CWUNewsNews Karen Blair's Retirement Party, 20 May 2014 15:54:17<p>Please come join the History Department in celebrating with Karen Blair her retirement from Central Washington University on Wednesday, May 28, 2014 from 4:00-6:00PM in the Mary Grupe Center.&nbsp; All are invited to come and be part of her celebration. <a href="/history/sites/"><strong>Please see attached flyer</strong></a></p>History Student Wins Top Award for Paper, 20 May 2014 12:28:06<p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/history/sites/" style="width: 450px; height: 253px;"></p><p><strong>May 20, 2014.</strong> Chris A. Davis, a CWU History student won the Raymond A. Smith Award for Scholarship at the College of Arts and Humanities annual banquet last Monday. His paper, "I'm Going Home Before Long: Blues Music as Resistance in the Mississippi Delta," is notable for its strong scholarship and innovative use of the lyrics of Blues tunes to draw a picture of life in Mississippi's Delta area around the time of the Great Mississippi River flood of 1927.</p><p>Davis wrote the paper for Dr. Lacy Ferrell in History 481. The award is named after the late Professor Raymond A. Smith, longtime member of the CWU History Department, head of Central's Humanities Program for over 20 years and masterful raconteur.</p>INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITY-Apply NOW, 11 Mar 2014 13:23:52<p>Please read through this for information regarding an<a href="/history/sites/"> Internship Opportunity </a>for credit.</p><p><strong>Important items to remember when applying</strong><br>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; ~Must be a junior or senior<br>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; ~Must be a declared History major OR minor<br>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; ~Include a CV, cover letter, unofficial transcript and letter of recommendation from<br>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;a History Department faculty member<br><br><em><strong>Don't miss this opportunity!!!!</strong></em></p>Talk on Vampires in New England Draws a Crowd, 18 Feb 2014 14:29:29<h6><img alt="" src="/history/sites/" style="width: 225px; height: 300px; float: left; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid; margin: 2px 3px;"><em>Prof. Carroll and history student Ian Henderson 'horse' around before the talk while enjoying some snacks.</em></h6><p><strong>Feb. 18, 2014.</strong> On the evening of February 13, 2014, Professor Brian Carroll gave an hour long talk entitled “Burning the Hearts of the Dead:&nbsp; Historicizing Vampire Belief in Nineteenth-Century New England” as part of the ongoing CWU History Club lecture series.&nbsp; Speaking to a boisterous, packed house–the room seated thirty-five but between fifty and sixty people showed up—the audience included faculty from at least four different departments, numerous history students, and various interested folk from around the university community and Ellensburg. Refreshments were served from 5:00 to 5:30 PM with the talk following from 5:30 to about 6:30.&nbsp; Despite being on the eve of Valentine’s Day the event had a decidedly festive and macabre (dare we sat Halloween-esque) feel to it—refreshments included cupcakes with white frosting and strawberry filling oozing through two “fang” punctures in the top of each, blood-red fruit punch was served along with an assortment of other snacks both ghoulish and not-so-ghoulish.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="History students and other attendies chat, mill about and devour food before the talk. " src="/history/sites/" style="width: 250px; height: 199px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid; margin: 2px 3px;"></p><h6 style="text-align: center;"><em>History students and other attendees chat, mill about and devour food before the talk</em>.</h6><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Carroll’s talk began with an introduction to folk vampire belief in New England from 1785 to 1895, as currently understood by Anthropologists and Folklorists. They argue the phenomenon developed in response to a devastating tuberculosis epidemic, which was then known as ‘consumption.’ There was no cure or effective treatment for the disease at the time. People were not even sure how it spread.&nbsp; New Englanders, mainly in Rhode Island and eastern Connecticut, so the story goes, fell back on old European folklore about vampires to explain why people were getting sick and dying.&nbsp; Some were so convinced the dead were praying on the living that they began digging up the recently-deceased to look for ‘evidence’ of vampirism. But due to a poor understanding of what happens to bodies when they decompose, if a body looked too well-preserved, they were assumed to be a vampire. In such cases their hearts (and sometimes other organs) were ripped from their chest cavities and burned, sometimes in public with family members, town officials, doctors, and ministers in attendance. Consumptives sometimes inhaled the smoke from the fires or mixed the ashes with water and drank them as a “cure.” After the Civil War the belief declined rapidly, due mainly to advances in science and medicine—the final ‘nail in the coffin’ for vampire belief in New England (groan for bad pun)! Twenty-four of these vampire “exhumations” can be documented, but probably dozens more, perhaps hundreds, went unrecorded.&nbsp; Over the last twenty-four years about a half-dozen books have come out on the subject, in addition a number of scholarly and popular articles, dozens of newspaper stories, and a half-dozen local television documentaries.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/history/sites/" style="width: 370px; height: 190px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid; margin: 2px;"></p><h6 style="text-align: center;"><em>Now the boring part, he talks, and talks, . . . making one long for the grave!&nbsp; Wait, is Professor Carroll talking about people digging up dead bodies in the 1800s? Eew.</em></h6><p>&nbsp;</p><p>But Carroll argues that while Anthropologists and Folklorists did yeoman’s work uncovering and explaining this cultural episode, from the perspective of historians many questions remain.&nbsp; In particular, Carroll’s research seeks to understand the timing and location of the New England vampire “outbreak.” Why Rhode Island and Connecticut and not somewhere else—say Kentucky, North Carolina or Pennsylvania? Also, why did it start after the American Revolution and not earlier or later? In short, Carroll argues the phenomenon needs to be historicizied—placed into its proper context in relation to other historical developments of Revolutionary and post-Revolutionary era New England.&nbsp; As vampires were as much a medical as a spiritual belief, Carroll began by sketching the outline of both supernatural or occult beliefs in early New England and the state of medicine in Eighteenth- and early Nineteenth-century New England.&nbsp; Arguing that Enlightenment-era empirical science had only limited impact on Europe and America at this time, there was in fact not much of a dividing line between medicine, science and the occult.&nbsp; Medicinal practices of the era were hardly scientific, as they included various superstitions, folk beliefs, quack remedies, faith healing, and the like. Working vampires into already existing beliefs about ghosts and the supernatural was not as much of a stretch as it would seem nowadays.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/history/sites/" style="width: 375px; height: 281px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid; margin: 2px;"></p><h6 style="text-align: center;">After a while, some students (like Liz) begin to take the talk a bite, . . . eh bit, too seriously.</h6><p>&nbsp;</p><p>As vampire belief was actually quite rare in England in the 17th and 18th centuries, Carroll then explains the influence on America of European reports about vampire “scares” which plagued Central and Eastern Europe in the 1720s and 1730s—by looking at how they were reported in American newspapers. Romantic-era literature also introduced vampires to Americans starting with the publication of <em>THE VAMPYRE</em> by John William Polidori in 1819, followed by numerous knock-offs, parodies and theatrical productions of Polidori’s work—some of which were staged in Rhode Island and Connecticut during the period from the 1820s to the1860s, the height of the folk vampire phenomenon.&nbsp; Bram Stoker’s novel <em>DRACULA</em> was not published until 1897, after the decline of New England folk vampire belief, so it had no influence on the phenomenon whatsoever.&nbsp; Finally Carroll examined the history of immigration into the region to identify a source for the direct transmission of the belief—as no evidence suggests it existed in New England prior to the American Revolution. Carroll therefore argues vampire belief was not a long-held age-old folk belief in the region but rather an introduced phenomenon brought in by recent immigrants to Rhode Island and Connecticut and reinforced by popular portrayals of vampires in literature and on stage.</p>Prof. Ferrell's Talk on Music in Ghana a Huge Success!, 14 Feb 2014 17:09:02<p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/history/sites/" style="width: 475px; height: 147px;"></p><h5 style="text-align: center;">Prof. Lacy Ferrell (center) poses with history students and other attendees after her talk.</h5><p><strong>Feb. 14, 2014</strong>. On the evening of February 6, 2014, Professor Lacy S. Ferrell gave an entertaining lecture titled "<em>Popular Music in Ghana from the 1920s to the Present</em>" as part of the on-going 2014 CWU History Club lecture series.&nbsp; Refreshments were served and students and attendees mingled before the talk. "This is so much fun!" remarked Erika Naficy, a CWU sophomore and history major. "We should do this more often," Todd Goings, a graduate student and member of the CWU History Club added.&nbsp; Between twenty-five and thirty people were in attendance, including history students, faculty from several other departments, as well as other students from the larger university community.</p><p>Professor Ferrell's talk focused on the popular music of Ghana, known as "Highlife,"&nbsp; which emerged when Ghana was a British colony.&nbsp; A blend of local rhythms and foreign influences that intermixed in Ghana's ports, subgenres quickly developed that were influenced by everything from military brass bands to American blues, jazz and swing.&nbsp; The music became associated with the new modern fast-paced urban life that many in Ghana experienced as they moved to cities to find work in 20th century.&nbsp; A youth culture sprung up in these cities and Highlife was its soundtrack. Professor Ferrell elaborated on how the music and the culture surrounding it subverted age and gender hierarchies, and became a vehicle for young people to challenge existing social norms and power relations. Ferrell also showed how Highlife was rebellious--associated with smoking, drinking, and casual sex.</p><p>Ferrell sketched out how the music evolved and how various social, economic and political changes in Ghana were reflected in the music--by playing recorded clips of songs for the audience as she went.&nbsp; Played in the streets, in private clubs, and in nightclubs by the 1940s, those in power--missionaries and government officials-- tried (and usually failed) to control the message of the music and how people enjoyed it--mainly through dancing. When Ghana gained its independence in 1956 Ferrell explained how Highlife was the accompaniment.&nbsp; While it is rarely heard or performed now, Ferrell explains, Highlife nonetheless remains an important part of Ghana's cultural heritage.</p><p>For those who did not attend and might want to get a flavor of what this rich music sounds like, Professor Farrell has graciously provided this link to a great Highlife song, "<a href="" target="_blank">Medzi Medzi</a>," by the "king of highlife," E.T. Mensah, with his backing band <em>The Tempos</em>.</p><p>Click<a href="" target="_blank"> here </a>to listen.</p>History Club Presentation TONIGHT at 5:30PM in the Language & Literature Bldg. Lounge-room 106A, 13 Feb 2014 10:29:02<p>Dr. Brian Carroll will give a talk this evening&nbsp; at the History Club's weekly meeting.&nbsp; This SPECIAL VALENTINE'S DAY event&nbsp; is sure to be WOW those in attendance.&nbsp; His topic is Burning the Hearts of the Dead:&nbsp; Vampire Belief in Nineteenth Century New England.&nbsp; Meeting starts at 5:00PM with Dr. Carroll's talk to start at 5:30PM.&nbsp; Hope you can come and join us!!</p><p><a href="/history/sites/">Flyer</a></p>History Club Presentation this Thursday, February 6, 2014 at 5:30PM, 04 Feb 2014 10:13:54<p><strong>Dr. Lacy Ferrell will make a presentation at the upcoming History club meeting Thursday, February 6, 2014 at 5:30PM in the Language and Literature Bldg lounge-room 106A.&nbsp; Her topic will be <em>Popular Music in Ghana From the 1920's to the Present.&nbsp; </em>We hope you will join us for this very interesting presentation!</strong></p>CALL FOR PAPERS! Phi Alpha Theta Conference in April, 16 Jan 2014 14:20:55<p><img alt="" src="/history/sites/" style="width: 250px; height: 167px;"><strong> CALL FOR PAPERS.</strong></p><p>COME ONE, COME ALL!! All interested undergrad and graduate history students! If you've written a research paper you are particularly psyched about or are in the process or writing one, and would like to "road test" it at an academic conference--we've got the just the opportunity for you! Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society regional conference in Coeur d'Alene, ID in April! You don't have to be a member to present! Proposals need to be submitted by February 14! Its easy and they can be done online--see the<a href=""> instructions</a>! We also have a really fun time! Come join us! Any questions, see Prof. Carroll.</p><p>&nbsp;</p>Western History Book Wins Second National Prize, 05 Dec 2013 14:25:49<p><img alt="" src="/history/sites/" style="width: 213px; height: 320px;"></p><p>Dan Herman’s Rim County Exodus: A Story of Conquest, Renewal, and Race in the Making has been awarded the Charles Redd Center-Phi Alpha Theta Book Award in Western History. The book previously won the prestigious Labriola Center American Indian National Book Award.</p><p>Herman, a Central Washington University history professor, is an Arizona native who specializes in American cultural history, American Indian history, the American West, Jacksonian America, and the Civil War. Rim Country Exodus examines the bloody and contradictory history of Apaches, Yavapais, settlers, and Bureau of Indian Affairs agents in Arizona between 1864 and 1940.</p><p>“It's a big award,” said Herman. “I'm very, very glad to get it. There were probably quite a few books nominated, since any book on Western history is eligible.”</p><p>The biennial award requires that the book must be on some aspect of the American West, and that its author must be a member of Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honors organization.<br><br>“In a sense, this award comes directly out of our department's collaborative work with undergrads,” said Herman. “I would not be a member of Phi Alpha Theta had I not been taking undergrads to that conference every year from 2002-2005.”</p><p>CWU's history department sends a substantial contingent of students, both graduate and undergraduate, to Phi Alpha Theta's annual Pacific Northwest regional conference. [Herman’s colleague Jason Knirck now accompanies students to the conference.]<br><br>Through the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies at Brigham Young University, Phi Alpha Theta offers a $500 prize for the best book on any aspect of the history of the American West. Herman will receive the prize at the Phi Alpha Theta Biennial Convention in January 2014.</p><p>Herman’s previous book, Hell on the Range: A Story of Honor, Conscience, and the American West (Yale University Press, 2010) was chosen as a Pima County Library Southwestern Book of the Year. His first book, Hunting and the American Imagination (Smithsonian Institution Press, 2001), won the 2002 American Historical Society/Pacific Coast Branch book prize and became a History Book Club selection.</p><p><br>Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,</p>Professor Herman wins Western History Award!, 02 Dec 2013 13:42:04<p>The Charles Redd Center-Phi Alpha Theta Book Award for the best book in Western American History (2012-2013) was awarded&nbsp; to Daniel J. Herman, Professor of History at Central Washington University, for his book, <em>Rim Country Exodus: A Story of Conquest, Renewal, and Race in the Making</em> (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2012). Professor Herman examines the extraordinary interaction between Indians, settlers, and federal officials in the 19th and 20th centuries in the rim country of Arizona. Significantly, Professor Herman tells a story of survival rather than disappearance. Congratulations Professor Herman!!</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/history/sites/" style="width: 265px; height: 395px;"></p>