Teaching

Historical thinking is, in the words of educational psychologist Sam Wineburg, an "unnatural act".  My chief goal as a teacher of history is helping my students develop the distinctive skills and habits of mind that characterize sophisticated historical thought.  In courses covering topics from religion in modern Europe to the representation of history on film to the relationship between sports and imperialism, my students learn to use the remnants of the past -- textual and otherwise -- to reconstruct the conditions and mindsets of the societies and cultures that came before us.  In coming to see history as an imaginative and interpretive endeavor, my students explore the richness and complexity of human experience and become critical consumers of received wisdom about the past.

Sample syllabi and student comments on my teaching can be found through the links on the right.

My teaching at Harvard has been recognized with the Bok Center's Certificate of Teaching Excellence.