Caroline Boswell is a new faculty member in Humanistic Studies and History. We thought you might like to know a little more about your professor and colleague, so we asked her a few questions about herself.
Where did you go to college?
I went to UW-Madison for undergrad. Although I received my advanced degrees from Brown University, in my heart I will always be a Badger.
Who was your favorite professor and why?
My favorite professor at UW-Madison was Lee Wandel. Not only did she introduce me to “historiography” and early modern witchcraft (fascinating!), but also she taught us all that professors are first and foremost regular people.
You have a PhD in what field?
Early modern British history.
What did you do your research on?
My dissertation examined popular dissent and political culture in England when, after having executed the King, England became a Commonwealth and then a Protectorate under Oliver Cromwell (1650s). I argued that the social, cultural, and political values of everday people informed national discourses over proper modes of governance.
What are your current research interests?
I’m interested in popular politics, which is the study of the political opinions, beliefs and actions of ordinary people. In my next project, I want to examine the culture of popular political dissent in-depth. More particularly, I’m interested in studying the spaces and sites people used to debate politics and to resist unwelcome state policies.
What courses do you teach?
Right now I teach Foundations of Western Culture II and a “Topics” history course on crime and mentalities in early modern Europe. In the future I hope to teach European history and humanities courses that cover topics as diverse as women’s work, drinking culture, Irish nationalism, witchcraft, and more.
How would you describe your teaching style?
Evolving. I’m always open to new and innovative methods of teaching. I like to teach thematically, exploring important trends and beliefs in European society and culture. Within the classroom, I like to engage students through discussions of texts and images. Learning should be active!
What do you like to do for fun (hobbies)?
I love to explore sights unseen whether in my backyard or abroad. When I need a distraction I watch sports. When I need comfort I turn to Jane Austen.
What was the last good book you read?
I recently read the pop-history book The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic — and How it Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World. It traces the story of the 19th century doctor who came to the realization that the terrifying disease cholera was transmitted through the water supply in London. I’d give it a B+.
If we looked at your playlist what would we find?
Recently I’ve been listening to my cousin’s band, Wally Dogger. It can best be described as IT geek rock. Shamelessly I will add that you can hear them LIVE at IQs on University this coming November!