Professor of History
Director, Pietas Honor Program
- HIS200L American Civilization
- HIS223L History of the American West
- HIS302 History of Sexuality in the United States
- HIS350 Modern America
- HIS499 Senior Seminar
- GES145/147/244/246 Western Humanity in Christian Perspective I-IV
- GES160 Inquiry Seminar: Writing Our Story
B.A., Calvin University
M.A. and PhD, University of Southern California
Get to Know Prof. Kooistra
What’s your favorite library or archive to work in?
The Huntington Library, by far. It’s a great place to research because:
If you could design a new course to put in your teaching rotation, what would it be?
Crime and Punishment in the United States — My father was a “major case team” detective with the Grand Rapids (MI) Police Department for much of my life growing up, and so he often shared tales over the dinner table. I even watched him testify in court on a number of occasions. He was really proud of his work as his detective, and one of his biggest accomplishments as a retired police officer was to consult on a couple of detective novels by Joseph Finder. I heard about crime and punishment from a police officer’s view during formative years of my life, and yet my research in this area has meant that I’ve learned a lot more about how race, class, and gender factor as major components to how the state and community seek to regulate behavior. Well, those facets really help complicate the story, let’s just say, and I like the idea of helping students think in more nuanced ways about an issue that has a complicated past and therefore has important implications for our present policies.
Where do you go to church? What’s something you especially like about that congregation and its ministry?
St. Dunstan’s Anglican Church in St. Louis Park. I appreciate the pattern of liturgy, the full participation of all the senses, and the cultivation of habit.
What’s your favorite place in the United States to visit? Why do you love being there?
Any place wild and quiet.