What We Did On Our Summer Break: Faculty

It’s the first week of the new year at Bethel, but before we get too far into the fall, we thought we’d look back at what the people of AC 2nd did with their summers. We’ll hear from some students soon enough. But let’s start with a few members of our faculty:

Prof. Poppinga wake boarding off Costa Rica
Courtesy of Amy Poppinga

Amy Poppinga: It is hard to believe we are already back to school. I had a wonderful summer that consisted of research and writing, quality time with my immediate and extended family, and some personal time with friends. It started with me traveling with my closest friend from Bethel on a trip to Costa Rica to celebrate our 40th birthdays. We attended a week-long women’s surfing camp. It was hard work but I loved it! We met as students in the History department, and I am grateful for our enduring friendship despite many moves, job and life changes.

Then along with my good friend and colleague, Sara Shady, I received two grants to work on creating a new course for Bethel’s Pietas Honors Program. The course centers on community, spiritual identity, and interfaith engagement. Keeping with my continued interest and research in the field of Interfaith Studies, I just co-authored an article, “Building Bridges Across Faith Lines: Responsible Christian Education in a Post-Christian Society” with Marion Larson and Sara Shady for the Journal of Christian Higher Education.

Prof. Goldberg in Greece
Courtesy of Charlie Goldberg

Charlie Goldberg: I was thrilled to have been selected to travel to Greece for nine days to participate in a seminar on fostering an appreciation for the classics in undergraduate education. The seminar was run by Harvard University’s Center for Hellenic Studies in conjunction with the Council of Independent Colleges. Along with nineteen other college professors and trip leaders Greg Nagy (Harvard University) and Kenny Morrell (Rhodes College), I toured the Peloponnese and spent time in Delphi and Athens. The group discussed strategies for raising appreciation for the classics and ancient history at small colleges, shared lesson plans, and made plans for future collaborations. I also shared my experience launching Bethel’s new Digital Humanities major with others interested in similar efforts at their home institutions, and will forever appreciate the lifelong professional and personal relationships I forged on the trip.

Diana Magnuson: I continued to collaborate with two historians at the Minnesota Population Center (U of MN). My paper with Steven Ruggles, “Capturing the American People: Census Technology and Institutional Change, 1790-2020,” was submitted in July to an American history journal. Our paper was accepted for presentation at the Social Science History Association annual meeting in Phoenix (November 2018) and will also be presented in October at the Office of Population Research, Princeton University.  We have another project underway researching the history of privacy and the U.S. Census. Then Ronald Goeken and I are expanding our research to include all major census recounts.

Sam Mulberry: I spent this summer getting back up to speed with normal Bethel work after my Spring 2018 sabbatical.  I had two major projects on my plate.  First, I worked to build academic schedules for incoming students who will be new to Bethel in the Fall.  This included both building their initial schedules as well as meeting with students throughout the summer to make changes and adjustments to their schedules.  Secondly, I taught CWC (GES130) online with Chris Gehrz and Amy Poppinga.  This was my sixth straight summer teaching this class.  Although everything in the class went really smoothly, I did spend a chunk of the summer starting to think through how the next iteration of the class might look.

First Congregational Church of Litchfield, CT
One of the places Prof. Gehrz preached this summer: First Congregational Church in Litchfield, Connecticut, whose oft-photographed building dates to 1829.

Chris Gehrz: This summer break was incredible! I spent the first five weeks of break out east, mostly doing research for my new Charles Lindbergh biography. I started at the Library of Congress (holding an impromptu alumni reunion along the way) then spent a month back at my graduate alma mater, Yale University, home of the Lindbergh Papers. While I was in the Northeast, I also had the chance to preach at three churches in Connecticut and Massachusetts, as a follow-up to my 2017 book, The Pietist Option. Meanwhile, I found time to walk the Freedom Trail in Boston, see my first game at Fenway Park, and visit Plymouth Rock. But the true highlight of my summer came in mid-July… On my way back to the Midwest, I detoured to southwestern Virginia for a week to take part in the celebration of my dad’s retirement, after 45 years of service as a pediatrician and medical researcher.

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Inside Intro to History

Since we revised our major and minor four years ago, our new gateway course — HIS290 Intro to History — has been a site of hands-on learning, helping students to apply traditional historical methods in a digital age. As taught now by Prof. Diana Magnuson, Intro to History has students work extensively with digitized primary sources — e.g., taking part in Cornell University’s crowdsourcing project to digitize runaway slave advertisements and using oral histories at the Minnesota Historical Society to understand the experience of recent immigrants to the state.

“I want students to be as engaged in the past as they are in the present,” Dr. Magnuson told Bethel News for a new feature on HIS290. “Hands-on experiences help them understand that the people they read about lived in color, just like we do.”

Students working in the library computer lab for HIS290 Intro to History

In addition to cultivating empathy, she added, students prepare for an array of careers, since the “skills students are learning are transferrable everywhere.”

That includes future social studies teachers like Intro to History student Sophia Carlson ’19, who found herself “seeing the possibilities of what my future classroom could be—not a place with simple lectures and textbook questions, but a classroom with the exploration of artifacts, sources, and real research that will help students to love learning.” But also those who will work in the business, public, or nonprofit sector. Sterling Harer ’18, a double-major in Business & Political Science and International Relations major,  explained:

When you interpret historical sources yourself, you have to think critically and try to set aside your own biases to truly understand how people thought back then… It’s an important skill for the workplace, because you have to be able to understand your colleagues and their points of view.

Click here to read the full story about Intro to History and how it connects to the work Prof. Magnuson does with students in Bethel’s own archives. And if you’re a current or prospective student, look for HIS290 to be taught again next spring.

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.

<<Read the first post in this series               Read the last post in this series>>

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)