2013 Joel Palmer Award

Winner:

Ghadar, Historical Silences, and Notions of Belonging: Early 1900s Punjabis of the Columbia River
Summer 2012

by Johanna Ogden

Historian Johanna Ogden explores the often overlooked but critical role of Punjabi laborers of Oregon in forming the radical Indian nationalist Ghadar Party in 1913. She addresses the international, national, and local forces behind the Punjabis' migration to the state and the particular conditions they encountered once there. Framed by a series of post-9/11 concerns about the targeting of Arabs, Muslims, and South Asians, this article explores not only historical and social constructions of "us" and "them," citizen and non-citizen, but the experience of Punjabi migrant laborers in remote Astoria, Oregon, where hardened racial and national lines were seemingly loosened.

Honorable Mentions

“What Shall Be Done with Her?”: Frances Fuller Victor Analyzes “The Woman Question” in Oregon
Fall 2012

by Sheri Bartlett Browne

Sheri Bartlett Browne examines Frances Fuller Victor’s multifaceted contributions to the Oregon equal rights movement in the nineteenth century. Victor provided an intellectual foundation for women’s economic and political activism through her fiction and prose essays during the 1870s. She often wrote for Abigail Scott Duniway’s weekly newspaper, The New Northwest. Critiquing American gender norms, Victor argued forcefully that a deeply unequal social system condemned women to a subjugated status, eroding their socioeconomic and political opportunities and distorting their relationships with one another. Victor urged women to develop self-awareness and greater knowledge — to “investigate for themselves” — the intertwining roots of oppression in order to promote and achieve equal rights.

Sheri Bartlett Browne is an associate professor of history and women’s studies at Tennessee State University in Nashville. Originally from Reno, Nevada, she earned a B.A. from Lewis & Clark College and a Ph.D. in History from the University of Minnesota. She is the author of Eva Emery Dye: Romance with the West(Oregon State University Press, 2004) and is presently writing an intellectual biography of Frances Fuller Victor.

Senator Wayne L. Morse’s Challenge to the Cold War Presidency
Spring 2012

by Larry Ceplair

Historian Larry Ceplair argues that no other public figure dissented as strongly, eloquently, and lengthily against United States involvement in Vietnam as did Wayne L. Morse, the four-term United States Senator from Oregon (1945–1969). That campaign, however, was only one of several he fought to prevent the executive branch from taking the nation to war without congressional approval. Morse spoke against every resolution giving the president a blank-check, in the straits of Taiwan, the Middle East, and the Gulf of Tonkin. His words registered on the planners of the war, the antiwar movement, and some members of Congress. Legislation he had proposed to limit the war powers of the president eventually was passed by Congress. Nevertheless, Ceplair points out, presidential war continues as an unwritten amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

Larry Ceplair is a retired professor of history. His main field of work has been the motion-picture blacklist, but he has also done work in feminist history and social history. His latest book is Anti-Communism in Twentieth-Century America: A Critical History (Praeger).