History Scholar in Residence

How are the skills of a historian employed in the world?
In 2017 the History Department initiated the History Scholar in Residence program to answer that question through visiting professionals. The Scholars come to campus for several days and present in assembly, teach classes, and meet with students, faculty, and parents.

Kevin "Kal" Kallaugher, Political Cartoonist

2017 History Scholar in Residence Kevin "Kal" Kallaugher

Thanks to his college roommate at Harvard, History Teacher Jonas Honick, we welcomed our first visiting scholar Kevin Kallaugher (kaltoons.com) on campus last fall to address students, faculty, and parents about the U.S. Presidential election. “Kal” is the editorial cartoonist at The Economist and the Baltimore Sun. He was a 2015 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in editorial cartoons. He worked at both the Democratic and Republican conventions and visited Branson in late October. In addition to addressing the entire school during Assembly, Kevin Kallaugher, aka “Kal,” guest lectured (and drew!) in a packed schedule of classes: Modern Middle East, US History, American Politics, Roots of Civilization, Economics, Portfolio, and Drawing and Painting.

David Harris, Political Activist

2018 History Scholar in Residence David Harris

The History Department welcomed the 2018 History Scholar in Residence David Harris to Branson on Friday, March 9 .A conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, David spoke at assembly and joinedAshton Richard's class afterward.

In opening his talk in assembly, David said, “History doesn’t end. The option for not processing history is repeating it.” Reflecting on his experiences organizing against the war, spending three years in a federal prison, and continuing as an activist during his life, he had the following lessons to share:

  • To be a full human, you need to care about something more than yourself;
  • Evil is done by ordinary people;
  • You get what you do, not what you talk about;
  • People change;
  • You have to take risks to make change;
  • You never lose by being the person you had in mind.

In Ashton Richard’s class after assembly, he answered questions of students, including what he would suggest students do to push the issue of climate change. Calling it, “the principle issue of our time,” he said that students needed to get people engaged and out of denial. “Whatever lets us talk to people is a worthwhile strategy.” He was also asked about the significance of the Pentagon Papers, and had both an educational response and a personal story. When in federal prison, another draft prisoner was visited often by Daniel Elsburg, who at the time was seeking advice about what to do with the Papers.

David traced his roots of activism to working in Mississippi on voter registration as a Stanford student. “There was no way to go to Mississippi and not come out changed.”

He urged students to take up the causes that matter to them and to remember, “It’s not us against them. It’s us against ignorance.”
Happening in History

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