What Do Bethel History Professors Do on Their Summer Breaks? (part 1)

The calendar has turned from May to June. Spring grades are (almost) in. The Bethel campus is quiet, and even the Upper Midwest is starting to warm up.

So what will our faculty do this summer? Three share their plans today; look for the rest next week.

Charlie Goldberg is reflecting on a fruitful if frenetic Year One as a Bethel History professor. Even though his time with the History Department’s ’17 grads was relatively short in comparison with other faculty, he will cherish the memory of his first graduating class, and looks forward to continuing the relationships he’s forged with younger students next year. His summer will be a busy one, mostly spent designing two new courses for the fall: an upper level History course on Medieval Europe, and Intro to Digital Humanities, part of the new Digital Humanities major at Bethel, which the History Department has spearheaded. Prof. Goldberg is also traveling to British Columbia in early June for a week-long Digital Humanities workshop on big data textual analysis. Later, in July, he will guest lecture in a graduate course on the Digital Humanities and material culture at the University of Delaware’s Winterthur Library, where he will share his experience from the major online project on Roman coins he conducted with his Roman Civ students. Prof. Goldberg will spend any remaining free time with his daughter, Nora, growing vegetables in their garden plot in Blaine, which will either lead to a successful August harvest or else a forthcoming self-help book, entitled, Gardening with Toddlers: A Survival Guide.

Throughout the summer months Diana Magnuson will continue working at the History Center, Archive of Bethel University and Converge.  This work consists of accessioning materials, serving patrons, digitization projects with the Bethel Digital Library, and updating the HC website. Prof. Magnuson is also engaged in several collaborative research projects with colleagues from the University of Minnesota, with deadlines for two paper submissions in July and one conference paper accepted for presentation in November. She is the archivist for the Minnesota Population Center (at the U of MN) and over the summer will continue to curate their collection and exhibit space. For a little added summer spice, Prof. Magnuson has jury duty, but on most summer evenings you can find her at a soccer field somewhere in the state of Minnesota.

Huntington Library
The Huntington Library in Pasadena, CA – Creative Commons (Aaron Logan)

AnneMarie Kooistra‘s plan for the summer includes a research trip to the Huntington Library and Gardens. The bulk of here research will be on Los Angeles criminal court records ranging in dates from 1862-1893.  Most of the cases involve individuals arrested under the charge of “keeping a house of ill fame.” She hopes to spend the rest of the summer writing, gardening, cooking, reading, and hanging out with family.


Really Cool Stuff

One of the benefits of serving as director of archives is overseeing the acquisition of some really cool stuff for the History Center collection. And yes, “really cool stuff” is technical jargon in the archival world. In recent years the History Center has received a number of objects that not only strengthen the collection but also enhance our ability to tell meaningful stories about Bethel University and Converge Worldwide.

  • Bethel Alumni Coffee Club mugs. The “coffee club” alumni fundraising campaign began in 1984 and continues to this day. The History Center has a nearly complete collection. We are missing the mug from 1986. Is it in your cupboard?
  • Nancy Lundquist’s briefcase. Nancy Lundquist was the wife of Bethel College president Carl Lundquist. Beginning in the 1960s and well into her retirement, Nancy was a sought after speaker for conference women’s events and retreats.
  • History Department sign. This metal sign hung outside the History Department House, 1446 Arona Street, located near the old Snelling Avenue campus in St. Paul. After the move to Arden Hills, the sign was displayed inside GW Carlson’s office until his retirement.
  • Lantern projector, glass slides, microscopes, and pull down science charts from Bethel’s Department of Biology. Teaching technology has certainly changed over the last one hundred years!
  • Bethel College president Carl Lundquist’s academic robe and wooden lap desk. These items give testimony to Dr. Lundquist’s public and private academic life.
  • The class of 1925 donated funds for a brick gate at the street entrance to the Bethel Academy building, located at Snelling Avenue in St. Paul. The “Class of 1925” stone that was integrated into the gate is now part of the History Center collection.
  • Corbels from the Snelling Avenue Bethel Seminary chapel.  Even these small architectural elements have a big story to tell.
  • Bethel’s 2007 Regional Emmy Award for “Audio-Post Production, Bethel University Festival of Christmas.”  Bethel University won an Emmy?!  Who knew?  The golden Emmy statue came in a beautiful box too!
  • A small carpet square from the original carpet installation in the Bethel University library.  Gold was a popular carpet color in 1972!

If you are thinking to yourself, “Gee, I’ve got a ———, I’d love to donate to the History Center,” please contact me before bringing your treasure to the archive. Our space is limited, and you may be surprised to find out we already have the item you wish to donate!

—Diana Magnuson

What’s New in 2014-2015? Faculty Presentations and Publications

Today we’ll continue our look ahead at the 2014-15 academic year with a list of venues where you can read and hear our faculty as they publish and present in the coming months:

Amy Poppinga writes, “This fall is going to be busy. I will be spending Tuesdays sequestered at home, working on my dissertation. However, I am still making time to work on one of my other areas of interest: interfaith opportunities. I will be headed to Washington, DC at the end of September with Marion Larson (English) and Sara Shady (Philosophy) to attend the Vanguard Interfaith Campus Convening at Georgetown University. Later in the semester, Professor Larson, Professor Shady and I will host members from Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) and New York University at Bethel to examine the ways we engage interfaith opportunities here at Bethel. These events are possible through funds awarded to us this past spring by IFYC.”

Gehrz, The Pietist Vision of Christian Higher Education Chris Gehrz will be speaking at two gatherings of Christian scholars later this month. As part of the Bethel delegation participating in a colloquium for the Christian College Consortium, he’ll present a Pietist perspective on Christ-centered higher education. Then a few days later he’ll fly to California for the biennial meeting of the Conference on Faith and History (CFH), speaking as part of a panel on how historians use social media and moderating a discussion of how historians help institutions manage change. Also this fall, Chris will appear at the Minnesota Genealogical Society in early November to give a talk on Polish history during and after the Cold War.

Then early next year IVP Academic will publish The Pietist Vision of Christian Higher Education: Forming Whole and Holy Persons, a collection of essays by current and former Bethel faculty that’s edited by Chris (who also wrote the book’s introduction and conclusion). We’ll have more as the release date (1/5/14) gets closer, but you can read lots about that project at Chris’ blog, The Pietist Schoolman.

• In her role as director of archives for the Baptist General Conference and Bethel University, Diana Magnuson will play a leading role in two events this fall at Bethel Seminary: the dedication of the Virgil A. Olson Stained Glass Windows Memorial (Friday, October 10, 3pm — in conjunction with the biennial meeting of Converge Worldwide) and the installation of the Herb and Jessie Nyquist Memorial Collection at the Seminary Library. As part of her Spring 2015 sabbatical at the Minnesota Population Center (MPC), Diana is scheduled to present her research at the February 9th installment of the MPC Seminar Series.

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What’s New in 2014-2015? Our Faculty

Now that we’re past the busyness of Welcome Week and the start of classes, it’s high time we get back to blogging here at AC 2nd. We’ll start with three posts sharing what’s new in the department. First, comings and goings on our faculty:

Ruben RiveraRuben Rivera is continuing in a new role that he started last spring, as the university’s interim Chief Diversity Officer. Here’s how he described that position for us:

My tasks are numerous, but my overarching responsibility has to do with the articulation of vision, strategy, initiatives and support for Christ-centered unity in diversity across the university’s schools. What excites me most about my role is that I have an opportunity to help lead our community closer toward that goal that Christians the world over have for centuries prayed to God to fulfill: Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:9-13; Luke 11:1-4). Jesus himself taught us that prayer. What does the kingdom of heaven look like? In the book of Revelation we catch a glimpse of heaven where people from every language, culture and nation are worshipping Christ in beautiful unbroken unity (Revelation 7:9-10). Further in the book we see that time when God’s cosmic purposes are finally accomplished, and the kingdom of heaven, the new Jerusalem, coming down to earth and God dwelling among all his diverse people (Revelation 21:1-3). I see my role as nothing less than the promotion of the enjoyment of that coming kingdom.

In between all the work that that job entails, Ruben will continue to teach undergraduates: HIS210U Minorities in America this fall, and HIS209L Christianity in America and HIS217UZ Hispanic Christianity in the spring.

• Diana Magnuson will be on sabbatical next spring, continuing her research at the Minnesota Population Center (MPC). Look for more on those plans in December or January…

• Last year we were thrilled to have one of our former students, Katie (Thostenson) Dunker (’05), come back to Bethel to teach. Over the summer Katie returned to the UK, where she’s completing her doctoral dissertation at the University of Edinburgh. But she will be teaching for us again next spring, when she offers HIS311 Roman Civilization online.

• Another of our distinguished alumnae, Emily Osborne (’06), will be on campus Wednesday nights this fall teaching GEO120 Introduction to Geography, one of the required courses in our Social Studies Education 5-12 major. Emily is a social studies teacher at Mahtomedi High School, holds a master’s in curriculum and instruction from the University of Minnesota, and spends her summers in Oxford, England, directing a unique pre-college program for high school students.

Read the next post in this series of updates>>

Faculty Update, Fall 2013: Publications

Several Bethel History professors have had recent publications, or will soon see their work appear in print:

Bethel Seminary sign• Prof. Diana Magnuson surveyed the recent, challenging past of Bethel Seminary in A Time of Transformation, Bethel Seminary 1982-2012, eds. James and Carole Spickelmier, a new history of that institution that picks up where Missionsskolan, by her father-in-law, Norris Magnuson, left off.

• Prof. Chris Gehrz guest-edited a special issue of The Covenant Quarterly with Bethel theology professor Christian Collins Winn, and contributed to it an article comparing how Brethren historian Dale Brown and former Bethel president Carl Lundquist developed distinctively pietistic approaches to Christian engagement with culture.

• Department alum-turned-adjunct instructor Katie Thostenson recently had a paper accepted for publication in Studia Patristica. “Sharing God’s Image: Tertullian on the Creation of the Sexes” challenges the charge made by early feminist scholars that Tertullian was a misogynist, by exploring to what extent he believed that divine aspects of the Creator are shared by men and women and then comparing his anthropology of female creation with those outlined in other Greco-Roman texts.

• And as previously mentioned here at AC 2nd, Prof. AnneMarie Kooistra’s “The Harlot City?: Prostitution in Hollywood, 1920-1940” will be coming out in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies.

<<Read the previous update in this series

Faculty Update, Fall 2013: Presentations

A Third Way logoOver the weekend Prof. Amy Poppinga was in Chattanooga, TN for the 2013 Adventist Forum Conference, A Third Way: Beyond the conservative/liberal divide to a Christian identity refreshed by interfaith dialogue. In her presentation, “”How Cultural Identity Shapes Faith and Complicates Interfaith Relations,” Amy considered the role of vulnerability in interfaith relationships and the challenge for Christians to rely less on our confidence of what we think we know and more on faith.

That was the first of several presentations that Bethel History professors will be making in 2013-2014:

• Prof. Chris Gehrz will be a fish out of water at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, held in mid-November in Baltimore. Chris will speak on “The Global Reflex: An International Historian Appraises David Swartz’s Moral Minority,” as one of three scholars invited to respond to Swartz’s acclaimed history of politically progressive evangelicalism. (Learn more at Chris’ blog.)

• And next May, Prof. AnneMarie Kooistra will present at the Berkshire Conference on Women’s History, held for 2014 in Toronto. On the heels of teaching her new spring course, History of Sexuality in America, AnneMarie will take part in a panel on “Sexualities in the City,” contributing a paper on “Enterprising Men in Los Angeles’s Red-Light District, 1870-1909.”

Then Prof. Diana Magnuson and Prof. Ruben Rivera will be attending conferences and workshops this fall: Diana later this month at the Minnesota Population Center‘s workshop, “IPUMS-USA, US Census and American Community Survey, from 1850 to present”; Ruben at the Coming Together Immigration Conference, this year on the theme of “The Gospel, the Church & Immigration” (in October at First Baptist Church, Minneapolis), and then the 5th Annual Student Diversity Leadership Conference, “Achieving Peace by Embracing Diversity” (in November at North Park University in Chicago).

<<Read the first entry in this series of updates                Read the last update in the series>>

Faculty Update, Fall 2013: Grants and Promotions

Today and tomorrow we want to share some news from our faculty: what they’ve been doing the past few months and what’s coming up this year. Look for posts on recent and upcoming publications and conference presentations. Today we’ll start with…

Congratulations to the following members of the History Department faculty, recipients of external and internal grants:

• Prof. Diana Magnuson was awarded a Minnesota Population Center Grant from the University of Minnesota, meant to allow her to write an institutional history of the Minnesota Population Center and the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) databases, beginning with the harmonization of U.S. census and American Community Survey data in IPUMS-USA.

Lilly Fellow Program logo• Prof. Chris Gehrz used his grant from the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts to develop a two-day faculty workshop at Bethel, “The Pietist Idea of a Christian College.” Featuring talks by Chris, theology professor Christian Collins Winn, and returning Bethel faculty Roger Olson (theology, now at Baylor University’s Truett Seminary) and David Williams (philosophy, now at Azusa Pacific University’s High Sierra Program), the workshop explored what it means when Bethel claims roots in the Pietist tradition. Most participants then undertook summer writing projects that will be published in a book to be edited by Chris. (Stay tuned for more news on that front.)

• Chris and Prof. Sam Mulberry received both Department Computing and Online Course grants from Bethel in support of their radical rethinking of GES130 Christianity and Western Culture for an online environment, which premiered this past summer. Make plans to attend their talk on that experience — Sept. 19th, 10:15am in the Bethel University Library.

We’re also happy to announce that Sam and Chris recently earned promotions in faculty rank: Sam to assistant professor of history; Chris to full professor.

Read the next post in this series of updates>>

What’s Distinctive about Bethel?

This past Tuesday and Wednesday our profs joined their peers for Bethel’s annual, pre-semester Faculty Retreat. For one of the sessions on Tuesday morning college dean Deb Harless asked faculty to cluster together at tables and answer the following question:

What are some hallmarks of the College of Arts and Sciences at Bethel University?

Faculty mentioned everything from Bethel’s Pietist heritage and close-knit community to the centrality of the liberal arts and general education curriculum to the school’s ability to balance academic freedom and Christian commitment.

We’re curious to hear from our alumni and students: What do you think are hallmarks of Bethel? Please use the Comment space to tell us what you think is most distinctive about Bethel — and its History Department.

P.S. Alumni and students will also be happy to learn that their former/current teachers did the department proud throughout the retreat:

  • Among other faculty accomplishments, President Jay Barnes highlighted AnneMarie Kooistra’s participation in a summer seminar at Yale University on slave narratives
  • Amy Poppinga was among the new professors introduced to the faculty
  • Diana Magnuson awarded faculty excellence awards on behalf of the Professional Development Committee
  • Ruben Rivera and his fellow members of the Retreat Committee received universal applause for their planning work — and for their decision to base the first day of retreat at The Mermaid
  • …whose bowling alley hosted a very special faculty break-out session, where our own Chris Gehrz rolled the high score (178)

Talk about Teaching: Diana Magnuson and Ruben Rivera

In recent years the Bethel University Library has become a community gathering place on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, regularly hosting faculty, staff, and students for talks on a wide array of topics. People from the History Department have been frequent contributors at these events, including a series in which professors “Talk about Teaching.”

You can find many of these videos (from our department and others) archived at the new Bethel University Digital Library’s Community Video Collection. But this summer we’ll take time to spotlight a few of our own folks — continuing today with Diana Magnuson and Ruben Rivera.

Diana MagnusonDiana’s video comes from April 2009, when she was part of a panel discussion on interdisciplinary collaboration. (Technically, this wasn’t in the official “Talk about Teaching” series, but her section certainly fits the theme.) She and English literature professor Thomas Becknell reflected on their experience teaching “tandem courses” about the American Civil War. Diana’s course by that title (HIS307) is often taught in the same semester and time bloc Becknell’s ENL311 Studies in American Literature: The Civil War. The two classes are separate, but overlap — occasionally coming together so that Diana can provide greater historical context for the literature students and Becknell can help history students to read literature as a type of primary source. As Diana discusses, it also provides a great opportunity for excellent teachers to learn from each other.

Watch Diana’s video (which also features philosophers Sara Shady and Don Postema and writing professor Marion Larson)

Ruben RiveraThen Ruben appears in a March 2010 conversation with youth ministry professor Karen McKinney and nursing professor Dave Muhovich, exploring connections among experiential learning, study abroad, and culturally responsive education. This panel was part of a project spearheaded by education professor Jay Rasmussen, “Engaged Teaching and Learning: Bethel Faculty in Action.” Participants were nominated by colleagues and administrators for their excellence in certain areas, filmed teaching students and being interviewed by Jay, asked to contribute a written reflection, and then to join others in the series in these panel discussions.

Ruben moderated this particular discussion, and started things off with a reflection on how he seeks to help his students become “culturally responsive” (or “proficient”) — e.g., as they interact with Muslims, or study the history of their own, increasingly global faith.

Watch Ruben’s video

Faculty Summer Reading: Diana Magnuson

Our series of Bethel history faculty summer reading suggestions continues with this list from Diana Magnuson.

Persuasion (1818)
Title page for Jane Austen’s novels Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, published together in 1818 – Wikimedia

• I almost always start out the summer with Jane Austen. Her work is like a palate cleanser at the end of the school year. I’m reading Persuasion (1818) right now. (It is also available as a free audiobook from Librivox here, and as a free e-book here.)

• I’m going to finish a book I started during Interim that was recommended to me by my favorite nine year old boy: Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson (1883). (Librivox audiobook here and e-book here.)

• I’m also a third of the way through Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamozov (1880). This hefty volume is practically weightless in Kindle form. Plus my handy dandy effortless Kindle dictionary makes it easy to look up all the obscure vocabulary.

• Two other books in my summer reading pile are also recommendations. My humanities-loving husband says I simply must read Dante’s Divine Comedy (Mark Musa’s translation, 1981). I’ve downloaded it to my Kindle, but I’ll probably stick with my husband’s completely note-laden, marked-up Musa copy.

The other must read is Paul Woodruff’s translated selections (1993) from Thucydides’ The History of the Peloponnesian War. I’m sure Dr. Cragg will approve (after he gets over the shock and disbelief that I haven’t read this work yet).

• I’m also on a mission to conquer Moby Dick(Free audiobook and e-book also options.) I’ve been reading this incredibly historically significant work off and on for over two years. I now have motivation to finish, as I’m assigning sections of it in my A New Nation course (Fall 2012).

• I also read aloud to my children. With my nine years olds we have a nice little stack for the summer. They are voracious listeners (as well as reading on their own): Brian Jacques’ Redwall series; Armstrong Sperry’s Call It Courage; Rascal by Sterling North; the ever popular Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren; and Cressida Cowell’s How To Train Your Dragon. And just for fun, there will be a sprinkling of Thornton Burgess’s Old Mother West Wind stories. Many of Burgess’s books are available as free Kindle downloads. I never go anywhere without them.

• My fifteen year old and I still love to read together. We are on our final book in the Cornelia Funke Inkheart Trilogy. Funke’s work is not something we’d normally be drawn to, but we were thoroughly drawn into her world once we began. Bibliophile Dr. Eric Gossett in the Math/Computer Science department recommended Funke’s work to us.

• Finally, as a family, we are reading aloud J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. We’ve read it before, but we must prepare ourselves for the 14 December 2012 release of the Peter Jackson film, The Hobbit.

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