Matthew T. Herbst is Associate Teaching Professor and Director of the Making of the Modern World program and Associate Faculty Director of the Programs Abroad Office at the University of California San Diego. Committed to international education, Prof. Herbst was a founding faculty member of UC San Diego’s Global Seminars and has led programs in Paris (2008), Istanbul (2009 to 2012), London (2013), and Bangkok (2014). He is also the founder and director of “Istanbul Between East and West: Crossroads of History,” a Summer Institute for middle- and high-school teachers funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (2013, 2015). As a proponent of experiential learning, Prof. Herbst initiated a two-course Global Service and Research sequence in 2012, in partnership with the college Student Affairs unit, and led programs focused on developmental disability in Istanbul in 2013 and 2014. Closer to home, Dr. Herbst offers wilderness seminars in the deserts and mountains of Southern California, working with Outback Adventures. Prof. Herbst serves on university committees addressing disability, basic writing, the first-year college experience, international education, and educational policy, as well as on the board of the Burke lectureship. 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, Prof. 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 in South America and a New York City sanitation worker whose 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 were 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 nature and family, teaching, leading wilderness and international programs, and volunteering as a Board Member at his children’s public school.
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 (Experiential Wilderness Seminar), Sacred Mountain (Experiential Wilderness Seminar), the First Year Experience, International Student Transition, Pleasure or Duty: Choosing a Guide for Life. Other: History Colloquium on the Conquest of Constantinople, Constantinople: Byzantine & Ottoman Imperial Capital, Mystical Tradition, Byzantine Empire, 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.