I created this website for my students. The resources will help them research and write papers for the courses I teach. Students can also learn a bit more about me and my research from the short academic bio below and from my curriculum vitae. I enjoy teaching history because I love learning about the past myself. The study of history is fascinating, challenging, always complex, and, at times, inspiring. It is the job of an historian to be curious and I hope I can instill a permanent curiosity in my students so that they want to explore, learn, and thus develop a better understanding of the world and their own lives. Also, since students' tuition helps support academic scholarship, I believe that students should know what their professors are doing professionally.
I am a professor of history at Walla Walla University, where I serve as the chair of the department of history and philosophy. I also chair the program in the Humanities and Multi-Discipliniary Studies. My Ph.D. in History was completed in 2004 at Claremont Graduate University under the direction of Dr. Lori Anne Ferrell. Previously, in 2000, I received a Masters in Business Administration from the Peter F. Drucker School of Management, with a concentration in strategy.
My scholarly areas of expertise are in the areas of the history of Christianity, the history of science, British history, and early modern studies more generally. I have also taught courses in intellectual history, economic history, and women's history. In addition to on-campus courses for the history department, humanities program, and honors program, perhaps the most fun I have had teaching was while co-directing and leading eight history and literature tours in the United Kingdom. The next tour will take place during the summer of 2020.
In 2009, the University of Toronto Press published: Exploiting Erasmus: The Erasmian Legacy and Religious Change in Early Modern England. I also have published a dozen academic articles, numerous book reviews, and have spoken at a large number of conferences in Europe and North America. A few highlights from my CV, include: in 2020 I published an article in Erasmus Studies on the reception of Erasmus in Restoration England; in 2018 I was invited to deliver the Roland Bainton plenary address at the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference; and, in June 2013, I had an article published in Church History, Studies in Christianity and Culture. Students can click my CV, on the right, to see a list of other recent articles, papers, etc. I am always happy to talk to students about my research.
A few other tidbits: In 2005 I helped relaunch the WWU Amnesty International Club and continue to serve as the club’s faculty sponsor. In 2007 I became an executive officer of the Erasmus of Rotterdam Society, an international scholarly society. Over the years, I have received a number of awards for scholarship and teaching, including the Outstanding Teaching Award in 2012. The award that was most meaningful, however, was in 2017 for community service and was presented by the Walla Walla Chamber of Commerce. Off campus, I serve on the community council for the Children's Home Society and, since 2013 have been chairing that council. While I find community service personally very rewarding, I want to help inspire my students to discover not only the joy of helping others, but also how a little time and energy really can make the world a better place.
My wife, Amy Shawler Dodds, is a brilliant violinist, violist, and pianist who teaches strings in the music department at Whitman College. We have two wonderful daughters. Outside of the academic realm I enjoy skiing, watersports, photography, golf, basketball, travel, community service, and, especially, playing with my girls.