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Contacts: Professor Sean Cassidy, Fine
and Performing Arts Division - 208/792-2284; ProfessorPatricia Keith, Literature and
Languages Division - 208/792-2292
LC Profs Get Grant for Film
on Alvin Josephy
--LCSC Office of Media Relations & The Pathfinder
Two Lewis-Clark State professors recently received a $5,706 grant from the Idaho
Humanities Council to continue their research for a film documentary on the life of
journalist and historian Alvin Josephy.
Since August of 2000, professors Sean Cassidy and Patricia Keith have been researching the
life and work of Josephy. His career has been
expansive, aand includes research and experience from the front lines in World War II, as
well as work with politicians such as Leon Trotsky, and writers like Robert Frost.
Today, at age 86, Josephy continues to work as a historian in Joseph, Oregon. According to
Keith, Josephy has done extensive research on the
environment and Native Americans in the Western United States. Josephy was the first
author to compile a comprehensive history of the Nez Perce Tribe.
Keith and Cassidy have already done extensive research for the project. They have
interviewed Josephy at his home in Oregon and are planning to meet with him again in
Connecticut this year. They also obtained Josephy's photographs from WWII and his audio
recordings of U.S. Marines in battle, through the Library of Congress. Both professors
have incorporated Josephy's ideas and writing into their classes.
In the course of their project, Cassidy and Keith have also interviewed several Nez
Perce tribal members who knew Josephy during the 1960's and '70s. During that time,
Josephy opened a summer camp for children in the Wallowa area, enthusiastically welcoming
Nez Perce children. The pair interviewed Nez Perce adults who attended Josephy's camp as
Their upcoming research will feature interviews with more than twenty historians on
Josephy's contributions to western history and the environment. "We don't know
exactly what the material is going to tell us," Keith said. "What we hope to
learn about is his evolution of thinking about
Native Americans in the 20th century."
Research on Josephy's Native American studies would cover the areas of
tribal identity, sovereignty, and relations with the U.S. government.
Keith and Cassidy will continue to apply for additional grants, in order to bring the
project to a larger scale. They expect the entire project will take at least two more
years to complete."We'd like this to go on PBS," Cassidy said. "We've got a
lot of money and a lot of work between here and there."