The Wide World of History: Updates from the History Community

Submitted by Nick Grall on

Our history community is a busy one, and you wouldn’t be hard pressed to find one of us outside of campus doing what we do best: promoting and educating on history. From writing about current events, such as Christopher Tounsel’s recent piece on the ongoing violence in Sudan or Ross Coen’s interview in Time Magazine about another period in U.S. history dotted with balloons, to appearing on NPR like PhD candidates Andrew Hedden and Jacob Beckert and even podcasts as Charity Urbanski did recently when discussing Joan of Arc on the History Channel’s “History This Week”, our history community continues to put its best foot forward.

Here are some further updates on what our faculty, students, and alumni have been up to:


Dan Berger, adjunct associate professor, has published Stayed on Freedom: The Long History of Black Power through One Family’s Journey (Basic Books, 2023).

Ross Coen (PhD alumni and lecturer) was awarded the 2022 Charles Gates Award by the Washington State Historical Society for his article "Elizabeth Peratrovich Day: Constructing a History of Alaska Native Civil Rights", published in Pacific Northwest Quarterly, Summer 2021. This award recognizes the most significant achievement among all articles published in the University of Washington’s Pacific Northwest Quarterly.

Dianne Harris, dean of the UW College of Arts and Sciences, is an architectural historian who recently was published in a work edited by Eric Avila (UCLA) and UW professor Thaisa Way, “Where Was Jim Crow? Frank Lloyd Wright, Broadacre City, and the All-White American Suburb”, Segregation and Resistance in the Landscape of the Americas (Dumbarton Oaks, 2023).

Moon-Ho Jung has received two awards for his book Menace to Empire: Anticolonial Solidarities and the Transpacific Origins of the US Security State (University of California Press, 2022). The Organization for American Historians (OAH) in conjunction with the Labor and Working-Class History Association presented him with the David Montgomery Award for the best book on the topic of labor and working-class history. He was also awarded the Theodore Saloutos Book Award by the Immigration and Ethnic Society for best book on the immigration history of the United States. In addition to these two prizes, Jung received honorable mention for the James A. Rawley Prize by the OAH, which recognizes the best book dealing with race relations in the United States, and he was elected to a three-year term on the OAH executive board.

Mark Metzler has written a new chapter, “Japan: The Arc of Industrialization,” in the New Cambridge History of Japan (Cambridge University Press, 2023) that offers a new ecological-economic perspective on Japan’s modern material history.

Hwasook Nam, emerita faculty, won two awards for her book Women in the Sky: Gender and Labor in the Making of Modern Korea (Cornell University Press, 2021). The American Historical Association presented her with the 2022 John K. Fairbank Prize in East Asian History since 1800, and the Association for Asian Studies awarded Nam the 2023 James B. Palais Book Prize, which is given to "an outstanding scholar of Korean Studies from any discipline or country specialization to recognize distinguished scholarly work on Korea." Both of these prizes are considered among the most prestigious awards for her field of study.

Margaret O’Mara, Scott and Dorothy Bullitt Chair of American History, had the distinction of serving as the expert advisor for the newest American Girl dolls, Isabel and Nikki, twins living in 1999 Seattle.

Lynn Thomas has had her book Beneath the Surface: A Transnational History of Skin Lighteners (Duke University Press, 2020) shortlisted for the Fage & Oliver Prize, awarded by the African Studies Association UK for the best book in African history published in 2020-21. Thomas was also awarded a UW Simpson Society of Scholars fellowship for her project “A Global History of Abortion: Kenya, the United States, and Contested Technologies” for 2023-24.

Christopher Tounsel is a finalist for the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora First Book Award for his book Chosen Peoples: Christianity and Political Imagination in South Sudan (Duke University Press, 2021).

Shirley Yee, adjunct professor, published an article this past fall in Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies, “Undertaking Pittsburgh: The Makings of the Casket Industry in the Steel City, 1865-1910” (Autumn 2022).

Vicente Rafael has been busy! He has had three book chapters published: “The Long 1970s and Beyond Cultural Politics during the Marcos Years and in the Age of Duterte,” in Martial Law in the Philippines: Lessons and Legacies, 1972-2022 (Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2022); “Patronage, Pornography and Youth: Ideology and Spectatorship During the Early Marcos Years,” in The Marcos Era: A Reader (Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2022); and “The Experience of Translation,” in Time, Space, Matter in Translation (Routledge, 2022). He has also an interview in Wasafiri (September 2022) “The Politics and Ethics of Translation,”  about a conversation on translation between himself and Mona Baker of the University of Oslo. And he has published two articles: “The Return of the Marcoses,” New York Review of Books, July 21, 2022 and “Electoral Paradox: Colonial History, Duterte and the Return of the Marcoses,” Asia-Pacific Journal, v. 20, issue 16, no. 12.

Benjamin Schmidt was awarded a senior fellowship from the Munich Centre for Global History, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU), where he will conduct new research on early modern coconuts. He also recently gave a lecture on carved coconuts and colonialism at the Yale University Gallery of Art to mark the opening their new exhibition "Crafting Worldviews: Art and Science in Europe, 1500–1800."

Emeritus professor, Quintard Taylor, who founded in 2007, celebrated crossing the 50 million mark for visitors to the website. Many UW History faculty have contributed content to the site over the years.

Adam Warren was a finalist for this year's UW Distinguished Teaching Award.

Graduate Students

Jacob Beckert was awarded a Fulbright Israel award as well as a Charles Bergquist Labor Research Grant for his dissertation “Profit in the Holy Land: American Capital and Development in Palestine.”

Alika Bourgette received a Ford Foundation Dissertation fellowship, a highly competitive award that is given to approximately 36 individuals and is intended to provide support during the final year of dissertation writing and defense.

Alvin Bui will have an article appear in Asiascape: Digital Asia entitled, “Digital Vietnam: State of the ‘States of the Field’, Saigonese Motorbike YouTubers, and Diasporic Vietnamese Social Memories of the Republic of Việt Nam."

Sierra Mondragon was awarded a Ford Predoctoral fellowship, a highly competitive award granted to 75 individuals, now in its final year. This fellowship will provide three years of graduate study support.

Ilsa Abdul Razzak presented her work at the Association for Asian Studies annual conference as part of a panel discussion on caste in South Asia.


Patrick Lozar (PhD 2019) Received an American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) fellowship for his project “Crossing Homelands.”

Seema Sohi (PhD 2008) was awarded the Binkley-Stephenson Award by the Organization of American Historians (OAH) for her article “Barred Zones, Rising Tides, and Radical Struggles: The Antiradical and Anti-Asian Dimensions of the 1917 Immigration Act” (Journal of American History, September 2022).

Michael Witgen (PhD 2003) received the James A. Rawley Prize by the Organization for American Historians (OAH) for books dealing with the history of race relations in the United States for his book Seeing Red: Indigenous Land, American Expansion, and the Political Economy of Plunder in North America (University of North Carolina Press, 2022). This book was also a Pulitzer Prize finalist.