Dr. Zoltan Grossman
Faculty member in Geography /
Native American & World Indigenous Peoples Studies (NAWIPS)
Lab 1, Room 3012,
The Evergreen State College
2700 Evergreen Parkway
Olympia, WA 98505 USA
Tel. (360) 867-6153
New e-mail:
New website:
Debi McNutt and Zoltan Grossman
1516 Thomas Street NW
Olympia, WA 98502
Tel. (360) 754-9123

Dear colleagues and friends,

I would like you all to know that I have accepted an offer to become a faculty member at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, starting in September 2005.

Evergreen is a public liberal arts and sciences institution, and one of the foremost environmental colleges in the country. I will be a faculty member in Native American Studies, and teaching as a geographer in interdisciplinary programs.

It has been a difficult decision to move from Wisconsin and the Midwest, where Debi and I have lived for so many decades. We are moving to improve Debi's employment (and other) opportunities, to be closer to my parents in California, and to be close to longtime friends in the Seattle area.

We have long been attracted to the Northwest, and Olympia is ideally located close to the ocean, the mountains, and rodeo country. It is an ideal place for continuing our work with tribes on sovereignty and environmental issues. I have long been attracted to Evergreen, and had interviewed there even before coming to Eau Claire. We look forward to seeing you if you visit Olympia, the state capital at the southern tip of Puget Sound, about an hour south of Seattle.

I will certainly miss the faculty, staff, and especially the great students here at U.W.-Eau Claire. I have learned a great deal more than I have taught over the past three years at UWEC. I had looked forward to working on new projects here--as well as on the new community radio station WHYS--and teaching my Fall 2005 courses. (The department will still be teaching these courses, so keep in touch with the Geography office about them).

Evergreen shares many of the strengths of UWEC, including an emphasis on teaching, collaborative research between faculty members and students, faculty and student activism, and a focus on American Indian studies. Starting this Fall I will be teaching a program on "American Frontiers--Critical Histories" (below).

Washington tribes have played a strong role in fostering Evergreen's amazing Native American Studies programs, including Native American and World Indigenous Peoples Studies, the Northwest Indian Applied Research Institute, and the Reservation-Based, Community Determined Program. The programs' centerpiece is the huge "House of Welcome," or the Longhouse Education and Cultural Center, where a Treaty Symposium drew 400 participants in April. The Nisqually treaty rights leader Billy Frank has been an Evergreen trustee. It is an honor to be asked to join this program.

Debi and I will be here in Eau Claire for most of the summer, as we complete summer projects (such as a collaborative film project on interethnic relations) and prepare to move. We will visit Wisconsin after we move, since Debi has family in the state, and we will maintain ties with communities here. I will continue to be a member of the national community of geographers, and will stay in touch with UWEC.

Thank you so much for all your support and encouragement over the past three years. Thanks especially to all the students who have been so inspiring with your hard work and open minds. Keep it up!

With much appreciation,

Zoltan Grossman

Campus e-mail:

Personal e-mail:




American Frontiers: Critical Histories

Faculty: Kristina Ackley, Michael Pfeifer, Zoltan Grossman

Fall and Winter quarters

Enrollment: 72

Class Standing: This all-level program offers appropriate support for freshmen as well as supporting and encouraging those ready for advanced work.

In recent years, many have challenged the frontier thesis first articulated by Frederick Jackson Turner-that the frontier is "the meeting point between savagery and civilization"-as racist and rife with imperialism. Turner delivered the thesis in 1893, amid rapid industrialization and urbanization following American westward expansion to the Pacific Coast; it summed up decades of American understanding and influenced several generations of American historians. Now, Native Americans, Western historians and others have challenged many aspects of Turner's thesis and have offered alternative histories of Anglo-American expansion, colonization and settlement in North America.

Focusing on culture, land and gender, we will explore many of these histories. Considering the points of view of the colonized and the colonizer, we will examine the role of power and power relations in the encounters of diverse peoples on American frontiers. We will analyze the experiences and perspectives of indigenous peoples; women; Anglo-American explorers, entrepreneurs and settlers; African Americans; Latinos; and Asian immigrants. During fall quarter, we will explore the initial encounters of Europeans and indigenous peoples; the culture and society of the American backcountry and of Native peoples in the 18th and early 19th centuries; the development of Andrew Jackson's Indian removal policy and the consequent transformation of Native American society; slavery, Africans, Native Americans and the transplantation of slave society to the Southwestern cotton frontier; and the Gold Rush and the American conquest of California.

In winter quarter, we will explore events after the Civil War, including Indian-fighting and the American conquest of Indian nations in the West; the society and culture of the "Old West," including the experiences of women, African Americans, Latinos and Asians; federal Indian policy and Native American experience in the West since the late 19th century; the social transformation of the American West in the 20th century; and images of the frontier and the West in American culture since the early 20th century. We will do much reading and writing on these topics, and listen to music and watch films that reflect important aspects of frontier experiences and encounters.

Credit awarded in: American history, American studies and Native American studies.

Total: 16 credits each quarter.

Program is preparatory for: careers and future studies in the humanities and social sciences.

This program is also listed under: Programs for Freshmen, Culture, Text and Language and Native American and World Indigenous Peoples Studies.