I'm a professor of medieval history, an Italian-American Catholic who grew up in the suburbs of Texas and only attended big state universities, but who currently teaches at a small liberal arts college founded by Norwegian Lutherans in the upper Midwest. Go figure.
I study medieval monks, who are much more interesting than you might imagine. In the past few years, I've branched out to write on non-medieval topics, like the history of Augsburg University for its 150th anniversary, coming soon. I'm also passionate about teaching. Check out this video where I talk about a crazy course I developed with some colleagues a few years back.
Memoir / Blog
Learning racism in fourth grade
Subtle racist indoctrination was everywhere. Not just television and the movies. It was also being transmitted in school.
Colonial Hills Elementary, fourth grade class of Mrs. D—. Before interactive educational computer programs, pedagogy ran on flash cards. Mrs. D— had flash cards for everything. One set had silhouettes of all the states in the Union. Another had all the countries in the world. See the shape, guess the right country, and get a shot of dopamine to the nucleus accumbens, the pleasure center of the brain. Capital cities and major crops and industries were listed on the back of these cards for extra points. I was a master of any and all flash cards. Without realizing it, I was also a slave to the rewards (approval, love) that their correct answers promised. Mmmm, dopamine.