Ryan Dearinger

Associate Professor of History

Faculty Athletic Representative


Ph.D., University of Utah (2009)

M.A., Purdue University (2004)

B.A., George Fox University (2002)


Professor Dearinger joined the history department in 2009. His research and teaching interests include the American West and the Pacific Northwest; immigration; race and ethnicity; labor and working-class history; gender studies; environmental history; and violence in American history.

Dr. Dearinger’s work has been published widely in the above-mentioned fields. Some of his more recent scholarship includes a chapter, “Hell and Heaven on Wheels: Mormons, Immigrants, and the Reconstruction of American Progress and Masculinity on the First Transcontinental Railroad,” in the book Immigrants in the Far West: Historical Identities and Experiences (Univ. of Utah Press), a review essay, “Interracial Roads to American Freedom” in Common-place: The Journal of Early American Life, and an article “Chinese Immigrants, the Landscape of Progress, and the Work of Building and Celebrating the Transcontinental Railroad,” in the journal California History.  Dr. Dearinger’s book, The Filth of Progress: Immigrants, Americans, and the Building of Canals and Railroads in the West was published in 2016 by the University of California Press. It received the 2017 Best First Book Award from Phi Alpha Theta, the National History Honor Society.  He has two ongoing book projects. The first is a co-edited book on the nexus of labor and environmental history in the American West, and the second focuses on indigenous, immigrant, and American hop-pickers in the Pacific Northwest. Dr. Dearinger serves on the Editorial Board of the Oregon Encyclopedia, is a contributor to Stanford University’s Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project, and was recently named to the Distinguished Speakers Program sponsored by the Heritage Resources Division of the Western Washington University Libraries and the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies at WWU.  He is also a contributor to Manifest Destiny Reconsidered, a 2019 NEH Landmarks of American History & Culture workshop.


Immigrants in the Far West

The Filth of Progress, book cover

California History Summer 2019










Teaching Schedule:

Dr. Dearinger is on sabbatical leave for 2019-2020


Ackerman back in the day










Other Courses Offered:

HIST 105: Slavery & Freedom in America

HIST 201: U.S. History to 1865

HIST 202: U.S. History since 1865

HIST 203: Investigating the Past

HIST 303: Historical Research

HIST 310: Men & Masculinities in U.S. History

HIST 310: Immigration Nation

HIST 312: Cultural History of Sports

HIST 322: The West in Film

HIST 345: Environmental History

HIST 355: Colonial Americas: An Introduction to Comparative History

HIST 403: History Capstone

HIST 422: Violence in American History

HIST 444: History of the Pacific Northwest

HIST 458: The Civil War and Reconstruction

HIST 466: History of the American West


Contact Information:

Eastern Oregon University

Department of History

Ackerman Hall 204-D

La Grande, OR 97850


(541) 962-3709