Professor of History
At North Park since: 2000
As an alumna of North Park, Professor Susan Rabe returned to teach at the school because she recognized the passionate engagement of faculty and wanted to work closely with students looking to make a difference in the world. She has found that in the history department, where she helps prepare students for their careers but also fosters their intellectual, ethical, and social development. “I want to know my students well, and to see their development and success,” she says. “I want to be in an educational environment that values the development of the whole person.”
Professor Rabe has long been as passionate about the subject of history as she is about teaching and working with students. “First of all, history rocks!” she exclaimed, adding, “History provides the connective tissue and context that helps us understand the other things we are interested in.”
The history department at North Park connects to the school’s Christian, multicultural, and urban mission in many ways. Most courses incorporate religious history, including her own classes on medieval Europe and on the Middle East and Ottoman Empire. They also examine the ethical obligations of historians and ethical implications of issues that arise historically, she says. For example, her Society and Culture in the Middle Ages class looks at how the rise of cities presented ethical challenges and had religious, economic, and social consequences.
Several history courses have a Chicago focus and include excursions to the Art Institute of Chicago, D’Arcy Gallery of Medieval and Renaissance Art, Newberry Library, and Chicago History Museum. “Given the nature of the discipline, it is rare that our courses do not in some way address the role and character of cities historically, and we usually do this in a comparative context with the city in which we now live,” she says. The curriculum is also structured to incorporate multicultural perspectives, she added, with courses covering Africa and the Middle East, as well as Europe and the United States.
Professor Rabe is the faculty sponsor of the Lambda Mu chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the International History Honor Society. She is a member of the American Historical Association, Medieval Academy, Societas Oecumenica, and Middle East Studies Association.
- PhD, Medieval History, Loyola University Chicago
- Diploma of Latin Language & Civilization, Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome
- Newberry Library Fellowship in Manuscript Studies, Ecole des Chartes, Paris
- MA, Medieval History, Loyola University Chicago
- BA, History and French, North Park University
- “Angilbert of Saint-Riquier,” in The Oxford Guide to the Historical Reception of Augustine. Oxford University Press, in press.
- Faith, Art, and Politics at Saint-Riquier. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986.