Department of History

Jessie Kindig

  • Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of History
  • Assistant Editor, Journal of American History


  • B.A. at Barnard College, Columbia University, American Studies, 2004
  • M.A. at University of Washington, History, 2009
  • Ph.D. at University of Washington, History, 2014

Contact Information

1215 E. Atwater Avenue
(812) 855-0020


Jessie Kindig

My research explores the cultural and political production of the U.S. empire in the twentieth century. I work broadly in the disciplines of History, American Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Asian American Studies, and am interested in articulations of colonialism and nationalism; histories of violence and war; social protest; critical theories of gender, race, and culture; and the circulation of historical narratives and artifacts.

I am currently working on revising and expanding my dissertation into a book, tentatively titled Reckoning with Empire: Violence, the Korean War, and U.S. Culture. My project interrogates the relationship between U.S. military violence, liberalism, and cold war universalism in the post-1945 Pacific. By focusing on the militarized racial and gender violence levied against Koreans and Japanese under American influence in East Asia, I investigate the ways in which American power after 1945 was produced through a simultaneous reliance on and disavowal of its own violence. I have also written about the circulation of body part trophies from U.S. wars, Korean American history, photography and state violence, and the creative imagination of protest.

I am a founding member of the Histories of Violence collective, a pan-institutional formation of scholars seeking to bring together new methodological approaches to think about violence as a constitutive process of the modern world:

I am also a past associate editor of the Pacific Northwest Labor and Civil Rights Projects, a collection of research and oral history-based projects chronicling movements for civil rights, labor, and social justice in the Northwest. Based at the University of Washington, the web projects were produced out of a series of collaborations between community members, faculty, and undergraduate and graduate students. I co-founded one of the projects, the Pacific Northwest Antiwar and Radical History Project, to bring attention to the history of antiwar soldiers' and veterans' activism during the Vietnam War.

In my classes, we use historical sources to develop a richer analysis of the past and a more complex understanding of our own present. The study of historical change over time is, I believe, a form of social responsibility that allows us to offer new insights to existing conversations and a more nuanced view of our present and possible futures. My courses emphasize students' direct engagement with historical documents—be they speeches, oral histories, diaries, photographs, films, or landscapes—and help develop students' ability to synthesize and analyze texts through writing.

Selected Awards

  • Alvord Fellow in the Humanities, University of Washington
  • Society of Scholars Research Fellowship, Simpson Center for the Humanities, University of Washington


Research Interests

  • U.S. in the world
  • Race and ethnic studies
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Cultural and political history
  • Social movements

Courses Recently Taught

  • Modern U.S. History, 1840s–present (HIST-H 106)
  • Picturing Pain: Looking at Violence in U.S. Culture (HIST-J 300)
  • Telling War Stories: Representing War in U.S. Culture (HIST-A 200)
  • Race and Democracy in the Cold War U.S. (HIST 498)

Publication Highlights

“Looking Beyond the Frame: Snapshot Photography, Imperial Archives, and the U.S. Military’s Violent Embrace of East Asia,” Radical History Review, special issue: Reconsidering Gender Violence and the State (forthcoming, Fall 2016).

“Contestation and Counter-Conduct in the Imperial Pacific,” American Quarterly 68:1 (forthcoming, March 2016).

Han in the Upper Left: A Brief History of Korean Americans in the Pacific Northwest, (Seattle: Chin Music Press, 2015). Co-author with Moon-Ho Jung and Korean American Historical Society.

Pacific Northwest Labor and Civil Rights History Projects,

Pacific Northwest Antiwar and Radical History Project,