Politics & Society

Researchers chart rising wealth inequality across millennia

The findings, published this week in the journal Nature, have profound implications for contemporary society, as inequality repeatedly leads to social disruption, even collapse, and the United States currently has one of the highest levels of inequality in the history of the world.

Tim Kohler

History project examining key role of Washington’s 161st Infantry Regiment finds rare WWII footage

The success of the 161st, a unit that can trace its roots to Washington’s pre-statehood days as a territorial militia, sent a global message about the combat readiness of America’s citizen volunteers. Now, a pair of WSU graduate students have completed a new historical examination that represents the most comprehensive look at the unit’s service in the Pacific Theater ever compiled.

Members of the 161st with the U.S. flag and regimental colors. Photo was taken in the Pacific Theater at an unknown location sometime between 1943 and 1945. Image courtesy of the National Guard Museum, Camp Murray, Washington.

Distinguished sociology professor brings expertise in health inequality

When Justin Denney was still an aspiring, young sociologist, he strove to understand the dynamic forces that shape and perpetuate social inequality. Then, in graduate school, he came across the signal texts of renowned sociologist and Washington State University alumnus William Julius Wilson.

Justin Denney

WSU and the National Park Service examine African American history at Hanford

WSU Tri-Cities will partner with the U.S. Department of the Interior National Park Service to research and document the African American migration, segregation and overall civil rights history at the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, Hanford. “This is an important story to tell and an important part of our history that needs to be made known,” says local project director Michael Mays.

African American history at Hanford marks focus of WSU Tri-Cities and National Park Service documentation project. Photo courtesy of Department of Energy Dupont Collection.

Holy smokes

WSU researchers Shannon Tushingham and David Gang are using a combination of archeology and high-end molecular chemistry to help identify and restore wild tobacco and other indigenous smoke plants used by Northwest Native groups. Their work also supports a nationwide effort to design culturally-sensitive smoking cessation programs that emphasize the differences between traditional and commercial tobacco use.

Researchers are trying to identify indigenous tobaccos important to Native groups.