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David Steigerwald

Professor, Department of History

History Professor David Steigerwald teaches courses in 20th Century America, ranging from WWI through the 1960s and is the director of the department's World War II Study Abroad program. In 2017, the College of Arts and Sciences awarded Steigerwald with the Outstanding Teaching Award.  


Educational History:

B.A. - The Ohio State University
Ph.D. - University of Rochester

Describe your current research:

I am interested in the history of culture and ideas. More specifically, I'm interested in how Americans adjusted, or failed to adjust, to the great wave of material affluence in the 20th century, particularly between 1945 and 1980.

What classes are you currently teaching?

My core classes are History 3017 (Spring), America in the Sixties and History 3015, America From 1920 to 1960. They’re both fun to teach, because the subject matter of both is fascinating. Otherwise, I manage the History Department's program in the Study of World War II. I preside over our group seminar in the Spring, in which we read widely and think hard about the human consequences of that most catastrophic moment. In May, we then travel through Europe seeing up close the things we spent so much time studying.

What aspect of your teaching gives you the most satisfaction?

Teaching is the greatest job in the world. Teaching talented university students is the best of the best. Teaching Ohio State students is the best of the best of the best. How could any career be more satisfying?

What is the most interesting place you’ve visited?

I've been lucky enough to travel a great deal. This question is like asking what my favorite painting or novel or symphony is. There's no such thing as "the most." If you're not open to the wonder of what makes places, peoples, and cultures unique, then you should just stay home.

What is the best advice you’ve received?

Be generous, with your talents, your time, and your heart.

What advice would you give to undergraduate students?

I think Ohio State students are putting too much pressure on themselves. Don’t try to do everything. Make sure you take care to get down time and relax. 

Would you like to share an interesting fact about yourself?

I'm a native Buckeye, in every sense. I grew up in Ohio. I was an undergrad at Ohio State, and it changed my life. I met my wife here. Our kids went here. They met their partners here. I often hear people say they "bleed Scarlet and Grey." I never really know what that means, exactly. For me and my family, this great institution is at the center of our lives. 

Besides your research and courses, if students stopped by your office what would be fun to discuss? 

Feel free to stop by my office hours. I love to talk about the ideas that get you excited.


In 2017, the College of Arts and Sciences awarded Steigerwald with the Outstanding Teaching Award. In 2009, he received the university’s highest recognition for teaching excellence, the Alumni Distinguished Teaching Award. He was also recognized twice by Phi Alpha Theta, Ohio State's national honor society in history, with the Clio Award for Outstanding Teaching in History.

Learn more about Dr. Steigerwald’s research, teaching and many achievements:

Office and contact information:

Department of History
204 Dulles Hall
230 Annie and John Glenn Ave.
Steigerwald.2@osu.edu

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