Worcester State University
History & Political Science Department


Erika Briesacher

Contact Information
Office: Sullivan 327B
Phone: 508-929-8692
Email: ebriesacher@worcester.edu

Ph.D. Kent State University
MA History and Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Museum Studies, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
BA, History and English, Illinois Wesleyan University

Areas of Specialization

Modern Germany, modern Europe, comparative nationalisms (American and European), material culture, museums/archives studies, historical/sociological theory and methods, economic history, world history.

As a new addition to the History faculty here at Worcester State, I enjoy the ability to work with students both inside and outside the classroom.  After being exposed to an interdisciplinary tradition as an English and History double major in a small liberal-arts setting at Illinois Wesleyan University, I find history to be a unique field that incorporates a variety of disciplines and resources.  I continued this multifaceted approach in my Masters program at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, where I added a concentration in Museum Studies that allowed me the opportunity to work in a museum setting as well as at the Missouri State Archives--St. Louis.  At the archives, I was able to move beyond my primary field of concentration, preserving and preparing civil court cases from the antebellum and Civil War eras in St. Louis, including freedom suits brought by slaves.  In my courses, I like to use a variety of resources and materials to teach world history, especially projects such as the "10,000 Mile Project," where students link culture, history, and travel and the "Historical Soundtracks" project, where students can set survey courses to music.  I hope to expose my students, even non-history majors, to interdisciplinary resources and methods that will enrich their educational and future lives. I also increasingly use digital resources in the classroom in an effort to expand students' skills (as well as my own!) for the 21st century.

My research focuses on identity construction, nationalism, and hyperinflation in the wake of World War I in Germany using material cultural methods.  I recently defended my dissertation "Cultural Currency: Notgeld, Nordische Woche, and the Nordische Gesellschaft, 1921-1945" at Kent State University, where I also taught World Civilization I and II survey courses as well as the Modern United States survey.  I further had the opportunity to teach upper-division European, Latin American, and Holocaust courses at Notre Dame College in South Euclid, Ohio, before coming to Worcester State in August 2012.  Future research topics will focus on cultural constructions of European pilgrimage culture, the material culture of Nazi propaganda, and how material culture contributes to pedagogy.

Recent Scholarship

"Radio Free Europe," Encyclopedia of US Intelligence, edited by Gregory Moore (forthcoming 2013).

Review of Lloyd Kramer, Nationalism in Europe and America: Politics, Cultures, and Identities since 1775 for H-Nationalism, forthcoming.

"I Would Walk 10,000 Miles: Teaching World History through Travel Planning." World History Bulletin. Vol. XVIII, No. 1 (Spring 2012)

Review of Gerhard Sälter, Grenzpolizisten: Konformität, Verweigerung und Repression in der Grenzpolizei und den Grenztruppen der DDR 1952-1965 for H-German, October 2010.


HI 104: World Civilization II
HI 105: World Civilization III
HI 312: 20th Century Europe I
HI 411: Historian's Craft
HI 450/HI 990: Rise of European Imperialism Scholarship

Links of Interest

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  History and Political Science Department
  Worcester State University

  486 Chandler Street
  Worcester, MA 01602

  Sullivan 327

  (508) 929-8162

  (508) 929-8155

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Phone: 508-929-8000