Wadewitz to continue Pacific whaling research

Lissa WadewitzLissa Wadewitz, associate professor of history at Linfield College, will continue research on whaling in the Pacific thanks to funding from two prestigious organizations.

Wadewitz earned a fellowship from the George A. and Eliza Gardner Howard Foundation. The fellowship, totaling $33,000, was one of only nine given this year and will extend Wadewitz’s spring sabbatical through fall 2014 to support research on a project titled, “Whaling the Pacific World: Race, Sexuality, and Environment on the High Seas.” She also received a highly competitive Franklin Research Grant of $4,000 from the American Philosophical Society in support of the same project.

Wadewitz’s project examines race and sexuality on board American whaling ships, and by extension, the implementation of law and order in the maritime world of the 19th century. She aims to explore the connections between the social and environmental conditions that characterized this important extractive industry.

Wadewitz, at Linfield since 2007, received her Ph.D. in history from UCLA in 2004. She then spent a year as a post-doctoral fellow in native and newcomer relations at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada. In 2005 Stanford University’s Bill Lane Center for the Study of the North American West awarded Wadewitz a second, two-year post-doctoral fellow position. She teaches courses on U.S. environmental history, Native American history and the history of the American West. She received her bachelor’s in Asian studies from Pomona College and her master’s in history from UCLA.

The Howard Foundation awards a limited number of fellowships each year for independent projects in selected fields. It was established in 1952 by Nicea Howard in memory of her grandparents. The APS awards Franklin Grants to any discipline for research that is often travel-related. Out of more than 400 applicants, only about 80 are awarded on an annual basis.