Let Us Introduce You: Claire Gilbert

Ryan+Quinn+%2F+Photo+Editor
Back to Article
Back to Article

Let Us Introduce You: Claire Gilbert

Ryan Quinn / Photo Editor

Ryan Quinn / Photo Editor

Ryan Quinn / Photo Editor

Ryan Quinn / Photo Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Ryan Quinn / Photo Editor

Ryan Quinn / Photo Editor

History professor discusses academics, world travels

For history professor Claire Gilbert, traveling around the world is a common venture. From India to Argentina, Gilbert’s passion for history has taken her to five continents and now brings her to Saint Louis University. Having recently graduated from UCLA with a Ph.D, Gilbert is switching gears from student to professor and showing SLU what history has to offer.

Raised in Alaska, Arizona and California, Gilbert has always had a passion for history. She took her interest in it to the next level when she majored in history at Stanford.

“I had the opportunity to do my own research abroad. Working in European archives and writing an honors thesis in close collaboration with outstanding professors gave me the idea that an academic life of teaching and research would be very rewarding,” said Gilbert.

The professor feels that her job has been just that: rewarding. She loves learning about the plans and passions of her students, especially the kinds of history that they are excited to learn, and she remains excited about her plans here at SLU.

One particular course she anticipates teaching in the spring is Cultural Encounters in the Early Modern period. “ … We will learn about what happened when technological innovation and political challenges motivated global exploration, sometimes along ancient routes, sometimes over never-before-traveled horizons,” said Gilbert.

The professor encouraged students to look at history in a new light and even consider majoring or minoring in it. “History is endlessly exciting. Your history studies will leave you well-prepared as a clear writer, convicting speaker, and critical and creative thinker,” she said.

Gilbert feels SLU is extremely lucky to have such a dedicated history faculty that shares her excitement to work with students and provides students resources to undertake original research projects.

Besides being a devout history teacher, Gilbert is looking forward to getting to know a new city even with her dislike for the weather. In addition to attending a few Cardinals games, she enjoys cooking, reading detective novels and traveling. She hopes to one day revisit places like Bosnia and Egypt as well as venture to places like Antarctica and Australia.

“Make studying abroad a priority,” Gilbert advised students. She stressed that there were few other periods in students’ lives that they would be able to spend such an extended time living in a different culture and traveling.

When she is not inspiring students in the classroom, Gilbert uses the remainder of her free time staying true to her passion of history. She is preparing several talks and articles about Spanish history, the history of the Mediterranean, and Jesuit history, as well as a book on the use of Arabic and the lives of Arabic translators in Spain after 1492. She also likes to keep up to date with the “historical scholarly world.” She added that there is a lot of exciting research being done on transnational history and intercultural studies.

“There are exciting questions to be asked about how peoples of the past experienced coming in to contact with other cultures,” Gilbert stated. In fact, her upcoming Cultural Encounters class hopes to tackle this exciting new field of research.

While Gilbert does not know where history will take her next, her current mission is to inspire students to see the power of its study.