Matthew T. Herbst is an Associate Teaching Professor at the University of California San Diego where he serves as Faculty Director of the world history Making of the Modern World Program and Associate Faculty Director of the Programs Abroad Office, and was a recipient of the UCSD Distinguished Teaching Award in 2015. Prof. Herbst was a founding faculty member of UC San Diego’s Global Seminars in 2008 and has since led programs in Thailand and Cambodia, Turkey, France, and England. As a proponent of experiential learning, Prof. Herbst initiated a service and research sequence in 2012 and led disability-focused programs in Turkey in 2013 and 2014. Closer to home, Dr. Herbst leads wilderness seminars in the deserts and mountains of Southern California, working with Outback Adventures. Attentive to the invaluable role of pre-collegiate education, Prof. Herbst serves on the Board of Directors at a public school in San Diego County and founded “Istanbul Between East and West: Crossroads of History,” a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute for middle and high school teachers (2013, 2015). Prof. Herbst serves on campus committees addressing disability, the first-year college experience, public service, international education, and educational policy, and is Board chair of the Burke lectureship. Dr. Herbst 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 is the grandson of an immigrant from Guyana who married a sanitation worker in New York City, whose own parents emigrated 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 are his family’s first generation to go to college. Raised in New York’s Hudson Valley, he was formerly a high school wrestler, college boxer, and then avid runner, but these days enjoys time with family and in nature.
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: God-Sex-Chocolate: Desire & the Spiritual Life, God-Satan-and the Desert (Wilderness Seminar), Sacred Mountain (Wilderness Seminar), the First Year Experience, International Student Transition, Pleasure or Duty: Choosing a Guide for Life. Other: Desert Splendor (interdisciplinary wilderness seminar), Constantinople: Byzantine & Ottoman Imperial Capital, Mystical Traditions, Byzantine Empire, Ancient World, Trade and World History, Eastern Christianity, World History Seminar, Hermit and Society: Eremitical Traditions, Preparatory Seminar on Istanbul, Research Seminar on Istanbul.