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History Degree Faculty

Cyrus VeseerCyrus Veseer
Associate Professor of History

What do you teach?
I teach U.S. foreign policy since 1945, Latin American history since independence, Caribbean history since the colonial period, and 20th-century world history. I also have taught the U.S. Civil War and two topics courses, one on Cuba and one on the Dominican Republic — both were embedded study abroad courses, through which the students and I traveled to both countries during spring break. Recently, I offered another topics course based on my current research comparing slavery in the Americas to forced labor in colonial Africa.

Why do you like teaching at Bentley?
Bentley is a great place to teach for many reasons.  One point that can't be overemphasized is that all our classes are small, usually under 40 students, and often more like 26. That means I can hold all my classes like seminars — it's a conversation, not just me up there, talking away. Bentley students are smart and focused, not pie-in-the-sky dreamers. They ask tough questions. It's a challenge, but I like it.

What is your teaching style?
I don't use textbooks. For example, for world history, I give students packets of documents — I call them "artifact capsules" — about important topics, and let them figure out what happened. I also have students connect the topics we are studying to current issues in the developing world by having them follow an online, English-language newspaper. Then they have to present a report on how a current issue, such as corruption or democracy, grew out of the events we have discussed. I also often have them write papers from the perspective of key historical figures, which helps students master the facts.

What advice would you offer a new Bentley student?
You can expect to get a great education both in business and in the arts and sciences, because that's what happens here. You will be taught by faculty, not graduate students, in classes small enough that the professors will learn your name. You’ll find that our arts and sciences courses and faculty are as good as — or even better than — what many liberal arts colleges or larger universities offer.