Judy Walden

Associate Professor of History

Phone Number:
Office Location:
Mary Berry Hall 311
Office Hours:
Fall 2015: Off campus – leading SEA London
Spring 2016: Off campus – sabbatical leave
Ph.D., British and Modern European History, Northwestern University, 1999.
B.A., History, magna cum laude, Carleton College, 1986.

When I started college, I knew exactly what I was going to do with my life: I was going to be a doctor.  What happened?  I stumbled into a history seminar during my freshman year to fulfill a general education requirement, and, much to my surprise, I discovered that I loved history.  I took another history class, then another, still slogging through my pre-med courses.  During my junior year, I spent a semester studying in Dublin, Ireland, and it was here that I began to realize that history was going to be more than just a hobby for me.   Maybe it was walking around a city where history seemed to have been made on every corner, or maybe it was the excitement of walking into the National Library and doing real research with historical artifacts.  I was hooked.

After taking a year off from school and working at a contemporary art museum in Minneapolis, I earned my doctorate in history from Northwestern University, just outside Chicago.  In graduate school I continued to study Irish and British history, spending almost a year living in Dublin while I researched my dissertation on Dublin’s housing projects.  After graduate school, I taught for several years at a small liberal arts college in the South, where I learned to love good BBQ and dread the summer heat.

In 2009, I was excited to return to the Midwest and begin teaching at Simpson.  At Simpson, I teach a range of classes, from modern Europe to urban history to courses in Indian and Chinese history.  What’s great about my job is that I’m constantly learning new things and getting to share great books and ideas with students every day.  Since my own study abroad experience was so transformational, I particularly appreciate Simpson students’ involvement in study abroad.  I’ve taken students to Britain and Ireland for May Term, and I’m excited to be heading to India for May Term 2013.

When I’m not teaching, you might find me exploring Des Moines with my husband Mike and our daughter Sofia, planning a summer camping trip, visiting family in Minnesota or Wisconsin (Go Packers!), singing in a community chorus, or curled up with a good book.

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