John Hajduk, Ph.D.
My passion for history grew out of my immersion in the popular culture of my youth. Watching John Wayne movies and TV shows like “Daniel Boone” made me want to know more about my country’s incredible past, leading to a pursuit for understanding that continues to the present day.
I still consider the mythology as worthy of study as the facts, and teach my students to differentiate between the two while appreciating how they each reinforce elements of the American experience. To that end, my classes often engage cultural themes– film, music, literature, photography, sports, etc.– and as much as possible I construct assignments that allow students to draw on cultural artifacts in developing their own interpretations of the past.
I’m convinced that it is in examining this breadth of human activity, not just politics and economics, that the study of history proves its value to society, and helps to shape responsible citizens of the future.