WSU Vancouver History

Photograph of the Fort Vancouver historic site

Offered as: Major, Minor, Graduate program

The study of History at Washington State University Vancouver provides students with a broad background of African, Asian, European, Latin American and United States History. Specialties of the WSUV faculty include: Chicana/o Studies, Latin American Culture and Art, Slavery and the Atlantic World, North American Indians, Labor and Community in the United States, the African Diaspora, Ethnicity in Modern China, and the Pacific Northwest.

The History Program at WSUV offers undergraduate and graduate and minor degrees in history and helps students fulfill secondary education endorsement areas in Social Studies and/or History for the state of Washington. The graduate history degree program offers special tracks in public history and world history.

Students with undergraduate history degrees can work as teachers, historians, archivists, information specialists, writers, researchers, or in government service, business, the media, nonprofit organizations, or politics. With further study, history majors can teach college, practice medicine or law, enter the ministry or work as librarians.

To declare a MAJOR in History, please contact: Aaron Whelchel I 360-546-9578

History Formal Major

To declare a MINOR in History, please contact: Shellynda Michalek | 360-546-9106

History Formal Minor

For GRADUATE programs, please contact: Dr. Xiuyu Wang | 360-546-9174

History MA & PhD

Recent news:

• Professor Sue Peabody has two new books out! Le Droit des noirs en France au temps de l’esclavage: Textes choisis et commentés, (with co-author Pierre H. Boulle) (L’Harmattan, 2014) surveys the laws and judicial proceedings regulating blacks and slavery in the metropole, from the 16th century until 1848, with excerpted documents illustrating these changes. Free Soil in the Atlantic World, (co-edited with Keila Grinberg of the Universidão de Rio de Janeiro) (Routledge, 2014) considers the legal origins of Free Soil and the context in which it was invoked.

• Professor Candice Goucher has published two articles: "Rituals of Iron in the Black Atlantic World," in Akinwumi Ogundiran and Paula Saunders, eds., Materialities of Ritual in the Black Atlantic (Indiana University Press, 2014). “Iron sails the seas: a maritime history of African diaspora iron technology,” appeared in the Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies/Revuecanadienne des études latinoaméricaines et caraïbes special issue edited by Amitava Chowdhury (WSU PhD) on knowledge transfer, product exchange, and human networks in the greater Caribbean.

She is a 2014-15 Trent R. Dames Fellow in the History of Civil Engineering at the Huntington Library, in support of her sabbatical project: "The Memory of Iron: African Metallurgy in the Atlantic World."

• Adjunct Instructor and History Advisor Aaron Whelchel received a "new advisor" award from the Washington State University Academic Advising Association (ACADA) recognizing his service to History and Social Science majors at WSUV.

• Professor Laurie Mercier received the 2014-15 Sproul Visiting Scholar Fellowship in the Canadian Studies Program at University of California at Berkeley.

She also has essays in two new books: “Probing Memory and Experience: The Untapped Potential of Oral History (Re)Collections,” in Oral History, Community, and Work in the American West (University of Arizona Press); and “Confronting Race and Creating Community: Idaho’s Ethnic History,” in Idaho’s Place: A New History of the Gem State (University of Washington Press).

• Clinical Assistant Professor Steve Fountain published an article in the April 2014 issue of Enviromental History : “Ranchers' Friend and Farmers' Foe: Beaver Reintroduction and Better Nature in California.” 

He also recently participated in the 50th anniversary symposium for the American West Center at the University of Utah (with partners from the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and Portland State University) and the 60th anniversary meeting of the American Society for Ethnohistory in Indianapolis.

• Associate Professor Xiuyu Wang won a WSU Samuel H. and Patricia W. Smith Teaching and Learning Grant for 2014 to create a primary source reader on East Asia, covering history, literature, philosophy, political economy, and other subjects.

Past news:

• Two WSU Vancouver history grads have each recently won prestigious academic awards—the Roelker and Prelinger—and both will be honored in January at the annual conference of the American Historical Association (the nation's largest historical association) in Washington DC.

Shari Conditt was a recipient of the WSU Association of Faculty Women's best MA student award last year. She received her MA in History from WSUV in spring, earlier having been designated a James Madison fellow, which awarded her tuition expenses for WSUV and Georgetown University. Shari completed her degree while a full-time high school history teacher in nearby Woodland, parent of two young children, and president of her teacher's union. Read the press release »

Donna Sinclair graduated with her BA in history in 1995, as a single parent of 3 children. She worked as an intern at the Center for Columbia River History, then attended and received her MA in history from Portland State U. She has worked with Professor Laurie Mercier on various public history projects in the region, and she began working on her PhD in urban studies at PSU a few years ago. She has been teaching as an adjunct instructor in our WSUV history program for several years.


Contact the Department

Secretary Senior
(360) 546-9441

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