which together total $4.5 billion in grants and loans to remedy the affordable-housing crunch in California and the Bay Area. Microsoft last year pledged $500 million to relieve Seattle’s similarly stressed market. While Amazon’s opposition torpedoed Seattle’s attempt in 2018 to raise revenue for homelessness services,…


Course | HSTAS 541

Economic and Social History of Japan to 1900

Analyses of landholding systems, the rise of commerce, demographic changes, urbanization, early industrialization, and social change.

Course | ENVIR 221, HSTAA 221

Environmental History of the U.S.

Surveys the relationship between nature and human history, including the impact of the non-human environment on American history and the environmental effects of colonization, urbanization, and consumerism; the cultural construction of nature in different eras and its social implications; the sources and limits of modern environmental politics.

News | May 24, 2019

Event looks at past efforts to integrate schools in Seattle and what can be done now

May 17 was the 65th anniversary of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision that said segregating public schools by race was unconstitutional. Many public schools in Seattle remain segregated in spite of past efforts to address that, including several decades of busing. A national nonprofit group, Integrated Schools, hosted an event on Thursday,…


News | October 29, 2019

Facebook commits $1 billion to ease Bay Area housing crisis

Facebook Inc. is following other tech titans like Microsoft Corp. and Google, pledging to use its deep pockets to ease the affordable housing shortage in West Coast cities. The social media giant said Tuesday that it would commit $1 billion over the next decade to address the crisis in the San Francisco Bay Area, building as many as…


Course | HSTLAC 282

History of Mexico: Culture, Identity, and the Politics of Rule from the Aztecs to the Present

Overview of Mexican history from late Aztec times until the twenty-first century. Emphasizes how women, campesinos, indigenous populations, free and enslaved Afro-Mexicans, and the urban poor experienced the past, challenged colonial and post-colonial rule, and shaped modern Mexican society and culture.

Course | HSTAS 235 / JSIS A 235

History of Modern Taiwan

Social, cultural, political, and economic history of modern Taiwan from approximately 1600 to the present. Places Taiwan within global historical changes and explores Taiwan-centric issues in depth. Covers migration, colonialism, race and identity, urban and rural development, the Cold War, capitalism and industrialization, science, religion, labor, and gender.

News | March 8, 2017

Honoring Women Collaborators at Urban@UW

In honor of International Women’s Day, we are highlighting just some of UW’s brilliant female professors, scholars, and and change-makers with whom Urban@UW is proud to collaborate. Click on their names to explore their work.   Leadership: Thaisa Way, Executive Director, Urban@UW; Department of Landscape Architecture Executive Committee: Margaret O’Mara, Department of History Susan P….


News | June 11, 2020

How Seattle’s unemployed survived the Great Depression

When the stock market crashed in fall of 1929, the road from joblessness to homelessness was short. Meager local relief programs and private charity weren’t up to the challenge of mass unemployment. As the Depression deepened and President Herbert Hoover resolutely opposed federal involvement in relief efforts, “Hoovervilles” sprang up around the country. Seattle’s largest shanty…


News | February 15, 2019

How Seattle’s 1919 General Strike Ignited America’s Labor Movement

On February 6, 1919, 65,000 union workers in Seattle walked off the job. On that Wednesday morning, barbers, newsboys, ice wagon drivers, stereotypers, electrical utility workers, and bill posters didn’t show up for work, a demonstration of solidarity with shipyard workers who had already been striking for two weeks in pursuit of higher wages. The…


News | December 5, 2019

Impact of WTO protests in Seattle still felt 2 decades later

An array of issues brought tens of thousands of protesters to Seattle 20 years ago Saturday, with one unifying theme: concern that the World Trade Organization, a then-little-known body charged with regulating international trade, threatened them all. With their message amplified not just by their numbers, but by the response of overwhelmed police who fired…


Course | HSTCMP 249 / POL S 249 / SOC 266

Introduction to Labor Studies

Conceptual and theoretical issues in the study of labor and work. Role of labor in national and international politics. Formation of labor movements. Historical and contemporary role of labor in the modern world.

Scholar

James Gregory

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Course | HSTAS 440/540, JSIS A 440/539

Japanese History in Ecological Perspective

Survey of Japanese history in ecological perspective, from early times to the present. Topics include ancient Japanese lifeways; climate and history; agriculture, population, and resources; Buddhist and animist views of outer and inner nature; urbanization from ancient capitals to megacity Tokyo; industrialization and energy; and future visions. Readings include influential scholarly works and Japanese sources in English translation.

Scholar

LInda Nash

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Scholar

Madeleine Yue Dong

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News | January 30, 2020

Many Seattleites are now Voluntarily Paying Rent to the Duwamish

To help right the wrongs of history, thousands of people are paying rent each month to the Duwamish Tribe. Called “Real Rent Duwamish,” the all-volunteer effort — in partnership with the tribe — facilitates monthly “rent” payments to the tribe. Launched in 2017, Real Rent Duwamish has had 4,524 donors so far, now totaling around $20,000…


News | January 9, 2020

Mapping the segregation of Minneapolis

Before it was torn apart by freeway construction in the middle of the 20th century, the Near North neighborhood in Minneapolis was home to the city’s largest concentration of African American families. That wasn’t by accident: As far back as the early 1900s, racially restrictive covenants on property deeds prevented African Americans and other minorities…


Scholar

Margaret O’Mara

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News | January 21, 2018

May HQ2 be ever in your favor: Amazon’s new short list pits 20 cities against each other

Amazon’s decision to establish a second and equal corporate headquarters outside of Seattle made the company an object of desire and scorn simultaneously, as cities were suddenly pitted against one another for the $5 billion prize. And while the 20 candidates that made Amazon’s HQ2 short list last Thursday are likely celebrating, the decision to…


Course | HSTAFM 463

Modern Persian Gulf

Introduction to the histories of Arabian Peninsula states, Iraq, Iran, and their linkages since the eighteenth century. Topics to be covered include imperialism and its legacies, political economy of oil, governmental structures and political transitions, identify formation, political ideologies, urbanization, and relations with the broader Middle East and Indian Ocean.

News | January 31, 2016

Monthly Wrap up January 2016

It’s been a great start to 2016. UW Alumni association and History Department put together a woderful history lecture series: Excavating Seattle’s histories: Peoples, politics, and place check out details and videos here> The CBE also hosted a number of great speakers and events including SUSTAINING JAPAN: 3.11 FIVE YEARS ON lecture and panel discussion…


News | May 25, 2020

More remote work could send techies out of tech hubs… to a point

About a fifth of companies in the San Francisco Bay Area are following Twitter’s lead and planning to keep their workforces at home even after stay-at-home orders are lifted, according to a Bay Area Council survey of CEOs. The tech industry’s embrace of remote work during the pandemic raises a question: If everyone is working from home,…


Scholar

Nancy Beadie

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News | July 31, 2019

National attention, praise for new Silicon Valley history ‘The Code’ by UW historian Margaret O’Mara

Her sweeping new book about the history of Silicon Valley has University of Washington history professor Margaret O’Mara on a busy national book tour this summer. The book, “The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America,” was published this month by Penguin Press and is receiving many positive reviews. “The Code” takes the reader from the…


News | August 25, 2016

NEH Awards $179,000 for Urban-Nature Summer Institute at UW

The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded nearly $180,000 for a new summer institute on the urban environment at the Simpson Center for the Humanities at the University of Washington. The institute, City/Nature: Urban Environmental Humanities, examines how Western cultures have historically viewed city and nature as separate—and how a more integrative understanding can…


News | June 22, 2020

Protestors want Seattle de-gentrified – This is how it could happen

For more than a week, protesters against police brutality and racial injustice have occupied a six-block stretch of a Seattle neighborhood and turned it into a festive hub for their demonstrations. They named it the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, or CHAZ, since renamed the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP), after police withdrew from a police…


Scholar

Quintard Taylor

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News | July 9, 2020

Racial justice is an urban issue: A curated list of resources from UW BIPOC scholars

Racial injustice is not a new issue. Segregation and discrimination on the basis of race has long been tied to the built environments across the country, from redlining and restrictive covenants in the mid-1900s, to white flight and suburbanization after World War II, to the current trends of gentrification and displacement in cities throughout the…


Scholar

Raymond Jonas

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Course | HSTEU 250 / ITAL 250

Rome

Focuses on Rome as an historical, intellectual, and artistic world center. Literary and historic documents, visual arts, architecture, film, and opera used to explore the changing paradigms of the Eternal City.

News | January 25, 2019

Seattle Civil Rights & Labor History Project Launches Newly Designed Website

The Seattle Civil Rights & Labor History Project currently records slightly more than 31,000 page views every month, 372,000 in the past year. And now, thanks to a new, mobile-friendly design, pages are more readable and can be scaled to cell phones and smaller devices, which will help bring more traffic to the project and encourage users…


News | June 30, 2020

Seattle’s activist-occupied zone is just the latest in a long history of movements and protests

The six blocks of occupied Seattle streets now known as the Capitol Hill Organized Protest, or “CHOP”, have become a focal point of the nationwide anti-racist protests, eliciting both encouragement and concern. But for this Pacific Northwest city, it is far from the first time in the radical spotlight. Seattle has a long and storied history of…


Scholar

Shirley J. Yee

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News | January 25, 2018

Shocker: It’s mostly men moving to Seattle for tech jobs

For every four men who moved to Seattle for a tech job in the last decade, only one woman did, too, according to a recent analysis that looked at the trend of tech transplants nationwide.To industry experts and academics, the findings from the careers website Paysa.com came as no surprise. The data is more of…


Course | HSTEU 245

St. Petersburg/Leningrad: City as History

Introduction of political, social, and cultural history of St. Petersburg from 1703-1991. Uses St. Petersburg as a window to explore major themes in Imperial Russian and Soviet history, including westernization and questioning of Russia's national identity, urbanization, industrialization, revolution, multinational empire, World War II, Stalinism, and socialistic reformism.

Scholar

Thaisa Way

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Course | HSTAA 413

The American West in History and Film

Examines emergence of American West since 1840 by looking at colonization processes; Native-white relations; economic and demographic changes; environmental issues; urbanization; western politics and the role of the state. Historians' evolving interpretations of the western past are considered alongside those in film in order to appreciate why the West has loomed so large in 20th-century American culture and identity.

News | July 5, 2017

The biggest cliché in tech is hurting cities

If you don’t live in Silicon Valley, chances are you live in its close relative: “the next Silicon Valley.” The label has been slapped with abandon on towns, cities, regions, or sometimes entire countries. All it takes is an uptick in job growth, an influx of startups, or a new coding bootcamp for the cliche…


Course | HSTAA 208

The City: People, Place, and Environments

Surveys the history of cities in North America and around the globe from 1800 to the present. Considers economic and technological change; politics and government; city planning and landscaping design; migration and immigration, race, gender, and class; suburbanization; popular culture; and natural environments and natural disasters.

News | August 27, 2020

The historian of Seattle hip-hop

In 1979, when Daudi Abe was 9, his father took him to Dirt Cheap Records and set him loose to explore. After a few minutes in the Central District store, Abe came up to the cashier carrying a 12-inch vinyl single with the words “Sugar Hill” across the top. “I just liked the sky-blue cover,”…


News | January 30, 2020

The Middle-Class Housing Crisis in Seattle

Kara Peters works at Seattle’s Central Library. She’s a third-generation Washingtonian who grew up in West Seattle. “Grandma, she did Mary Kay. She had four daughters who all went to West Seattle High School,” Peters said. But unlike her parents and grandparents, Peters can’t afford a house in Seattle, even though she makes a decent income. In…


Course | HSTAA 412

The Westward Movement, 1700-1850

Anglo-American advance into interior continental United States culminating in Far West occupation. Rivalry with New France and Spain in colonial period; role of federal government in westward expansion; land policy and distribution; migration, settlement, and pioneering; federal Indian policies and implementation; political evolution, urbanization, and economic development of trans-Appalachian West; shaping national character and institutions.

News | March 31, 2016

Towards a Speculative Politics for African Cities with Edgar Pieterse – 4/12

Join us April 12 at Kane Hall (Room 120) for Visiting Scholar Edgar Pieterse, Please Register for this Public Event Towards a Speculative Politics for African Cities The available frames to understand and reimagine contemporary urban politics in the African context come down two divergent pathways: 1) build the institutional infrastructure to enact the deliberative…


News | April 23, 2018

Urban Scholar Highlight: Margaret O’Mara

Margaret O’Mara is a Professor in the Department of History and a founding member of Urban@UW. She writes and teaches about the urban, political, and economic history of the modern United States. What led you to your current research interests? I’ve always been interested in how politics and government work with business and economics, and…


News | October 20, 2017

Urban@UW compiles Faculty Highlights Report for research, teaching and engagement on homelessness

As part of its recently launched Homelessess Research Initiative, Urban@UW has collaborated with faculty and staff across all three UW campuses to compile a broad-ranging selection of powerful and robust projects addressing homelessness from a research lens. Check out the Faculty Highlights Report to learn more about these efforts and the people behind them.


Scholar

William Rorabaugh

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