Robin Stacey at Shoreline CC

Robin Stacey at Shoreline CC
Spring 2015 Meeting at Shoreline CC: UW History Professor Robin Stacey gives her keynote address on her experiences with the innovative teaching curriculum, "Reacting to the Past," developed originally at Barnard College.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Spring 2017 Meeting of the AWH: Columbia Basin College

Association of Washington Historians
Spring Meeting--Columbia Basin College
April 22, 2017

Dear History Colleague:

You are cordially invited to the annual spring meeting of the Association of Washington Historians on Saturday, April 22, 2017, on the campus of Columbia Basin College in Pasco, Washington.

This year our keynote speaker is Dr. Clif Stratton of Washington State University, where he is Assistant Clinical Professor and Assistant Director of the Roots of Contemporary Issues Program   Dr. Stratton’s teaching and research interests include US and global histories of race, immigration, and empire. He is the 2016 author of Education for Empire: American Schools, Race, and the Paths of Good Citizenship, co-editor of a forthcoming book series with Oxford called Roots of Contemporary Issues: Connecting the Global Past, and a past winner of the American Historical Association’s Eugene Asher Distinguished Teaching Award.

Dr. Stratton will be presenting "From Stories to Skills: Teaching History in the Age of Automation and Austerity.” His talk will address how college historians can better equip their students for a wider variety of information-centered professions by offering sustained and intentional emphasis on building skills through the practice of historical inquiry and research. It will take as its example and centerpiece the Roots of Contemporary Issues program, now in its fifth year at Washington State University.

Event location: SWL Building: Two story building on left when entering from Argent.  Please see CAMPUS MAP.  

NOTE: I need your help getting an accurate attendance count. I am asking everyone to inform me if they will be attending, or how many in their department will be attending, by Friday, April 14.  If your department or division can give a total number in one e-mail, that would be great, but if not, notify me individually.

Reply to this email ( with the names of those attending.  Alternatively, you can telephone me at my office (509) 542-5517 and leave a message.

We hope you will be able to attend the meeting at Columbia Basin College and will urge your colleagues and any other historians you may know to join us.

Please forward this invitation to others in your department and kindly send me emails of those who are not included in our email list.

David Arnold
AWH Secretary-Treasurer

About AWH

Association of Washington Historians
About AWH

The Association of Washington Historians (AWH) is an informal group of historians in the State of Washington who meet annually to mingle, enjoy a history lecture, and discuss issues of common interest.  There are no dues or registration fees.  The only costs are for the meal, as our keynote speakers--university history professors from our state's institutions--generously deliver their presentations at no charge to the organization.  At the annual meeting, a voluntary collection is taken up to support "History Day," a national program that promotes history in the elementary and secondary schools.

The Board of Directors urges all historians in Washington state to attend. In the past the annual gathering of university and community college instructors has been a good way to exchange ideas and to inform ourselves of each other’s problems. At the same time we have long felt a need to expand the scope of our cooperation in order to promote the study of history and to increase historical awareness within the state. Therefore, we are extending an especially warm invitation to high school teachers of history, to archivists, and to the staff of historical societies/museums. I

If you know of others who have not received our letter, please share this information with them and invite them to join us.  We also encourage university professors to invite their graduate students.

Previous Meetings:

2016 Meeting: Washington State University, Vancouver

Thanks to the generosity of the WSU-Vancouver history department, we met on on Saturday, April 30, 2016, to hear our keynote speaker Dr. Tom Taylor, Chair of the History Department at Seattle University and President of the Northwest World History Association, lecture on “Big History: It’s Certainly Big but is it History?”  Dr. Taylor’s talk examined the field of Big History that has been drawing a lot of interest as well as its share of controversy of the last several years.  He discussed the central tenets that are defining the study of Big History and explored some of the teaching opportunities and challenges that it offers History teachers.  His talk stimulated a lot of great discussion.

Afterwards we had our annual luncheon followed by a short business meeting. 

2015 Meeting: Shoreline Community College

Thanks to the generosity of the Shoreline Community College history department, we met on Saturday, April 25, 2015 to listen to our Keynote speaker, UW history professor Robin Stacey, talk about "Reacting to Reacting to the Past.”  Reacting to the Past is an innovative history curriculum pioneered by Barnard professor Mark C. Carnes in the late 1990s that has now been adopted in college classrooms across the country. In RTTP classes, students assume the identity of historical characters and enter into role-playing games designed around a particular historical event or series of events.  In this talk, medieval historian Robin Stacey described her experiences writing and playing RTTP games in her UW classroom.

Afterwards we had our annual luncheon followed by a short business meeting.

2014 Meeting: Central Washington University

Thanks to the generosity of the Central Washington University history department, we met at Dean Hall on the campus of CWU and listened to our Keynote speaker, WWU history professor Johann Neem, the author of Creating a Nation of Joiners, talk about "Making Sense of Higher Education Reform." Professor Neem’s presentation focused on competing ideals for higher education and offered some frameworks for understanding the national conversation over the purposes of higher education today.

Afterwards we had our annual luncheon followed by a short business meeting.

2013 Meeting: University of Washington

Thanks to the generosity of the University of Washington History Department, this year’s meeting took place at the UW Waterfront Activities Center, located behind Husky Stadium on Lake Washington. 

We gathered for coffee and doughnuts at 9:30 a.m. in the meeting room on the upper levelAt 11:00am our Keynote speaker, WSU Professor Jesse Spohnholz, presented his thought-provoking lecture, “Forgetting Plurality and Re-inventing the History of the Reformation: A Tragedy in Four Acts."

Prof. Spohnholz discussed a 450-year old mystery from Reformation-era Europe and the way that historians and archivists from the 17th to the 20th century who were engaged in debates in their own day recorded evidence and retold events in ways that replicated errors that continue to haunt 21st-century historians. The talk described the process of forgetting and re-inventing in four sets of actions involving source preservation, the organization of archives, the production of historical narratives, and the identification of historical significance. 

Afterwards, we had our annual luncheon followed by a short business meeting.

2012 Meeting: Eastern Washington University
Thanks to the generosity of the Eastern Washington University history department, the annual spring meeting of the Association of Washington Historians will took place at the EWU Cheney campus on Saturday, April 28, 2012. We gathered for coffee and doughnuts at 9:30 a.m. At 11:00am our keynote speakers, Professors John Findlay and Bruce Hevly of the University of Washington, talked about reactions to their new book, “Atomic Frontier Days: Hanford and the American West.” At 12:30pm we had our annual luncheon followed by a brief business meeting.  

2011 Meeting: Bellevue College


Officers and Board of Directors for 2016-2017

Association of Washington Historians
Officers and Board of Directors


President: Sean Wempe, Washington State University
Vice President: Heath Spencer, Seattle University
Secretary-Treasurer: David Arnold, Columbia Basin College
Secretary-Treasurer Emeritus: Rick Williams, WSU

Board of Directors:

Christopher Herbert, Columbia Basin College (2014-2017)
Chong Eun Auhn, Central Washington University (2014-2017)
Daniel Herman, Central Washington University (2014-2017)
Heath Spencer, Seattle University (2015-2018)
Theresa Jordan, Washington State University
Tim Heinrichs, Bellevue College (2015-2018)
Fred Hardaway, Washington State University (2016-2019)
Sean Wempe, Washington State University (2016-2019)
Vann Forsyth, Clark College (2016-2019)
David Arnold, Columbia Basin College (2011-)
Rick Williams, Washington State University (Permanent Emeritus Status)