Matthew T. Herbst is a Teaching Professor at the University of California San Diego where he is Director of the Making of the Modern World program and Associate Faculty Director of the Programs Abroad Office. Committed to internationalizing undergraduate education, Prof. Herbst was a founding faculty member of UC San Diego’s Global Seminars, developing and teaching summer programs in Paris (2008), Istanbul (2009 to 2012), London (2013), and Bangkok (2014), while supporting MMW programs in other locations abroad. He initiated a Global Service and Research service learning two-course sequence in 2012 and led a disability-focused program in Istanbul in 2013 and 2014. Dr. Herbst created and directed a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute in Turkey called “Istanbul Between East and West: Crossroads of History” for middle- and high-school social studies teachers in 2013. Each quarter, he leads an experiential undergraduate seminar in the California wilderness either at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park or Mt. San Jacinto State Park. Prof. Herbst serves on the Representative Assembly of UC San Diego’s Academic Senate, on the board of the Burke lectureship, and on committees dealing with issues of disability, preparatory education, basic writing, and the first-year college experience. Prof. Herbst has received awards for excellence in teaching and for international education and in 2012-13 became the first faculty fellow at UC San Diego’s Center for Teaching Development. His academic interests include Constantinople/Istanbul, international program development, experiential learning, and the spirituality of nature. He received his Ph.D. and M.A. in History from the University of Michigan, specializing in Byzantium, and his BA in History, Greek, and Latin from Binghamton University.
On the personal side: Before deciding on an academic career, Dr. Herbst explored a variety of fields, including law enforcement and private investigation, the US National Park Service, social service, and religious ministry. He cares deeply about issues of diversity, saying: “My family experience has instilled in me a commitment to authentic inclusion. My experience is multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-religious, disabled, and first-generation. This is the lens through which I see the world and the inspiration for much of my professional work.” Dr. Herbst is the grandson of an immigrant from Guyana in South America and a New York City sanitation worker whose parents arrived from Ireland. He is the son of a Vietnam-era veteran from East Harlem and a junior high school secretary from Queens, NY and is married to the daughter of Filipino immigrants. Dr. Herbst and his siblings were his family’s first generation to go to college. Raised in New York’s Hudson Valley, he was a high school wrestler, college boxer, and runner until slowed down by knee problems. These days he enjoys nature and family, developing programs abroad, and teaching.
Courses: Making of the Modern World: MMW11 Pre-History and Ancient Foundations, MMW12 Classical and Medieval Traditions, MMW13 New Ideas and Cultural Encounters (1200-1750), MMW14 Revolution, Industry, Empire (1750-1917), MMW200 Graduate Pedagogy Seminar. Freshman Seminars: Sacred Mountain, God-Sex-Chocolate: Desire & the Spiritual Life, God-Satan-and the Desert, Pleasure or Duty: Choosing a Guide for Life. Other: Byzantine Empire, Constantinople: Byzantine & Ottoman Imperial Capital, Mystical Traditions, The Ancient World, Trade and World History, Eastern Christianity, World History Seminar, Hermit and Society: Eremitical Traditions, Preparatory Seminar on Istanbul, Research Seminar on Istanbul.