Western University HistoryWestern Social Science

Karen Priestman

- Assistant Professor

PhD, Wilfrid Laurier University, 2009
Telephone: 519-661-2111 ext. 84922
Email: kpriest2@uwo.ca
Office: Lawson Hall 2233
Office Hours: Mondays, 2:30-5:30, or by appointment

Research Interests

Professor Priestman is an historian of modern Europe who specializes in modern Germany. My research interests include Nazism, postwar Germany, and issues of remembering and forgetting in German history.

Teaching Philosophy

I believe that my purpose as a teacher is not only to illuminate history but to equip my students with skills that will help them succeed, both in history classes and in life beyond university.  In all that I do as a teacher I hope that I am fostering in my students a love for learning, intellectual curiosity, and a desire to discover more about the world around them and their place in it.

Current Research Projects

I am currently revising my dissertation, The Illusion of Coexistence: The Waldorf Schools in the Third Reich, 1933-1941 for publication.   My dissertation centres on the issue of gleichschaltung (co-ordination) and how it was achieved in Nazi Germany.  The prevailing assumption has been that the National Socialists targeted education and violently coordinated it, along with the rest of German society.  My dissertation reflects more recent interpretations which suggest that Nazi Germany was neither as monolithic nor ‘successful’ as previously assumed.  In the future, I plan to expand my investigation of the Waldorf Schools into the postwar period in order to explore issues of memory and forgetting in German history.

Select Publications

Book Reviews