• Kate Bjork

    Kate Bjork

    Professor, History and Global Studies


    Kate Bjork (currently on leave for the 2015-2016 academic year) joined the Hamline faculty in 2002. She teaches courses in Latin American history as well as courses about empires, environmental history, and the history of disease. Her current research examines continuities in the expansion of the United States as an empire from continental North America to the overseas territories that came under U.S. influence following the Spanish-Cuban-American War. Professor Bjork earned her AB from the University of California at Berkeley in English Literature and her MA and PhD in Latin American History from the University of Chicago. She will be on sabbatical during 2015-16.

    Teaching Style

    How do we know what we think we know about the past? Why are popular conceptions of history sometimes difficult to reconcile with the "facts"? (What is a historical fact anyway?) These are some of the questions that guide inquiry in Kate Bjork's classes. Recognizing, critiquing and making historical arguments is also an important part of classroom learning. To help students develop their critical thinking skills in historical argumentation Professor Bjork often builds courses and themes around student-led debates.

    "The past can--can and should--surprise us. At its best history is about challenging the commonsense assumptions of retrospective reasoning so prevalent in the stories we tell ourselves about what happened, why, and what it means."

    - Kate Bjork

  • Selected Publications

    In the Circle of the Dance: Notes of an Outsider in Nepal, Cornell University Press, 1999

    "Manila-Acapulco Trade,” in The Oxford Companion to Exploration, David Buisseret, ed., Oxford University Press, 2006

    "Village Walks: Tourism and globalization among the Tharu of Nepal,” Conformity and Conflict: Readings in Cultural Anthropology, 14th edition, David McCurdy and James Spradley, eds., Allyn & Bacon, 2011 [co-authored with Arjun Guneratne]

    "Prairie Imperialists: the Bureau of Insular Affairs and continuities in colonial expansion from Nebraska to Cuba and the Philippines,” Nebraska History, Fall 2014