Gregory Kaster

Faculty

Greg Kaster joined the Gustavus History Department in 1986. He received his BA (1975) and MA (1978) from Northern Illinois University, where he first encountered social and intellectual history and the "professor as activist," and his PhD (1990) from Boston University. His PhD dissertation examined the language (or what he called the "labor jeremiad") of organized workingmen in nineteenth-century America. His research interests include the history of masculinity in America and memory and history. Publications include an essay on the American labor movement, 1790-1860, in Encyclopedia of American Social Movements, ed. Immanuel Ness (M.E. Sharpe, 2004), and "Labor's True Man: Organized Workingmen and the Language of Manliness in the USA, 1827-1877," Gender and History 13 (April 2001), pp. 24-64. The latter grew out of a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar for College and University Teachers directed by distinguished labor historian Melvyn Dubofsky. Greg's teaching interests include the Civil War era, American dissent, the Sixties, American biography, American manhood, American film and culture, and, influenced by Sam Wineburg's work, the "unnatural act" of historical thinking. In the classroom there is nothing he likes more than informed and energetic discussion of the course materials, or what he calls "working out" with the sources. A Chicagoland native and New Yorker by marriage, Greg is a city person who delights in the political-cultural energy and diversity of vibrant cities, including Minneapolis and St. Paul. Among his favorite pastimes are dining out; shopping at different food purveyors in the Twin Cities (the tamales at Cinco de Mayo are outstanding, as are the varieties of feta cheese and olives at Bill's Imported Foods and the pastries and breads at Rustica and Patisserie 46); walking city streets and parks; traveling; going to the movies and the theater;;following politics; and working on his courses and projects amid the life-affirming sounds and smells of a great coffeehouse. He and his wife Kate Wittenstein, also a member of the History Department, are the happy companions of a black lab named Sam and a tuxedo cat named Cooper (in honor of the brilliant African-American scholar, feminist, and writer, Anna Julia Cooper).

Areas of Expertise

American dissent and Masculinity

Interests

Biking, Cooking, Dining, Film, and Travel


Courses Taught

Current

HIS-202 (Atlantic Slavery/Freedm); HIS-242 (Hollywood, USA); HIS-242 (Hollywood USA Lab); and HIS-332 (Amer Age of Civil War)

Past
Synonym Title Times Taught Terms Taught
HIS-130American History to the Civil War282013/FA, 2013/SP, 2012/FA, 2011/FA, 2010/FA, 2009/FA, 2009/SP, 2008/FA, 2006/FA, 2005/FA, 2004/FA, 2003/FA, 2002/FA, 2001/FA, and 1999/FA
HIS-236American Radicalism, 17761940102011/FA, 2010/SP, 2005/SP, 2003/SP, 2002/SP, and 2000/SP
HIS-200History Seminar82012/SP, 2011/SP, 2010/SP, 2009/FA, 2008/FA, 2006/SP, 2005/FA, and 2004/SP
HIS-332Amer Age of Civil War82012/SP, 2010/FA, 2009/SP, 2007/SP, 2004/SP, 2002/SP, 2000/SP, and 1999/SP
HIS-244ST:Slavery & Freedom72013/SP, 2011/SP, 2009/SP, 2007/SP, and 2006/SP
FTS-100First Term Seminar42012/FA, 2006/FA, 2003/FA, and 2002/FA
HIS-396Honors Tutorial I42006/FA, 2004/FA, 2003/FA, and 1999/FA
HIS-230American Lives32013/FA, 2011/SP, and 2010/SP
HIS-344Special Topic: Film and the Great Depression32007/JN, 2003/JN, and 2002/JN
HIS-268Career Exploration32006/JN, 2005/JN, and 2004/JN
HIS-242Hollywood USA Lab22013/SP and 2012/SP
HIS-242Hollywood, USA22013/SP and 2012/SP
HIS-331Revolutionary America22004/FA and 2001/FA
NDL-268Career Exploration12012/JN
HIS-244ST:Hollywood USA Lab12011/SP
MUS-156Gustavus Choir12005/JN
HIS-233King and Malcolm X12000/JN
HIS-397Honors Tutorial II11999/SP

Courses prior to Spring semester 1999 are not displayed.