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History faculty news

July 10, 2014

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This year, the history department is delighted to announce Professor of American History Reiko Hillyer as the new tenure-track faculty member. She will continue teaching survey courses on the United States, as well as courses in African American history, and the construction of the American landscape. She is scheduled to teach the Inside-Out prison exchange course in the spring of 2015.

In addition, the department is bidding farewell to Associate Professor of Japanese History Andrew Bernstein as well as Associate Professor of Chinese History Susan Glosser, who will both be going on sabbatical for the 2014-2015 school term. In light of their departure, the department welcomes several new faculty members not only to assume their responsibilities, but also to add depth and breadth to the course offerings.

Khalil Johnson, 2014-2015 Lewis & Clark Post-Doctoral Fellow in Native American History and History of the American West

Khalil’s primary research project, “Red, Black, & Brown: African American Educators in Indian Country after Brown v. Board of Education,” sits at the intersection of American Indian and African American history. This project chronicles the history of the hundreds of African Americans who taught in reservation schools across the western United States and Alaska. The linkages between black teachers, Native communities, and
the Bureau of Indian Affairs leads to bigger questions. How does the U.S. government use race instrumentally? Can an alliance with state interests offer protection from discrimination or opportunities for equal citizenship? How do racialized groups understand their status in relation to one another, especially in the context of competing claims to the state for rights? And while the language and practices of civil rights struggles often spread across ethnic lines, are long-term alliances between racialized groups possible given the fractious nature of U.S. politics?

He hopes to explore many of those questions with students this fall when he teaches History and Culture of American Indians. The course will focus on American Indian nations whose homelands are located within the contemporary United States and will examine indigenous responses to colonialism and developments in U.S. Indian policies, complexity and change within American Indian societies, and creative adaptations to historical circumstances. He and the department are still formulating plans for the spring seminar; proposals include a course that would trace a multi-ethnic history of the United States through popular music. 

Tasha Feinstein, Visiting Professor of Latin American History

Tasha received her doctoral degree in history from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 2013. She specializes in 20th-century Latin American history, with a focus on political violence, human rights, and memory studies. Her current research illuminates the debilitating effects political violence had on the Peruvian legal Left during the 1980s and 1990s by mapping the trajectory of the Left’s rise and decline and by analyzing two emblematic human rights cases that occurred at the Left’s zenith—the 1986 Lima prison massacres—and nadir—the 1992 assassination of Maria Elena Moyano. Before starting the Ph.D. program at UW-Madison, she worked for more than half a decade as a researcher at the National Security Archive, a nonprofit, non-governmental research institute that collects and publishes declassified documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. While there, she directed the Peru Documentation Project and also assisted on projects related to Guatemala, Vietnam, Mexico, and Nazi war crimes. She holds a B.A. in political science and peace and conflict studies from Wayne State University, and an M.A. in international affairs from George Washington University.

At Lewis & Clark, she will be teaching the introductory history survey on modern Latin America. She also plans to teach an intermediate (200-level) course on human rights and political violence in Latin America, and an upper (300-level) course on the Cold War in Latin America.

Zachary Poppel, Visiting Professor of African History

Zack is broadly interested in histories of agriculture, education, and empire. In spring 2015, he will teach three courses in the department: a survey of the history of modern Africa; an environmental history of West Africa; and one on empire and international development in Africa. His research looks at postcolonial higher education in Sierra Leone, competing agendas for international development, and efforts to disrupt and cope with Anglo-American empire in West Africa. This will be his first time in Oregon, and he looks forward to getting to know the Lewis & Clark community.

Craig Colbeck B.A. ’02, Visiting Professor of East Asian History

An alumnus in East Asian studies, Craig will be returning to Lewis & Clark to spend a year teaching East Asian history with a focus on modern Japanese history. Craig received his Ph.D. in history and East Asian languages from Harvard in 2012, and has been teaching East Asian studies and world history at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida. His research investigates how male sexuality was described in Japanese debates over prostitution at the turn of the 20th-century. His dissertation, “From the Brothel to the Body: Male Sexuality in Japan’s Prostitution Debates, 1870-1920” argued that it was in this period that the Japanese came to see male sexual desire as instinctual; before they had seen it as something that only arose when a man visited a brothel. Drawing on this, his teaching over the next year will include a class on the history of prostitution in East Asia.

He will also teach on the history of the atomic age, from the discovery of radioactive elements to the ongoing nuclear power plant disaster in Fukushima, Japan. Next semester he will be teaching an introductory course on premodern East Asia (HIST 110) and on Japan’s role in World War II (HIST 209).

A version of this article originally appeared in Footnotes, the history department newsletter.

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