SALMON CREEK — Laurie Mercier, Washington State University Vancouver professor of history and a public historian, has been selected by the Washington State University College of Liberal Arts to be the new Claudius O. and Mary W. Johnson Distinguished Professor in History.
She becomes the first WSUV professor to hold the Johnson Professorship in History. The professorship was recently held by Susan Armitage, a former history and women’s studies professor in Pullman.
In her 15th year at WSUV, Mercier is a specialist in American labor history, with an emphasis on oral history. Her current research project is to compare how workers in industrial communities in Canada, the western U.S. and Australia relate to the places they live.
She plans to take her first trip as Johnson Professor to the University of British Columbia’s library archives to spend an intense week gathering information as the foundation for a writing a book, a task of possibly six to 10 years.