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Daryl Sasser

Visiting Professor of History, Assistant Director of the Iowa History Center, Campus Sustainability Director
After decades of being in a classroom as a student and a teacher I slowly realized that the accumulation of knowledge is less important than the relationships built between the people who are in pursuit of elusive truths. Discovering new information and constructing interpretations of the past are satisfying and valuable, but lasting rewards come from the connections made between fellow students of history. Simpson is a great place for me because the students and my colleagues give me the freedom to pursue my interests and teach what I want, the way I want. This freedom ultimately creates a positive educational experience beneficial to everyone involved in the endeavor.


I mostly teach United States history, but I sometimes teach Western Civilization, historical methods, and an environmental issues course. I have given up using textbooks and rely almost exclusively on primary sources. With all due respect to my fellow historians, I think students learn more about the past by interacting with someone who was there instead of someone with perspective and an expertise in the field. A disproportionate amount of my time is spent thinking about how to get moderately interested students to imaginatively and critically engage with the past.


United States cultural history with a special interest in the intersection of religious and environmental thought.


BA in History from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, MA in American Studies from the University of Southern Maine in Portland, PhD in History from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia