Susan Rabe

Interim Co Dean of College of Arts & Sciences / Prof History

Professor Susan Rabe wants to know her students well, see their development and success, and teach in an environment that values the development of the whole person.

Professor Rabe is as passionate about the subject of history as she is about teaching and working with students. “First of all, history rocks! History provides the connective tissue and context that helps us understand the other things we are interested in,” says Professor Rabe.

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. 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, with courses covering Africa and the Middle East, Europe, and the United States.

Recent Publications

“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.

Popular Courses

History of Rome: Everyone wants to know more about Julius Caesar.

Ottoman Empire: Because it offers a different and new perspective.

Inspirations & Interests

Favorite book: Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse

Favorite movie: Casablanca

Favorite quote: "Don't confuse me with the facts; my mind is made up."—Roy S. Durstine

Favorite memory from undergrad school: Making plum pudding and wassail for the class before Christmas break for Medieval History.

Favorite memory from grad school: Reading a manuscript from 800 C.E.