Dr. David Kinkela

Ph.D., New York University

I am an environmental historian who explores U.S. history in a global context. Beginning in the fall of 2018, I will be serving as the Chair of the Department of History. And since, 2008, I have served as the director of the Honors Program.

Teaching Interests

As a historian, I am committed to helping students develop the skills and knowledge necessary to understand a complex world. My teaching focuses on active learning. Indeed, history is not about rote memorization and test taking. Rather,it is about asking questions, discovering, analyzing, and interpreting evidence, and making arguments. In all my classes, students engage in historical debates and argument rather than just study it to pass an exam. My teaching interests explore the connections and relationships between U.S. history and the world. I teach classes in the General Education program as well as upper-level courses, including "The American Century," a course that explores the intersection between foreign politics, culture and power. I also teach environmental history, offering courses on global and U.S. environmental history. Aside from research methodology courses, I have also taught the following courses, "The History of New York," "Post-1945 U.S. History," "Mad Men: Race and Class in Don Draper's America," and "Technology and Change."

Research Interests

I am an environmental historian who explores U.S. history in a global context. My first book, DDT and the American Century: Global Health, Environmental Politics, and the Pesticide That Changed the World (UNC Press, 2011, http://uncpress.unc.edu/books/T-9301.html) examines the interconnections between U.S. environmentalism and U.S. foreign policy. Currently, I am starting a new book project called, Making a Plastic Ocean: A History of Waste, Water, and Petrochemicals. This project attempts to historicize the multifaceted and transnational history of the largest environmental wasteland in the world, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.