Rebecca Livingstone

Department Chair of History, Associate Professor of History

Phone Number:
Office Location:
Mary Berry Hall 308
Office Hours:
Fall 2014:
MW 3.15-4.15pm; TTh 2.00-4.00pm & by appointment
Ph.D., British and Early Modern European History, Tulane University, 2007
M.A., British History, Tulane University, 2001
B.A. History, Lawrence University, 1997

I was introduced to the wonderful world of history when I lived in a variety of historical places all over the country while growing up.  History was something that had always seemed alive to me because I could see where it happened.  Or perhaps I just had a weird obsession with tour guides who dressed up in period costumes.  And then I read some books about the history that was all around me.  That’s when history got really interesting because I learned that it was a lot messier and more complicated than I had thought.    

 It was this crazy, complex side of history that made me want to study it more.  And so, I majored in history when I went to college at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin.  I ignored my mother’s pleas to major in biology (many lives have been saved because of this I am sure!).  While in college, I developed a passion for English history and have been a devoted Anglophile ever since.      

 I worked for a couple of years after college before deciding that I wasn’t where I wanted to be.  Instead of working for corporate America, I wanted to be rooting around and examining the past.  So I packed up and moved to New Orleans, Louisiana, to earn my Ph.D. from Tulane University, with a specialization in British and early modern European history.  My research area is proof of my love for all things messy and complicated when it comes to history – crime and punishment in England. 

 After finishing my Ph.D., I arrived back in the Midwest here at Simpson College.  I really enjoy the small liberal arts environment where I get to know my students personally, have the opportunity to share my curiosity and interest in the past with them, and challenge them to think more creatively about history as they learn that the past is more than dates and events.  Never has the quote “It’s complicated” been so true as when it is related to history and that’s what makes it so interesting to explore! 

 The courses that I regularly teach are the Western Civilization sequence (using Reacting to the Past), courses on British history, the Crusades, the Renaissance and Reformation, crime and punishment in England, and women and gender in European history. I am also active in taking students abroad during May Term.

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