UW History graduate student Madison Heslop was awarded the Washington State Historical Society's Charles Gates Award for her journal article Linking Violence Across the Pacific: The B-29 Superfortress in Seattle’s and Tokyo’s Urban Landscape, published in Pacific Northwest Quarterly Winter 2019-2020. This award recognizes the most significant achievement among all articles published in the University of Washington’s Pacific Northwest Quarterly during the previous year.
In the article, Madison examines how the B-29 Superfortress bomber transformed both the landscape of Seattle, where it was produced, and the landscape of Japan, where it was used during World War II to carry out the most destructive air raids in history. Madison uses the B-29 to narratively link Pacific Northwest and Japanese history and explores the ways that the civilian populations of nations at war experience its violence through reconfigurations of their urban spaces.
Madison is a PhD candidate in the UW Department of History. Her research focuses on the North American West in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Her dissertation, currently titled "Gateway Cities: Seattle and Vancouver in the Pacific, 1896-1939," examines the connected histories of Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia via their urban waterfronts.
Each year, the Washington State Historical Society makes a point of recognizing individuals who are advancing the field of history in the Evergreen State. The annual History Awards recognize Washingtonians for their excellence in history research, teaching, publishing, and expanding the understanding of cultural diversity. “The annual History Awards offer a point to review and reflect on important work that our colleagues and communities have undertaken,” said WSHS Director Jennifer Kilmer. “We solicit nominations broadly and work with a committee to select awardees. We always look forward to sharing about the contributions of these folks.” The seven awards have traditionally been presented to recipients at the WSHS annual meeting in the fall, but in 2020 the awards were presented virtually due to COVID, and the plan for this year is evolving. “Given the ongoing public health concerns, we are considering options to celebrate this year’s award recipients. We will share an update on our website once we’ve finalized that,” added Kilmer.