I’m Kevin Gannon, and I serve as Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) and Professor of History at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa, where I’ve taught since 2004. I’m a former program coordinator (New Student Seminar) and department chair, and my current role is a blend of administrative and faculty responsibilities. My teaching, research, and public work (including writing) centers on critical and inclusive pedagogy; race, history, and justice; and technology and teaching. I write for Vitae (a section of The Chronicle of Higher Education), and my essays on higher education have also been published in Vox and other media outlets. Currently, I’m writing a book called Radical Hope: A Teaching Manifesto, which will be published by West Virginia University press as part of their Teaching and Learning in Higher Education series, edited by James M. Lang. I’m also working on a textbook for the US Civil War and Reconstruction eras for Routledge. In 2016, I appeared in the Oscar-nominated documentary 13th, which was directed by Ava DuVernay. I am a speaker and consultant about a range of topics on campuses across North America; in this work, I endeavor to bring passion, humor, and interactivity to my audiences. I am also delighted to work with smaller groups of students, individual classes, or selected groups of faculty and staff on these campus visits. You can find me on Twitter: @TheTattooedProf.
My scholarly passions are nineteenth-century history (particularly the United States and the Americas), historiography and theory, and critical pedagogy. My teaching ranges widely: Civil War and Reconstruction; Colonial America and the Atlantic World; Latin American history; Research Methods and Historiography; and the History of Capitalism are in my regular rotation, along with our survey-level offerings in US history and the Medieval World. I also work with first-year and at-risk students, which is some of the most rewarding stuff I’ve done in my career.
In my current role, I work closely with my colleagues in the faculty, staff, and administration to promote excellence and innovation in teaching. I’m a fierce advocate for professional development, active learning, scholarly teaching, good technology, social justice, movable furniture, and humor in any environment.