Linda Sargent Wood

Associate Professor
(BA, MA Montana State University; PhD, University of Maryland, College Park, 2002)
20th Century American Society and the U.S. West, Intellectual and Cultural History, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning History, Environmental History, African American and Native American Education
Email: Office phone: 928-523-6211
Office  LA 313

Research and teaching interests

Linda Sargent Wood’s research and teaching explores American thought and culture, Western U.S. History, the historical inquiry process, and history education. Recent publications include a book on holistic ideas and worldviews in American society after World War II and an article on late twentieth-century spirituality in America. Originally from Montana, she gained her doctorate in American History from the University of Maryland, College Park, taught high school for four years, and enjoys working on public history projects and collaborative K-20 partnerships to bolster the teaching and learning of history. Her new project focuses on a medical practitioner in Montana who made substantial contributions to our understandings of genetics and cognitive and physical disabilities.

Courses taught

History 206: Historical Inquiry and Teaching and Learning Seminar
History 300W: Historical Inquiry
History 306: Practicum in the Schools
History 330: Teaching and Learning History and Geography
History 408: Independent Study (For students interning with local museums and the National History Day program)
History 430/530: Methods of Teaching History/Social Studies
History 498C: Pro-Seminar Capstone Course on Historical Inquiry
History 505: Readings in Native American History (with Professor James Brooks)
History 550: Readings in Comparative History
History 590: Readings in American History
History 592: Readings in Southwest History
History 599: Civil War to Civil Rights 
History 668: Research in Environmental History (with Professor George Lubick)

Select publications


A More Perfect Union: Holistic World Views and the Transformation of American Culture after World War II(New York: Oxford University Press, 2010; paperback 2012). 

"Montana's Role in Genetics Research and the Disability Rights Movement," (in preparation). 


"National History Day and the Evolution of History Education," Forward to Issue, OAH Magazine of History 26 (July 2012): 5-8. (Served as Consulting Editor for this issue.)

"From Corn Chips to Garbology: The Dynamics of Historical Inquiry," with Stevan Kalmon, Peggy O'Neill-Jones, and Cynthia Stout, OAH Magazine of History 26 (July 2012): 13-18.

"Hooked on Inquiry: History Labs in the Methods Course," History Teacher 45 (August 2012): 23-35.

“Teaching Nature, Culture, and History in the West: A Grand Canyon Multimedia Partnership,” with Paul Hirt, Journal of the West, Summer 2010. 

"Contact, Encounter, and Exchange at Esalen: A Window onto Late Twentieth-Century American Spirituality," Pacific Historical Review 77 (August 2008):  453-487.         

Book Reviews

The American Sou Rush: Esalen and the Rise of Spiritual Privilege. By Marion Goldman. (New York: New York University Press, 2012. xii + 207 pp. $30.00. Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions (Forthcoming 2013).

Understanding Jonestown and Peoples Temple. By Rebecca Moore. (Westport, Conn.:  Praeger Press, 2009. xi 179 pp. $34.95. Pacific Historical Review 79 (Aug 2010): 474-75.

On the Edge of the Future: Esalen and the Evolution of American Culture. By Jeffrey Kripal and Glenn W. Shuck, editors. (Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 2005), Pacific Historical Review 76 (February 2007), 141-43.

Commissioned Works

“Coming to Manassas: Peace, War and the Making of a Virginia Community." A Historic Resource Study for the National Park Service. Brooklyn, NY: American Public History Laboratory, 2003.

“The Laurel Grove School: Educating the First Generation Born into Freedom." Brooklyn: American History Workshop, 2002.

K-20 partnerships and public history projects

Professor Wood’s research, teaching, and service often overlap in collaborative K-20 and public history projects. This includes Teaching American History grants from the U.S. Department of Education, Gilder Lehrman Institute for American History summer seminars, a community study of Manassas National Battlefield Park, and Teaching with Primary Sources workshops with the Library of Congress. For the Justice Sandra Day O’Connor Courts project (now called iCivics), she partnered with law professors, education experts, and digital game designers to create video games to teach young people about the American judicial system. From 2006-2010, she worked on a National Endowment for the Humanities grant entitled “Nature, Culture, and History at the Grand Canyon.” The project, which was led by environmental historian Paul Hirt, partnered historians, geographers, artists, teachers, Native American tribal members, and Grand Canyon National Park rangers with the Grand Canyon Association to create educational products for the public. This included a website, audio tours, a DVD, a walking brochure, university classes, and traveling trunks packed with artifacts and curriculum for elementary and secondary classrooms. 

Project websites

Nature, Culture, and History at the Grand Canyon
Laurel Grove Colored School, Franconia, Virginia
Laurel Grove History
Teaching At Laurel Grove
History Education Projects at Arizona State University

Grant projects at NAU

2011-2012: Northern Arizona University Faculty Grant Program; $7,648; “Disability Rights, Dr. Philip Pallister, and the Politics of Genetics in Montana.”

2011-2012: Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Impact Grant; $15,000; integration of inquiry process and primary sources and analysis into pre-service and in-service teacher training.

2010-2013, U.S. Department of Education Teaching American History Grant, “Northern Arizona History Academy,” Awarded 2010; (period: 2010-2013), $999,953 (P.I. on NAU Subcontract award); Department of History in partnership with Flagstaff Unified School District, the Western History Association, and the Arizona Historical Society to improve teacher knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of American History.

2003-2005, U.S. Department of Education Teaching American History Grant, “From the Local to the Global,” Awarded:  2002-2005, $900,000 (Teacher/Historian for the grant.) Subcontract award to Northern Arizona University Department of History in partnership with Page Unified School District, NAU College of Education, and the Arizona K-12 Center to improve teacher knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of American History.

In addition to the above grants, Wood’s work has been funded by the Montana Historical Society, the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies, MacArthur Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, U.S. Department of Education, Arizona Board of Regents, and Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.

Recent professional service activities

Western History Association Teaching Committee, 2010-present

Journal of Arizona History Board Member, 2011-present

Arizona Council for History Education Board Member, 2011-2013
National History Day Arizona Board Member, 2009-2013
Organization of Historians Magazine of History Editorial Board, 2008-2011

Organization of American Historians Membership Committee, 2000-02 and 2007-present
Arizona Council for the Social Studies Board Member, 2005-2008 

Judge, National History Day Competitions, 2001, 2004-2006 

Coordinator, National History Day Regional Competition for Northern Arizona, 2004-2005 

Arizona Dept. of Education Social Studies Standards Revision Committee, 2004-2005