Richard White is a Pulitzer Prize Nominated historian specializing in the History of the American West, Environmental History and Native American History. He is the Margaret Byrne Professor of American History at Stanford University, a Faculty Co-Director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West and the former President of the Organization of American Historians. He received a MacArthur fellowship in 1995 and was awarded a Mellon Distinguished Professor grant in 2007.
Professor is the currently principal investigator for the ‘Shaping the West’, a project in the Spatial History Lab at Stanford University, which explores the construction of space by transcontinental railroads during the late nineteenth-century. By connecting data analysis and complex visualization graphical algorithms with traditional historical sources, Professor White’s team is examining historic perceptions of space in the newly settled American West. He has been conducting this research for the last twelve years.
He is a member of the Spatial History Project, a collaborative community of scholars who utilize visual analysis and digital technology to identify patterns and anomalies in their research.
Professor White previously taught at the University of Washington, University of Utah, and Michigan State University. His areas of expertise include corruption in the Gilded Age, dependency and social change among Native Americans and the history of the Environment, including railroads, rivers and lakes.
He studied at the University of California, Santa Cruz and the University of Washington. He has been at Stanford since 1998 where he took a Sophomore class to Washington D.C. to explore imagery and mythmaking in the American West.
His book, The Middle Ground: Indians Empires and Republics in the Great Lakes Region, was a Pulitzer Prize nominated finalist. It won the Francis Parkman Prize for the best book on American History, the Albert B. Corey Prize for U.S.-Canadian History, the James A. Rawley Prize for the history of race relations and the Albert J. Beveridge Award for best English-language book on American History.
Professor White in the News