History Department

The mission of the Department of History is to help students develop the capacity to think historically.

This means understanding change and continuity over time, appreciating the importance of historical context, knowing how to interpret and critique primary and secondary sources, being able to construct arguments based on historical evidence, understanding the varieties of approaches employed by historians, and integrating into the study of history methods employed in related disciplines. Second, it means developing an appreciation for the histories of different regions, societies, and time periods, as well as for the differences and similarities among those histories. Finally, it involves developing an understanding of the past as past and of its importance in the present. All of these abilities are essential to well-educated persons seeking to deal effectively with the complex world in which they live.

History is an essential discipline to the liberal arts, and many of the department’s courses fulfill area requirements for graduation. The major is designed to develop necessary knowledge and skill foundations for students who wish to pursue graduate studies in history; who intend to pursue graduate studies in a variety of related professional fields, such as international relations, law, or business; or who intend to move directly into careers in fields such as business, government, or public service.

Majors in History are encouraged to study abroad and the department allows appropriate coursework from approved international programs to apply toward the major. See available programs at http://gustavus.studioabroad.com/.

Name Title Phone
Eric Carlson Professor (Chair) 507-933-7692
Gregory Kaster Professor 507-933-7431 web
Kate Wittenstein Professor 507-933-7433
David Obermiller Associate Professor 507-933-6159
Kate Keller Assistant Professor 507-933-7432
Glenn Kranking ’98 Assistant Professor 507-933-7435 web
Scott Ickes Visiting Assistant Professor of Latin American History 507-933-6339
David LaVigne Visiting Assistant Professor 507-933-6152
Sam Vong Bruce Gray Post-doctoral Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor 507-933-6897
Nicole Goebel Administrative Assistant 507-933-7413
Kevin Byrne Professor Emeritus web
Thomas Emmert Professor Emeritus
Byron Nordstrom Professor Emeritus web