Gregory KasterFaculty

Professor in History and African Studies

Greg Kaster joined the Gustavus History Department in 1986. He received his BA (1975) and MA (1978) from Northern Illinois University, and his PhD (1990) from Boston University. His PhD dissertation examined the language what he called the "labor jeremiad" of organized workingmen in nineteenth-century America. His research and teaching interests include the history of masculinity in America, slavery and abolitionism, the Civil War, film, visual culture, biography, dissent, and memory and history. Publications include a chapter comparing the films Django Unchained and Lincoln in Oliver C. Speck, ed., Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained (Bloomsbury, 2014), 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.  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 (favorites include Bill's Imported Foods for Greek provisions, and Rustica and Patisserie 46 for pastries and breads); 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, who was predeceased by his and their feline companion, Cooper (named by Prof. Wittenstein in honor of the brilliant African-American scholar, feminist, and writer, Anna Julia Cooper).

Areas of Expertise

American dissent and Masculinity


Biking, Cooking, Dining, Film, and Travel

Courses Taught

HIS-130 (U.S. History to Civil War) and HIS-202 (Atlantic Slavery/Freedm)

Synonym Title Times Taught Terms Taught
HIS-130 U.S. History to Civil War 48 2022/FA, 2021/FA, 2021/SP, 2019/FA, 2019/SP, 2018/FA, 2018/SP, 2017/FA, 2017/SP, 2016/FA, 2015/FA, 2014/FA, 2013/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-200 History Seminar 14 2020/FA, 2020/SP, 2017/FA, 2017/SP, 2016/FA, 2016/SP, 2012/SP, 2011/SP, 2010/SP, 2009/FA, 2008/FA, 2006/SP, 2005/FA, and 2004/SP
HIS-332 Amer Age of Civil War 13 2023/SP, 2020/FA, 2019/SP, 2016/SP, 2014/SP, 2012/SP, 2010/FA, 2009/SP, 2007/SP, 2004/SP, 2002/SP, 2000/SP, and 1999/SP
HIS-236 American Radicalism, 1776–1940 10 2011/FA, 2010/SP, 2005/SP, 2003/SP, 2002/SP, and 2000/SP
FTS-100 FTS:Do the Right Thing 8 2022/FA, 2019/FA, 2017/FA, 2016/FA, 2012/FA, 2006/FA, 2003/FA, and 2002/FA
HIS-244 ST:Slavery & Freedom 7 2013/SP, 2011/SP, 2009/SP, 2007/SP, and 2006/SP
HIS-242 Hollywood, USA 5 2023/SP, 2017/SP, 2014/SP, 2013/SP, and 2012/SP
HIS-230 American Lives 5 2020/FA, 2015/FA, 2013/FA, 2011/SP, and 2010/SP
HIS-202 Atlantic Slavery/Freedm 4 2020/SP, 2019/SP, 2016/SP, and 2014/SP
HIS-242 Hollywood USA Lab 4 2017/SP, 2014/SP, 2013/SP, and 2012/SP
HIS-396 Honors Tutorial I 4 2006/FA, 2004/FA, 2003/FA, and 1999/FA
HIS-241 Recent United States History, 1945-1995 3 2021/FA, 2018/SP, and 2014/FA
HIS-243 History of the Present 3 2021/SP, 2020/SP, and 2018/FA
HIS-344 Special Topic: Film and the Great Depression 3 2007/JN, 2003/JN, and 2002/JN
HIS-268 Career Exploration 3 2006/JN, 2005/JN, and 2004/JN
HIS-331 Revolutionary America 2 2004/FA and 2001/FA
HIS-298 Democracy & Dissent US Hist 1 2023/SP
NDL-268 Career Exploration 1 2012/JN
HIS-244 ST:Hollywood USA Lab 1 2011/SP
MUS-156 Gustavus Choir 1 2005/JN
HIS-233 King and Malcolm X 1 2000/JN
HIS-397 Honors Tutorial II 1 1999/SP
Courses prior to Spring semester 1999 are not displayed.