Prof. Pennanen
About Me
I grew up in Sleepy Hollow, New York, a place steeped in historical and literary traditions. Not surprisingly, I fell in love with history and literature at an early age and have made them the dual focus of my academic career for many years. I also love my family (husband and two teenagers), dogs, cats, the environment, old movies, and classic animated cartoons. My family and I belong to Westminster Presbyterian Church in Munster, Indiana, where I currently serve on the Mission Team and lead the “Green Group.” My favorite hobby (of course) is reading, and my favorite author is Charles Dickens.
Educational Background
A.B., Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology and Ancient Greek, Bryn Mawr College; M.A. and Ph.D., Classical Art and Archaeology, The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

Calumet College of St. Joseph Homepage

Courses

• HIST 110A American Civilization
Description: This course surveys American civilizations from colonial times to the present. It reviews the basic chronology of American civilizations while focusing on the major events and problems of American history, including political, social, cultural, and economic developments. The course also emphasizes geography as it relates to Western history and some interpretive issues regarding major events and problems in American civilizations.
• HIST 310A Advanced Studies in American Civilization
Description: This course imparts a thorough knowledge of American civilization from colonial times to the present. Students will master chronologies and key events in American history, address interpretive issues and problems, including the impact of geography and climate, and trace important political, social, cultural, and economic developments in the history of the United States. Students enrolled in HIST 310 will attend the same lectures and take the same tests as students in HIST 110, but they will be required to complete additional reading and writing projects, including a research paper, and to lead either one full session or two half-sessions of HIST 110. HIST 310 is designed primarily for students who plan to minor in History; however, it may be taken as an elective by other students who meet the pre-requisites.
• HIST 115A Western Civilization
Description: This course surveys Western civilizations from Greco-Roman times to the present. It reviews the basic chronology of Western civilizations while focusing on the major events and problems of Western history including political, social, cultural, and economic developments. The course also emphasizes geography as it relates to Western history and some interpretive issues regarding major events and problems in Western civilizations.
• HIST 305A Advanced Studies in Western Civilization
Description: This course imparts a thorough knowledge of Western civilizations from Greco-Roman times to the present. Students will master chronologies and key events, address interpretive issues and problems, and trace political, social, cultural, and economic developments in the history of the Western world. They also will explore the impact of geography and climate (including climate change) on the history of the West. Students enrolled in HIST 305 will attend the same lectures and take the same tests as students in HIST 115, but they will be required to complete additional reading and writing projects, including a research paper, and to lead either one full session or two half- sessions of HIST 115. HIST 305 is designed primarily for students who plan to minor in History; however, it may be taken as an elective by other students who meet the pre-requisites.
• HIST 120A World Civilizations
Description: This course develops a basic understanding of the history of major world cultures. It imparts a general chronology of world history and an overview of world geography. It also examines important themes and trends that affect more than one world civilization. The course provides a crucial overview of cultures and meetings between cultures that accelerating movement toward an ever more integrated globe requires.
• HIST 320A Advanced Studies in World Civilizations
Description: This course imparts a thorough knowledge of major world civilizations from antiquity to the present. Students will master chronologies and key events, explore cultural legacies, and address interpretive issues and problems, including the impact of geography and climate on the history of major world civilizations. They also will trace the development of worldwide socioeconomic and political trends. Students enrolled in HIST 320 will attend the same lectures and take the same tests as students in HIST 120, but they will be required to complete additional reading and writing projects, including a research paper, and to lead either one full session or two half-sessions of HIST 120. HIST 320 is designed primarily for students who plan to minor in History; however, it may be taken as an elective by other students who meet the pre-requisites.
• HIST 120H Honors World Civilizations
Description: This course develops a basic understanding of the history of major world cultures. It imparts a general chronology of world history and an overview of world geography. It also examines important themes and trends that affect more than one world civilization. The course provides a crucial overview of cultures and meetings between cultures that accelerating movement toward an ever more integrated globe requires. A special topic is explored in-depth throughout the semester by students in Honors World Civilizations.
• HIST 324P The Immigrant Experience, directed study
Description: This course traces international immigration to the United States from all regions of the world. This course will describe the causes of immigration, immigrant occupations, immigrant social institutions, and immigrant adjustment to American life.

Papers, Publications, and Helpful Links

“Hungering for the Divine: Pagan, Jewish and Christian Asceticism in the Graeco-Roman World” (review of R. Finn, Asceticism in the Graeco-Roman World [Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2009], Journal of Roman Archaeology 24 (2011), 781 – 787.
“The 99.5%: Rome’s Silent Majority” (review of Robert Knapp, Invisible Romans [Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 2011], in Journal of Roman Archaeology 25 (2012), 716 – 719.
“Hollywood’s Trojans; or, Will the Real Hector Please Stand Up and Run Away?” presented at the 2012 Film and History Conference in Milwaukee, WI.
“Seeing the Gods—Or Not” (review of Verity Platt, Facing the Gods: Epiphany and Representation in Graeco-Roman Art, Literature and Religion [Cambridge University Press, 2011], in Journal of Roman Archaeology 26 (2013), 701 – 701.
“Don’t Worry, Be Happy: Upbeat Attitudes toward Money in Depression-Era Films,” presented at the 2013 Film and History Conference in Madison, WI.
“Pagan Rome” and “Religions of the Book: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam”: Chapters 2 and 3 in an in-house (Calumet College of St. Joseph) Humanities textbook co-authored by Professors Chris Buczinsky, Mark Cassello, Valerie Pennanen, Kirk Robinson, and Ginger Rodriguez, 2013.
First Person Singular: A Collection of Autobiographical Accounts and Memoirs from around the World. In-house textbook, currently in use by students in Honors World Civilizations and Advanced Studies (American Civilization, Western Civilization, and World Civilizations) classes.

Prof. Pennanen's Blog

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Email: vpennanen@ccsj.edu
Phone: (219) 473-4294

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