Clio Speaks: History Today

Clio Speaks: History Today

Seattle University History Faculty Essays

Clio Speaks is a regular column for the Seattle University History community, with essays authored by faculty and the affiliated, on a variety of topics related to their research and classes. It is a space for musings informed by expert knowledge in all the areas that the History Department reaches. These informal essays offer personal perspectives on history and yield insights into the past, present, and future.

Trip to Nepal: Dr. Tom Taylor

In October my wife Laurie and I completed a magical trip to Nepal, visiting the Kathmandu Valley and then trekking in the mountainous Khumbu region. Beyond the beauty of the mountains and the hospitality of the people the trip offered many opportunities to think about how the stories of this region illuminate the larger themes in world history that I emphasize in my classes: to note a few.
Nov 22, 2023

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My Refugee Ancestors: Dr. Heath A. Spencer

Two years ago, my wife and I became Mennonites (Anabaptist Christians), and my mother began to share some new stories. One of those stories was about a Swiss ancestor who had been driven into exile for refusing to do military service. Beyond those few facts, my mother didn’t have much information, but she knew there was a Wikipedia page about him, so we looked him up. His name was Christian L. Stauffer, and he was an Anabaptist preacher from the village of Eggiwil in the Emmental region, about twenty miles from the city of Bern. The Wikipedia page mentions that he was exiled in the fall of 1671 and spent the last months of his life in Dirmstein, Germany.
Oct 30, 2023

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“Help Us! We have a baby on board!"

Dr. Tom Taylor. In Fall 2022 I taught "Global Studies" for Semester at Sea, an experiential university program that combines classes on ship with travel opportunities in eleven ports. Three days out of Spain, I was planning on giving an introductory lecture for my class on the Mediterranean Sea migration crisis. As I was wrestling with how to humanize this story for the diverse population of 450 students and numerous adult travelers that were part of the Fall voyage, I heard a student call out from the aft deck, “I think I saw something. I think it was a flare.”
Jan 17, 2023

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History is OUR Story Too

Dr. Tom Taylor. As a social historian I believe strongly that history is OUR story; it is not just the story of elites and the powerful but the story of our lives, the lives of our family and friends. It is the story the common, even the mundane because it is often in those experiences of the ordinary that we often find the true insights into the extraordinary events of human history. I had the opportunity to put this to practice this past fall when I wrote an article, The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man: Jan Kozlowski and the Russian Revolution. It has just come out on World History Connected.
Mar 8, 2021

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Asian History Through Asian Eyes: The Experience of an SU Alumna Teaching Overseas

Dr. Nu-Anh Tran. “Please come and teach us, professor. I love to learn!” As the student said this to me, her eyes beamed from under her headscarf. That was the line that convinced me to uproot my life and move halfway around the world. It was supposed to be my last year of graduate school, and the academic job market had tanked in the wake of the Great Recession. I sent out a slew of applications, including to several schools in Asia. One of the offers I received was from an international women’s university. The school provided an English-language liberal arts education to underprivileged women from across Asia. I admired the mission of the university, which had been founded just a few years earlier. But was I ready to move to a country that I had never visited?
Dec 16, 2020

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Stumbling upon a Revolutionary Monument during a Pandemic

By Dr. Hazel Hahn. During this period of the Coronavirus pandemic, I have been staying with my parents in Old Tappan, New Jersey, working really remotely, 2,900 miles away from Seattle. My parents have been living in this area for the last forty years, whereas after high school I have been mostly away and visiting several times a year.
Apr 29, 2020

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Move Left: Thoughts on Some Progressive Election Victories You May Have Missed

By Dr. Henry Kamerling. As Election Night November 5th came and went, most of the focus was on big Democratic and progressive victories on the east coast. Out here on the west coast, however, there were a few key local races that have gone largely unnoticed and/or undiscussed.
Nov 13, 2019

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Why Clio?

By Dr. Randall Souza. Clio has come to be identified as the Muse of History: in Greek mythology, she is one of the nine daughters born to Zeus and Mnemosyne (“Memory” personified).
Oct 4, 2019

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