Bethel University Department of History

Bethel University Department of History Offering undergraduate degrees in History, Social Studies Education, and Digital Humanities as part of a Christian liberal arts college.

Operating as usual

A cool new resource from The Library of Congress that might be useful for our alumni working as social studies teacher (...
09/15/2020
Library of Congress Launches New Tool to Search Historical Newspaper Images

A cool new resource from The Library of Congress that might be useful for our alumni working as social studies teacher (among others).

The public can now explore more than 1.5 million historical newspaper images online and free of charge. The latest machine learning experience from LC Labs, Newspaper Navigator allows users to search visual content in American newspapers dating from 1789-1963.The user begins by entering a keyword th...

From hiking, waterskiing, and visiting national parks to writing books and articles, our professors kept busy this summe...
09/09/2020
What Else We Did on Our Summer Vacations

From hiking, waterskiing, and visiting national parks to writing books and articles, our professors kept busy this summer.

Yesterday we shared some of the books we read and TV series we binge-watched over the summer. Today: non-reading/watching activities! Professionally or personally, what was your biggest accomplishm…

Today and tomorrow our faculty will share some of what they did on summer break. First up: favorite books and TV series.
09/09/2020
What We Read (and Watched) on Our Summer Vacations

Today and tomorrow our faculty will share some of what they did on summer break. First up: favorite books and TV series.

Summer vacation is far off in our rearview mirrors now, but before those memories fade, we thought we’d share some of what your faculty did on their breaks. First up, what we read and watched…

Why Geography Should Be Part Of Every 21st Century Education
09/04/2020
Why Geography Should Be Part Of Every 21st Century Education

Why Geography Should Be Part Of Every 21st Century Education

Learners today are coming of age amid a confluence of crises. It’s all happening at a time when educators and families are grappling with the realities of learning in new environments because of COVID-19. Geography is a science powerfully suited to address these challenges.

How We’re Teaching History Courses in the Midst of a Pandemic
09/04/2020
How We’re Teaching History Courses in the Midst of a Pandemic

How We’re Teaching History Courses in the Midst of a Pandemic

After spending the second half of the spring semester entirely online, this week Bethel students and faculty came back in the classroom for the start of a new year. But because we’re starting…

Inspired by the player strikes cancelling basketball, soccer, and baseball games, Prof. Gehrz shared a short lecture on ...
08/28/2020
Some Historical Context for Last Night’s Sports Strikes

Inspired by the player strikes cancelling basketball, soccer, and baseball games, Prof. Gehrz shared a short lecture on athlete activism that he recorded last spring for the debut of our History and Politics of Sports class.

I’m not scheduled to teach our History and Politics of Sports class again until Spring 2022, but this past week has reminded me why it’s such a relevant addition to our curriculum. In t…

We’re excited to share this profile of Chris Pappadackis ‘08, a social studies teacher in western Minnesota who was name...
08/25/2020
“Laugh, Smile, and Roll with the Punches” | Bethel University

We’re excited to share this profile of Chris Pappadackis ‘08, a social studies teacher in western Minnesota who was named a James Madison Fellow.

“I can say for a fact that I did not plan to be teaching during a world pandemic,” Chris Pappadackis ’08 says—a little baffled, a little nervous, and definitely determined to make the best of the upcoming semester for his students. Pappadackis teaches social studies in the Kerkhoven-Murdock-...

One hundred years ago today, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing American women t...
08/19/2020
The Religious History of the 19th Amendment

One hundred years ago today, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing American women the right to vote. In the years and decades leading up to that moment, Christians had stood on both sides of the debate over suffrage.

As we prepare for a fall semester unlike any other, Prof. Gehrz has a few words of encouragement and challenge for his s...
08/12/2020
4 Things I Want My Students to Know about This Fall

As we prepare for a fall semester unlike any other, Prof. Gehrz has a few words of encouragement and challenge for his students.

With the start of an academic year unlike any other just weeks away, Chris shares four things he wants his students to know.

Prof. Gehrz tells the story of Juan Orendain ‘18, who went on from Bethel Academy to serve as press secretary to the fir...
07/21/2020
Meet the First Student of Color in Bethel History

Prof. Gehrz tells the story of Juan Orendain ‘18, who went on from Bethel Academy to serve as press secretary to the first two presidents of the Philippines.

“The riots, the protests, the demands for justice,” wrote Clarion reporter Emma Harville in June, in the tumultuous aftermath of the murder of George Floyd, “they remind me that B…

"We need to give ourselves permission to not have our jobs match our majors, and at the same time, our experience was no...
07/13/2020
Q&A: Ann Vu Ngo | Bethel University

"We need to give ourselves permission to not have our jobs match our majors, and at the same time, our experience was not a waste of our four years. We are all the only person we need that permission from."

Students and alumni, meet Ann Vu Ngo, our new associate dean of career development and calling at Bethel University.

Associate Dean of Career Development and Calling Ann Vu Ngo loves working with students and alumni to help them figure out who they've been created to be.

Congratulations to Dr. Magnuson, co-author of "Census Technology, Politics, and Institutional Change, 1790-2020," the le...
06/29/2020
Volume 107 Issue 1 | Journal of American History | Oxford Academic

Congratulations to Dr. Magnuson, co-author of "Census Technology, Politics, and Institutional Change, 1790-2020," the lead article in the newest issue of the Journal of American History! A free link to the article is at Magnuson's webpage: https://www.bethel.edu/academics/faculty/magnuson-diana

Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide

Now available for pre-order: this new history devotional co-edited by Prof. Gehrz and including contributions from him a...
06/26/2020
Announcing Our New Devotional: Faith and History!

Now available for pre-order: this new history devotional co-edited by Prof. Gehrz and including contributions from him and Prof. Poppinga.

Most readers of this blog are aware that I’m in the middle of working on a new book: a “spiritual, but not religious” biography of Charles A. Lindbergh. I’m happy to report …

A leading historian reflects on Juneteenth, a holiday she grew up celebrating in Texas.
06/19/2020
Growing Up with Juneteenth

A leading historian reflects on Juneteenth, a holiday she grew up celebrating in Texas.

How a Texan holiday became a national tradition.

Our series of student posts continues with Meraiah Latty ‘22, a Philosophy and Digital Humanities major who reflected on...
06/02/2020
The Calling of Historians: Meraiah Latty ’22

Our series of student posts continues with Meraiah Latty ‘22, a Philosophy and Digital Humanities major who reflected on studying the history of Freedom Summer.

This week we’re sharing a few essays from HIS290 Intro to History, which concluded with students reflecting on their calling in light of their interest in history. Today we’re happy to …

This morning the Bethel community gathered for a service of lament, eight days after the murder of George Floyd. You can...
06/02/2020
Service of Lament

This morning the Bethel community gathered for a service of lament, eight days after the murder of George Floyd. You can listen in on the reflections and prayers, including a poem by our colleague Ruben Rivera.

Welcome to a very special Service of Lament in the wake of the tragic murder of George Floyd. Leaders from across our community came together to offer reflections, prayers, songs, poems and a spoken word to remember the life of George Floyd and the need fo...

Before 2019-20 fully enters the history books, we'd like to share some reflections on vocation and history from our stud...
06/02/2020
The Calling of Historians: Essie Shull ’23

Before 2019-20 fully enters the history books, we'd like to share some reflections on vocation and history from our students. Up first: History/Digital Humanities major Essie Shull '23 explains what her interest in the past has to do with Isaiah 43.

Before we say farewell to a spring semester unlike any other, I’d like to share some student work from HIS290 Introduction to History. This year I had students conclude our gateway course by …

Thanks to Prof. Berglund for compiling this terrific list of suggestions and tips for how you can respond to the events ...
06/01/2020
How You Can Help People in Minneapolis and St. Paul

Thanks to Prof. Berglund for compiling this terrific list of suggestions and tips for how you can respond to the events of the past week. As you can, please give generously of your time and resources, and keep the people of Minneapolis and St. Paul in your prayers.

Whether you live in the Twin Cities or far away, you’re surely aware of what’s been happening in Minneapolis and St. Paul in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. If you’ve bee…

Congratulations to all the History, Social Studies Education, and Digital Humanities graduates in the Bethel University ...
05/23/2020

Congratulations to all the History, Social Studies Education, and Digital Humanities graduates in the Bethel University Class of 2020! We weren't able to be on campus to celebrate and take our usual year-end group portrait, but here's a glimpse inside our virtual gathering just now, when professors took turns celebrating each graduate and our students reflected on their experiences studying the past with us. Grace and peace to you all!

It's a commencement day unlike any other. Bethel will have several virtual ceremonies today, and we'll honor our History...
05/23/2020
The Seeds That Fell on Good Soil: My Commencement Address for the Class of 2020

It's a commencement day unlike any other. Bethel will have several virtual ceremonies today, and we'll honor our History, Social Studies, and Digital Humanities graduates at 1pm. In preparation, here's the commencement address that one of our faculty wrote for Patheos:

"In the end, people like me have done nothing more than till and plant the good soil that you provided us in the springtime of your lives. For all our planning and pleading and asking and exhorting, the harvest will most likely come long after we see you for the last time, and it will ultimately depend more on what you do than what we did."

05/13/2020
Bethel University Clarion

Our friend Chris Moore, chair of the Political Science department, guest starred on a new episode of a Clarion podcast.

Today on Treading Warm Water, special guest Professor Chris Moore gives his take on generational labels. https://youtu.be/D5hPVrtpSJw

Another way you can be part of creating primary sources for future historians...
05/12/2020

Another way you can be part of creating primary sources for future historians...

The Documenting a Pandemic: Bethel COVID-19 Community Archive project provides Bethel University students, staff, faculty, and alumni a space to document and share individual and shared experiences related to our life together in this pandemic. Share your writing, art, music, photographs, drawings, videos, or anything else that documents your experience during this time and help us tell your part of Bethel's story far into the future!
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#mybulib #contribute #poetry #reflections #essays #drawings #art #music #photography #videos #etc #quarantinelife #experience #archive #tellyourstory #ourstory

For this 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe, Prof. Gehrz reflected on how the 25th and 50th anniversa...
05/08/2020
The Changing Meaning of V-E Day

For this 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe, Prof. Gehrz reflected on how the 25th and 50th anniversaries were commemorated during and then after the Cold War and what V-E Day means in 2020, as politicians talk about being "at war" with the coronavirus.

(By the way, he'll be teaching HIS305G The Cold War this fall and HIS231L World War II next spring.)

Congratulations to Social Studies Education major Jake Marsh '20, one of this year's winners of the Servant Leadership A...
05/08/2020
Congratulations, Jake Marsh!

Congratulations to Social Studies Education major Jake Marsh '20, one of this year's winners of the Servant Leadership Award at Bethel University.

Since 2001, Bethel has honored a handful of students each year with the Servant Leadership Award, recognizing their “substantial contributions to Christian ministries, community service, and …

Looking for advice on teaching your kids about history in this season of remote learning? Profs. Gehrz and Kooistra are ...
05/05/2020
How To Teach Your Kids About History

Looking for advice on teaching your kids about history in this season of remote learning? Profs. Gehrz and Kooistra are among the contributors to this post at The Anxious Bench.

05/01/2020
AP U.S. History: Special Edition with Lin-Manuel Miranda

Attention alumni who teach U.S. history (or maybe just loved Hamilton)...

This special edition of AP U.S. History class will cover topics on analyzing evidence, using source material, and providing historical context with special g...

Joining Profs. Kooistra and Peffley for this week's musical episode of Bookish is History/Digital Humanities major and H...
04/30/2020
Bookish @ Bethel - Episode 29: Classical and Romantic Music

Joining Profs. Kooistra and Peffley for this week's musical episode of Bookish is History/Digital Humanities major and Humanities TA Essie Shull.

In this week's episode of Bookish @ Bethel, Philosophy Professor Carrie Peffley and History Professor AnneMarie Kooistra are joined by Humanities Program TAs Abigial Rockhill and Essie Shull to discuss music from Classical and Romantic composers...

We're currently studying public history in Intro to History. Several students were struck by the response of the Minneso...
04/29/2020
History is Now: COVID-19 Health Crisis

We're currently studying public history in Intro to History. Several students were struck by the response of the Minnesota Historical Society to COVID-19, including this initiative to collect pandemic-related "stories, observations, images, sound files, or moving images" (and eventually "objects, diaries, documentaries as well"). Click through if you want to add to this emerging archive of our state's experience of the coronavirus.

The state of Minnesota, like so many other places around the world, is reacting and adapting to the widespread COVID-19 health crisis. We at the Minnesota Historical Society are seeking to document the impact in our state through your stories. While we can’t preserve everything, we are interested ...

While state historic sites are closed, check out these online resources from the Minnesota Historical Society.
04/22/2020
History at Home

While state historic sites are closed, check out these online resources from the Minnesota Historical Society.

Learn about history while at home. Here's a good place to start!

The results of our best historical film tournament are in!
04/17/2020
And the Best Historical Movie Is…

The results of our best historical film tournament are in!

Congratulations to 12 Years a Slave, winner of our tournament to determine the best historical film! It’s just one more award for a film with a shelf full of them, including the Oscar, Golden…

Our newest podcast series is just one example of how our faculty are using history to help students and others understan...
04/17/2020
Pandemics and History

Our newest podcast series is just one example of how our faculty are using history to help students and others understand and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Check out the newest online project from our faculty! Hosted by Prof. Chris Gehrz, Pandemics and the Liberal Arts is a limited-run podcast series exploring the ways that academic disciplines in the…

Dear alumni and friends of the Bethel History Department: You already do much to support the work we do in and out of th...
04/16/2020
ROAR Day 2020

Dear alumni and friends of the Bethel History Department: You already do much to support the work we do in and out of the classroom, but if you can make a donation today, we'd appreciate it. Thank you!

Today is Bethel ROAR Day 2020! Join me in supporting Bethel students!

Another glimpse inside our Intro to History course... As students moved from a unit on historical evidence to one on his...
04/15/2020
Jill Lepore on History

Another glimpse inside our Intro to History course... As students moved from a unit on historical evidence to one on historical writing, Prof. Gehrz shared some wise words from of his favorite historians.

This week in Intro to History, we’re talking about history as a form of literature. Wanting to point students to some of my favorite writing historians, I started with Jill Lepore, the Harvar…

Are you a history buff with some extra time on your hands? You can help archivists digitize everything from sci-fi fanzi...
04/15/2020
Even More Ways to Help Librarians and Archivists From Home

Are you a history buff with some extra time on your hands? You can help archivists digitize everything from sci-fi fanzines to New England whaling logs!

As long as we're all cooped-up, here are six digital projects that could use your curiosity.

Check out some of the amazing work our Intro to Digital Humanities students have done this semester, using a 3D modeling...
04/15/2020
Modeling the Medieval Past with Sketchup

Check out some of the amazing work our Intro to Digital Humanities students have done this semester, using a 3D modeling tool to bring medieval structures like the York Minster to digital life.

Prof. Goldberg’s Intro to Digital Humanities students have been hard at work over the past few weeks creating digital 3D models of medieval cathedrals, basilicas, and castles. After spending …

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With an unexpected snow day, I made an interactive 3D map of Hannibal's route over the Alps in 218 BCE. Check out the link below to see the final product, or read about it on the History department blog: https://bethelhistory.wordpress.com/2019/02/20/mapping-hannibal-on-a-snow-day/
Tonight I attended Mounds View High School's "parent communication night." How delightful to meet my daughter's APUSH teacher, Alex Hinseth (C'11), a former student of mine!
Long ago history prof (1984-2003) Neil Lettinga face to face with one of the World War 1 artwork that we used to show every January: Otto Dix's Wounded Soldier.