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History Happenings

History faculty and students are always finding new ways to connect history to our world today. Find out what the History Department has been up to recently below.


Dr. Datta Publishes New Book

Book cover of Fleeting Agencies, Datta, 2021

Congratulations to Dr. Arunima Datta for the publication of her new book, Fleeting Agencies: A Social History of Indian Coolie Women in British Malaya

Fleeting Agencies disrupts the male-dominated narratives by focusing on gendered patterns of migration and showing how South Asian women labour migrants engaged with the process of migration, interacted with other migrants and negotiated colonial laws. This is the first study of Indian coolie women in British Malaya to date. In exploring the politicization of labour migration trends and gender relations in the colonial plantation society in British Malaya, the author foregrounds how the migrant Indian 'coolie' women manipulated colonial legal and administrative perceptions of Indian women; their gender-prescriptive roles, relations within patriarchal marriage institutions, and even the emerging Indian national independence movement in India and Malaya. 

Identity: A Black History Webinar Series

Join us this spring for Identity: A Black History Webinar Series, sponsored by the ISU Department of History and the ISU Cultural Events Committee! 

  • Dr. Alaina Roberts, Black Slaves & Indian Masters: A History of Indian Territory
    Thursday, February 4 at 3:00pm
  • Dr. Tyler Parry, Jumping the Broom: The Surprising Multicultural Origins of a Black Wedding Ritual
    Thursday, February 25 at 3:00pm
  • Ms. Tarienne Mitchell, Through Their Eyes: History of The LDS Church through the Black Experience
    Thursday, March 11 at 3:00pm
  • Dr. Ava Purkiss, The Quest for “Fitness:” Black Women’s Exercise and Public Health in the Early Twentieth Century
    Thursday, March 25 at 3:00pm

Poster for the 2021 Speaker Series

ISU History Professor Receives 2020 East Idaho Women of Influence Award


Dr. Sarah Robey was awarded the 2020 East Idaho Women of Influence Award in the field of Education.

Dr. Robey's award comes as a result of her extensive research on the history of nuclear science, her innovative podcast Duck and Cover!, and her tireless work in advising history majors and minors at Idaho State University.

Check out the 2020 Idaho Women of Influence award ceremony on Youtube!

Sarah Robey headshot

ISU History Professor Named 2020 Innovative Educator

Justin Dolan Stover 2020 Innovative Educator

Congratulations to Dr. Justin Dolan Stover, who has been named the 2020 Innovative Educator for Social and Behavioral Ways of Knowing by the Idaho State Board of Education! 

“I’m honored,” Stover said of the award. “To be recognized by students, peers and the State Board validates the efforts I've taken to create dynamic lectures, alter delivery methods to meet various student needs and revise course content to include the latest research and interpretations.”

Read more about the award and Dr. Stover's approach to teaching history courses at Idaho State University!

Influenza in Idaho Class Project

Dr. Marsh's Summer 2020 History of Idaho students built a website to explore the 1918-1920 influenza pandemic in Idaho. The page, available here, is a fascinating collection of historical primary sources that show how Idaho experienced a global pandemic. The page uses ArcGIS mapping software to link these sources to Idaho's towns. It's another great example of our students using digital tools to connect our local stories to global history.


At left, a Idaho Statesman news clipping from June 13, 1920.

The Southeast Idaho Nikkei Project

Dr. Marsh's Spring 2020 Global Idaho seminar students built a website to explore over a century of experiences and contributions of Japanese Americans of southeastern Idaho, centered on the towns of Pocatello and Blackfoot. The website, available here, combines primary sources, research blog posts, and additional resources to explore.


At left, a photograph of the Pocatello Japanese School from the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) Collection at Idaho State University's Oboler Library Special Collections.

Families in Extraordinary Times with HIST 4437

Students from Dr. Erika Kuhlman's Families in Former Times course discuss family life in the extraordinary times of the coronavirus.

History from Home, Episode 2 with Dr. Arunima Datta

Dr. Datta tells us about her recent projects, including the history of shampoo and human alarm clocks!

History from Home, Episode 1: Dr. Marie Stango

Dr. Stango shares some archival finds and shows us how she incorporates her research in the classroom.