IWU History professor travels to Zambia in partnership with IWU Nursing

Indiana Wesleyan University Professor of History Stephen Pierce, Ph.D., leaves today on a 10-day trip to Choma, Zambia, to teach a history class to a group of IWU Nursing students who are there for a study abroad program.

The group of 15 Nursing students left for Africa at the end of August and will remain there for most of the fall semester. In addition to their hands-on medical work, the Nursing majors have the opportunity to take additional academic courses, including Pierce’s history course that will fulfill their social science course requirement. The course, titled Topics in History—Zambia, will cover the country’s history, culture, medical anthropology and Christianity practices. Based on research they conducted prior to leaving for Zambia, students will also complete a cultural project that delves deeper into the people, language or traditions of Zambia.    

“I believe our students deserve to have a cultural background on the country they are going into,” said Pierce. “They will probably encounter things in Zambia that they wouldn’t encounter here in the States, in terms of the working conditions as well as the cultural notions of health and healing. So, I’m very excited to have this teaching opportunity.”

While this is the first year Pierce will teach this class, he is well prepared for the job. In addition to his regular course topics of world history, historical theory and the history of the Middle East, he also has extensive training in African history. In fact, his doctoral dissertation investigates Muslim institutions of charity within Swahili society. As part of his studies and research, Pierce has spent time in several African towns in Tanzania and Kenya.

“I’m looking forward to simply being back in Africa, talking to the people and just experiencing the space,” said Pierce. “And, I’ll be able to bring that all back with me and use it in my classroom next spring as I teach a course on African History. That’s really the most exciting thing.”

For more information about the History program and the Division of Social Sciences, visit indwes.edu/undergraduate/majors/division-of-social-sciences/.

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