Hailing from Lake Wobegon territory in Central Minnesota, Gary Marquardt earned his B.A. in History from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (1994), his M.A. in Social History from SUNY-Albany (1998), and a Ph.D. in African History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2007).
His teaching interests are extensive and have recently included a study abroad course on Post-Apartheid society in South Africa, courses on African History, Revolution in the Graphic Novel, Apartheid in Film and Literature, Coffee, Imperialism, Modern World History, Global Environmental History and seminar courses exploring health and disease in Africa and reservation and homeland systems among indigenous populations in the United States, South Africa and Australia.
His classes focus intensely on comparative histories and the idea of historical agency, or how the past informs today’s world.He has written about this extensively in a book chapter entitled, “Answering the ‘So What’ Question: Making African History Relevant in the Provincial College Classroom” (Indiana UP, 2013).
Gary's research interests focus on the confluence between environment and society in southern Africa. He has researched and written extensively about the nineteenth century rinderpest epizootic in South Africa and Namibia and is currently working on a piece that connects (perceptions of) environmental degradation in Namibia to its genocidal war with the Germans in the early twentieth century. His current book project explores the connections between environment, demographic change and identity during Namibia's apartheid era (circa 1930-1970).
Gary has been active in Westminster's push to broaden its international course offerings and has served on the International Council since its inception. He has also been involved with the college's campus events for Black History Month, and has participated in faculty work groups concerning scholarship, online course initiatives, undergraduate research, and using technology in the classroom. He currently serves as the faculty advisor for Phi Alpha Theta (History Honors Society) and is working to develop and teach a course on African and African American migration through the Clemente Program at East High School in the spring of 2014.
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