Teaching

Teaching Philosophy:

I am excited about teaching and endorse it as one of the most important parts of my work as a historian. As a firm believer in critical pedagogy, the history of everyday life, environmental history, and creativity, I favor inquiry-based and hands-on learning. My classroom is an interactive space and intellectual community for critical thinking as I highlight, above all, that history is an argument about the past. Students learn how to frame and substantiate their own narratives and arguments, based on primary sources, existing interpretations, and continuing inquiry. Apart from drawing on diverse materials including literature and movies, I also incorporate oral history and more innovative ways to convey content. By using popular culture and making the past relevant I aim to connect the past to students’ lives. Throughout all of this, I use the content as a vehicle to teach skills. I thus emphasize reading, writing, as well as analytical and critical thinking skills, so elements useful well beyond a history course. My overall efforts and objectives are tied to bringing forgotten voices into the limelight and emphasizing the role of nature within history.

Teaching Experience:

Bridgewater College, since fall 2015:

  • HIST 110: World History since 1500
  • HIST 285: Holocaust Monuments, Memorials, and Museums (former interterm course)
  • HIST 285X: Monuments, Memorials, and Museums (May Term travel course)
  • HIST 311: Europe, 1492-1798
  • HIST 321: Europe since 1789
  • HIST 370: Genocide
  • HIST 380: Topics in European History: Nature, History, and the Making of Modern Europe
  • HIST 400: Professional Development for Historians
  • HIST 420: Modern Germany and Its Empires
  • HIST 470: Internship
  • HIST 491: Research
  • HIST 499H: Honors Thesis

Northern Arizona University, summer 2011 – summer 2015:

  • HIS 102: World History II (also online)
  • HIS 240: The Development of Europe to 1650 (also online)
  • HIS 241: The Development of Europe since 1650 (also online)
  • HIS 300W: Intensive Writing Seminar: Rebels Without a Cause? Young People in Post-WWII Europe
  • HIS 300W: Intensive Writing Seminar: Our Place in the Sun? Europe’s Scrambles for Africa
  • HIS 344: Recent Europe
  • HIS 360: Modern Germany
  • HIS 366: The Holocaust
  • HIS 376: Modern Britain
  • HIS 460: Studies in World History: European Imperialism
  • HIS 497: Independent Study: German Resistance in Nazi Germany
  • HIS 497: Independent Study (multiple students): The Bedzin Ghetto and the Holocaust
  • HIS 497: Independent Study (multiple students): Public History, Memory, and the Holocaust
  • HIS 497: Independent Study (multiple students): Digital History Project: The Bedzin Ghetto
  • HIS 497: Independent Study (multiple students): War and Genocide in Twentieth-Century Europe
  • HIS 498C: Senior Capstone: A Great Seminal Catastrophe: Europe’s Great War, 1914-1918

Public and Digital History: 

Public and digital history has been part of my scholarly identity early on. I worked in archives, museums, and as a tour guide (Imperial Castle Nuremberg) and utilized countless digital tools for my research and teaching. In the last years I have found ways to provide hands-on and experiential learning opportunities for undergraduate students, first at Northern Arizona University and now within a much more institutionalized framework (public and digital history concentration) at Bridgewater College.

Projects take shape within the classroom and include the creation of online spaces for discussions, timelines, or wikis. For instance, in my course on Early Modern European History at Bridgewater College students wrote object biographies tied to everyday life within a WordPress format. I have also utilized podcasts in combination with oral history to provide similar hands-on experiences. Along the way, I introduce programs like Zotero, Prism, Storymap, or Tiki-Toki – meant to help them organize their research or share their work in new formats.

I have also co/supervised larger projects. At Northern Arizona University I co-supervised two projects: the creation of a permanent exhibit tied to pieces of the Berlin Wall and an exhibit around a small town near Auschwitz before, during, and after the Holocaust. The latter traveling exhibit has been shown internationally; it also has a website providing additional tools and content. At Bridgewater College, I have been involved with the History Unfolded project from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. Students looked through the Harrisonburg Daily News Record; some of them also published a blog contribution to a three-part series describing our experiences.

Jobs for Historians

I have followed in the footsteps of a colleague and introduced a professional development class for historians. Juniors in our program are taking this one-credit class that meets once a week to think about their lives beyond graduation. In class, we work on a five-year plan, create/ update their resume, and practice all kinds of skills; we also find ways to connect with alumni and other networks. The introduction of this class in 2018 has been an excellent addition to our program.

My Professional Development and Teaching Workshops:

  • Co-Facilitator, SunTrust grant-funded two-day workshop on how to integrate professional development into your curriculum, Bridgewater College, Aug. 15 – Aug. 16, 2019;
  • Attendant, 12th annual May Symposium Conference Day, James Madison University, May 9, 2018;
  • Attendant, 10th annual May Symposium Conference Day, James Madison University, May 11, 2016;
  • Co-Facilitator, Annual Pedagogy Project, “Engaging Students in the Classroom and Beyond,” Bridgewater College, 2016/17;
  • Participant/ Presenter, “Digital History & Interdisciplinary Learning,” Teaching Day, Northern Arizona, Flagstaff, AZ, Jan. 2015;
  • Participant/ Presenter, “The Future of Holocaust Education,” German Studies conference, Kansas City, MO, Sept. 2014;
  • Organizer/ Presenter, “Teaching the Holocaust: A Conversation,” Teaching American History Grant, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ, Feb. 2014;
  • Participant/ Presenter, “Experiential Teaching & Learning In and Out of the Classroom,” Teaching Day, Northern Arizona, Flagstaff, AZ, Jan. 2014;
  • Attendant, “Exploring the Future of Holocaust Education,” Arizona Education Summit, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Phoenix, AZ, Nov. 2013;
  • Participant, “Intersections of Culture and Learning,” Learning Community, Northern Arizona University, Fall 2012 to Spring 2013;
  • Participant, “Teaching about the Holocaust through Eyewitness Testimony,” Jack and Anita Hess Seminar for Faculty, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington D.C., Jan. 2011;