Meet the History Department Faculty: Professor Kate Wittenstein

Posted on December 9th, 2015 by

Professor Kate Wittenstein

Professor Kate Wittenstein

Dr. Kate Wittenstein has been a Gustavus professor since 1986, and, during her tenure, she has helped transform the department in significant ways. Prior to teaching, Dr. Wittenstein earned a MA from Purdue University and a Ph.D from Boston University in American Studies. While at Boston University, she met her husband Gregory Kaster, another professor in the department. While originally they were hired at Gustavus to fill one position, they have since helped develop the department into what it is today.

Dr. Wittenstein is quite proud of how the department has changed since she joined: “When I arrived at Gustavus, the department was very focused on only American and European history.” She takes great pride in the “harmonious” expansion the department has undergone, as it now features classes from more world regions and perspectives. There is now Asian, African, social, and Latin American classes regularly offered alongside courses on American and European history.

In the near future, Dr. Wittenstein will be teaching courses on Gender and Sexuality in the US, primarily focusing on the tradition of marriage and courtship, dating customs and gender roles. Further down the road, she is especially interested in offering a course in Queer History and is hoping this is one that students would get excited about taking. The Gustavus History Department has been lucky to have Dr. Wittenstein for the past decades and any student hoping to gain wisdom and new historical perspectives should most certainly sign up for one of her courses.

Submitted by Dave Brazel ’17

 

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