Historian joins Humanities Washington Board

Closeup of Ryan Booth.
Ryan Booth

Ryan Booth, a faculty member in the Department of History, has been appointed to the Humanities Washington Board of Trustees by Gov. Jay Inslee. The three-year appointment marks the second time Booth has been tapped to serve on the group’s board, the first being in 2016 while he was still a graduate student at WSU Pullman.

“It’s an honor to be asked to serve,” said Booth, who specializes in the history of the United States in the 19th Century and early 20th Century up to World War I. He currently is revising his dissertation, “Crossed Arrows: The U.S. Indian Scouts, 1866–1947,” into a monograph.

“An active and strong humanities program keeps our past with us and it’s crucial we remember our history,” he added. “Stories told put faces on the unfamiliar. The creative can help open minds. I think the humanities can be key to finding solutions to many of our current challenges and can help us grow and find new ways to work together as we move forward.”

“I think the humanities can be key to finding solutions to many of our current challenges and can help us grow and find new ways to work together as we move forward.”

Ryan Booth, faculty member in the Department of History
Washington State University

Humanities Washington is a nonprofit organization that seeks to improve civic and cultural life in Washington state through supporting events and programs that foster public understanding and appreciation of history, literature, ethics, and other humanities fields. It is affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Programs and activities are scheduled statewide, as well as available online, and are often led by cultural experts, scholars, and storytellers whose topics range from Washington state history, to philosophy, to current social issues.

Booth, an enrolled member of the Upper Skagit Tribe, said he was drawn to the organization by the way it brings people together to share diversity in the common world. As a board member, whose term began at the start of 2023, he wants to increase engagement with tribal communities and also to shine a spotlight on WSU’s land grant mission, possibly by bringing greater attention to the university’s statewide network of Extension offices.

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