For Dr. Heidi Keller-Lapp, the true gifts of a college education are curiosity, wonder, discovery, and wisdom in the face of challenge and adversity. As a first-generation college student educated in public universities and as a historian, she finds meaning and an enriched sense of purpose in the study of the past. When it comes to teaching, she is passionate about helping college students understand why history matters to their personal development, collective identity, and citizenship in the world. With a vibrant research, publication and teaching record focused on global, cross-cultural encounters, Dr. Keller-Lapp engages literature, religion/philosophy, anthropology, critical studies to illuminate the global past and its impact on the global present. She has won teaching, advising, and mentoring awards.
For the past twenty years, she has administered and taught in UC San Diego’s esteemed Making of the Modern World Program at the University of California, San Diego. This five-course sequence provides an interdisciplinary approach to the study of world societies and global interactions (from ancient to modern) to help students become more globally and culturally literate. In her courses you will find students creating personal manifestos; examining human rights coverage in global news sources; putting Christopher Columbus on trial; role-playing debates over Indian independence or the French Revolution (while eating cake!); debating Plato vs. Aristotle on the best forms of government; proposing local actions to solve global problems; visiting museums, tall ships, monuments, monasteries, and temples; witnessing Japanese tea ceremonies; writing poetry in the pines; building butterfly sanctuaries in Belize; mentoring refugees from Eritrea, Somalia, Nigeria, Egypt, and Syria from local high schools; and considering what global, pre-modern wisdom – from Mesopotamia, China, India, Africa, Semitic traditions, the Jewish diaspora, Dar-al-Islam, and various Christian contexts – have to do with living “the good life” in the modern world.
Keller-Lapp received her Ph.D. in Early Modern European History from the University of California, San Diego, her MA from Indiana University, and her BA from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is an award-winning instructor, advisor, and mentor to her undergraduate and graduate students and maintains an active publication record in academic journals. She is currently finishing revisions of a book manuscript on the impact of transoceanic voyages on the identity of French Ursuline school teachers and missionaries with an expected publication date of 2021-2022.