Jeffrey Hyson, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Office: Barbelin 112P
Phone: 610-660-1746
Email: jhyson@sju.edu
Twitter

Education

  • B. A., Yale University
  • M.A., Ph.D., Cornell University

Courses Taught

HIS 150 Reacting to the Past: First-Year Seminar

Using an innovative and exciting role-playing method, students in this seminar will "become" political, intellectual, and religious leaders in three famous gatherings held at critical moments in history: the Athenian assembly in 403 BCE, the Grand Secretariat of Ming China in 1587, and the French National Assembly in 1791. Acting in the roles of these historical figures, students will discuss some of the central questions in political and social thought: Who should hold power in government, and why? What are the respective rights and responsibilities of "citizens," "subjects," and "rulers"? How do we balance the needs of individuals with the demands of the broader community? By reading primary and secondary sources, writing persuasive arguments, and conducting intensive "in-character" debates, students will develop a more active, engaged, and empathetic understanding of both historic events and historical practice.

HIS 383 Food in American History

This course will examine the many ways in which food has shaped the nation's culture, society, economy, and politics over the course of American history. Major topics and themes include agriculture and labor; technology and industrial food processing; ethnic cuisines and traditions; restaurants and supermarkets; food, family, and gender; and the impact of government policies and regulations. Students will explore these issues through primary and secondary readings, discussion and debates, personal reflection, analytical essays, directed research, and field trips and tastings.

HIS 386 American Environmental History
This course will describe our historical place in the natural landscape. It will tell that story through the methods of "environmental history," examining ecological relationships between humans and nature, political and economic influences on the environment, and cultural conceptions of the natural world. Drawing on methods from the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities, the course will survey over 500 years of North American environmental history, with topics ranging from urban pollution and suburban sprawl to agricultural practices and wilderness protection.

HIS 387 Popular Culture in the United States
This course will explore the production and consumption of commercialized leisure in the United States from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day. Throughout the nation's history, American popular culture has both reflected and shaped society's values, often serving as an arena of conflict among classes, races, and genders. By investigating selected sites on this contested terrain--from novels, stage shows, and movies to radio, television, and popular music--students will learn to think seriously, critically, and historically about the mass-produced culture that surrounds them every day.

HIS 368 American Ideas: From the Colonial Era to the Civil War
This course explores the history of American thought and culture from the Puritans to the Civil War, largely through primary source readings by major intellectual figures. The emphasis will be on social, political, and religious thought, but students will also discuss developments and trends in the arts, literature, and philosophy. Key topics include Puritanism and revivalism; liberalism, republicanism, and democracy; cultural nationalism and Transcendentalism; and abolitionism and antebellum reform.

HIS 369 American Ideas: From the Gilded Age to the Present
This course explores the history of American thought and culture from the late nineteenth century to the present, largely through primary source readings by major intellectual figures. The emphasis will be on social and political thought, but students will also discuss developments and trends in philosophy, religion, the arts, and literature. Key topics include Victorianism and modernism; pragmatism and Progressivism; liberalism and conservatism; and postmodernism and multiculturalism.

Research

  • Human-Animal Relations
  • Environmental History
  • Popular Culture
  • Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Faculty Expert Profile

  • Expertise: American Zoos, American Pop Culture, Environmental History, Animal Studies