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WiU History Professor Peter Cole
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WIU History Professor Awarded Prestigious Teaching Opportunity

November 17, 2017

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MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University History Professor Peter Cole has been awarded a prestigious opportunity to teach in Germany during Summer 2018.

Winning the teaching fellowship from the Organization of American Historians (OAH), Cole will teach a course on the history of United States social movements and their transnational connections. An OAH committee chooses "established scholars affiliated with an American or Canadian university, interested in leading an advanced undergraduate/graduate student seminar focusing on one aspect of U.S. history."

"As next year is the 50th year since 1968, which was one of the years of greatest protest in all history, I'll focus a bit on '68," said Cole. "The OAH is the largest organization of historians of the USA in the country. I'll teach for one month to American Studies students, bachelor's and master's level."

Cole said the class will consider a handful of American social movements, all of which were impacted by, and connected to, social justice struggles beyond the borders of the United States. Students will learn through readings, lectures, discussions and writing. The class will culminate with a research paper that offers an original interpretation of a U.S. social movement through the lens of transnational history.

At Western, Cole teaches a variety of history courses, and his research interest includes the history of social movements, especially how workers and labor unions organize in ethnically and racially-diverse societies.

Cole recently completed co-editing the anthology, "Wobblies of the World: A Global History of the IWW," which includes essays by 20 scholars who live and research around the world. The book, released Oct. 20, is a history of the global nature of the radical union, The Industrial Workers of the World, whose members are nicknamed Wobblies.

For more information about the teaching fellowship, visit

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