Sonoma State University History Journal 2017/2018
When our editorial team devised this year’s theme of “Conflict and Leadership” back in August 2017, we had no idea that a major conflict was about to hit our region in the October wildfires and that the leadership of rescue workers, local officials, and the daily newspaper The Press Democrat—which has since won a Pulitzer Prize—would save our community and put it on a path to rebuilding. This issue became a special issue, then; the first section is devoted to traditional scholarly essays produced by Sonoma State students in pursuit of academic excellence, while the second section is made up of first-hand accounts by students, faculty, and staff who lived through the fires to tell their stories, which provides an archive of primary sources for future historians. We are proud of our community’s work on all fronts and feel proud to be able to publish and preserve this collective work. Our student authors will teach you about the colonization of Australia and the New England girls who worked in America’s first factories, the role of Greek architecture in building the American idea and what the character of Nancy Drew says about American culture, what exactly is offensive about some kinds of language, what happened in the earthquake of 1906, and what went wrong with Russia after the fall of communism. Our contributors who remembered the fires were people who fled their homes in the middle of the night, first responders who aided the victims, and citizens of Sonoma County who love our community and feel ravaged by the devastation. As these stories become part of history, they will continue to carry their authors’ unique perspectives and experiences. We are grateful to many essential supports for our collective work. Mike and Sheila McQuillen donate to us because they care about student writing and public education. Faculty, staff, and students as both writers and editors make this content as good as it is. And you, our readers, care about our community and our work. Thank you.