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.

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Reason #3429 to Major in History: You Get to Dress Like a Roman Soldier

This past fall we were fortunate enough to have Prof. Rushika Hage, a specialist in medieval Spanish history, teach HIS312 Medieval Europe every Monday night. As part of that course, she invited students to join her on a trip to Arms & Armor in Northeast Minneapolis, producer of historically accurate replicas of ancient and medieval weaponry and armor.

As a preview of the course she’ll be teaching this spring (HIS311 Roman Civilization), Prof. Hage had her students try on some Roman pieces. Enjoy!

Nov. 14 Talk on the Middle Ages

“Why Would a Protestant Evangelical Care about Medieval Christianity?”

Notre-Dame de Chartres
One of the most famous symbols of medieval Christianity: the Gothic cathedral of Notre-Dame de Chartres, about 50 miles southwest of Paris – Creative Commons (Olvr)

That’s the title of the next Prime Time in the Bethel University Library talk, taking this place this Thursday, Nov. 14th, at 10:20am. Church historian Chris Armstrong from Bethel Seminary and two colleagues from Bethel’s College of Arts & Sciences, literature scholar Mark Bruce, and philosopher Carrie Peffley (a former Bethel History minor), will share their interest in the Middle Ages and its relevance for 21st century Protestants who might be inclined to dismiss medieval Christianity as best left on the other side of the Reformation.

If you can’t make the talk, video will likely be available through the Bethel Digital Library. (Follow the Library’s own blog for those announcements.) Or visit Chris’ blog, Grateful to the dead, where he’s posted dozens of pieces of “medieval wisdom for modern Protestants” and is in the middle of an extended series sharing draft excerpts from his forthcoming book on C.S. Lewis and medieval Christianity. Or see a post from earlier this fall at our own Prof. Chris Gehrz’ personal blog, “A Baptist Pietist University Gets Medieval.”

And, of course, be looking for our own course on this important era in European and church history: HIS312 Medieval Europe, being taught this fall by Prof. Katie Thostenson.