1006178_10151677960100379_324784756_nMatthew 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 and co-led programs focused on developmental disability in Istanbul in 2013 and 2014 and will offer a 5-week disability and history program in 2016.   Closer to home, Dr. Herbst leads wilderness seminars in the deserts and mountains of Southern California, working with Outback Adventures.  Prof. Herbst serves on campus committees addressing disability, basic writing, the first-year college experience, international education, and educational policy, and is board chair 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.

National Maritime Museum Greenwich

Maritime Museum, Greenwich, England

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.   His grandmother was an immigrant from Guyana in South America who married a sanitation worker 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 nature and family,  leading undergraduate programs, and serving as a Board Member at his children’s public school.

1964981_10152709976274377_295137695_nCourses: 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: Desert Splendor (Experiential wilderness seminar), 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.


4 thoughts on “Bio

  1. tony sensoli

    I am glad “college boxer” made your bio. You were one of the best ever from the University of Michigan Boxing Club.

    • Dr. Tony! So good to hear from you. How are you and the family?
      Whatever I know of boxing — I learned from you. I hope that we can talk soon to catch up.

  2. Thank you for your interesting talk about Istanbul today at the San Diego Museum of Art. I have a few follow-up questions:

    – Can we assume that the traces of Mohammed found by Mehmet II just outside Constantinople are bogus, or is there any archeological/historical evidence to suggest that the prophet was actually there? It reminds me of the stories in the book of Mormon about fantasy peoples of the early Americas and Jesus’ visit to North America.

    – Is modern Turkish ultimately derived from the turkic languages of Central Asia, and not the other way around?

    – By the 19th century, the Ottoman Empire was notorious for corruption; one bought a position in government service and paid a percentage of the graft up the ladder (not unlike the world of The Sopranos). Was it always like this, or when did it start to slide?

    BTW, “The Ionian Mission” by Patrick O’Brian is a modern historical novel set during the Napoleonic wars that deals with a (fictional) attempt by the British to find and support a reliable ally in the Ionian Sea. Part of the intrigue revolves around whether a local coup will create a fait accompli before the Sultan (referred to as the Sublime Porte) can issue a firman naming the new governor.

    The town of Marino, Italy has a festival every year to celebrate their boys coming home from the Battle of Lepanto. The fact that wine and roast pork sandwiches are served celebrating the defeat of the Muslim navy is probably a coincidence.

    • You are welcome. I enjoy that venue very much. A few comments to your questions:
      1. The relics that Mehmet found at Eyüp, just outside the walls of Constantinople, were not of Muhammad but of one of his companions, Ayyub al-Ansari who, according to tradition, died in the 7th century Arab siege of Constantinople.
      2. Yes, Turkish has its origins in Central Asia. The Turks were originally central Asian nomads which explains why Turkic languages are spoken from China (the language of the Uighurs) all the way to Europe (Turkey). These languages are related but not the same, like those in the Romance Language family (Spanish, Italian, Romanian, etc.).
      3. The Ottoman empire of the classical period (to 1600), which was the topic of my talk, was highly efficient, particularly in contrast to various large western kingdoms in the same period. A variety of troubles develop afterwards, however, though some had roots even in the classical period. I expect to present on some of this in a follow up talk in the fall.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at The Adventure Journal Theme.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: