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Gesine Gerhard

Associate Dean and Director of General Education, College of the Pacific, Professor of History


Phone: 209.946.2146


Wendell Phillips Center, 110


PhD, Modern German History, University of Iowa, 2000

MA, History, Technical University of Berlin, 1994

University of Bologna, visiting student, 1992-93

Curriculum Vitae 

Teaching Philosophy

Europe has a rich and often painful history.  Learning about European history exemplifies how human behavior and cultural values differ according to time and place.  Understanding history is exciting in itself, but it also helps us to understand the present.  Most of all, I want to instill in students an appreciation and an enthusiasm for learning about the past and its legacies.  In my classes, we look at a variety of sources in historical writing.  To understand a certain era in history, it is not enough to know the names of main political players, dates of major events or larger economic developments.  Paintings, poems, and music reflect the minds of the people living at a certain time better than anything else.  In my class History of the Holocaust, we listen to Holocaust survivors who come to our class and talk about their experiences.  One year we took a field trip to the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles.  Eighteen students went on the two day trip and we had a guided tour of the Holocaust exhibition.  In my class Europe since 1945, one of the assigned readings is the European news in the New York Times.  We study the historical roots of ongoing conflicts and discuss current events. I also developed a class called History Goes to Hollywood where we watch a variety of films and analyze how historical events are represented in popular media.  I also love teaching our amazing Freshmen Seminar Pacific Seminar 1 and Introduction to Gender Studies.

Scholarly Interest

Gesine Gerhard is a Professor of History at University of the Pacific. She is currently the Director of General Education and Associate Dean in the College. Her research focuses on agricultural history, food policy during World War 2 and the Nazi period. She has published numerous book chapters and articles in academic journals. Her book on "Nazi Hunger Politics: A History of Food in the Third Reich" appeared in 2015 with Rowman & Littlefield Press. The book looks at the central role food played for the Nazi regime, and how food policy became genocidal during the murderous invasion of the Soviet Union. Using unique historical documents such as letters and diaries, the book tells the story of the men who implemented the food policies that led to the death of millions of Soviet citizens of war and civilians.

Nazi Hunger Policies


HIST 10  Western Civilization I
HIST 11  Western Civilization II
HIST 111 Europe in Turmoil
HIST 112 History of the Holocaust
HIST 113 Europe since 1945
HIST 114 Modern Germany
HIST 119 History Goes to Hollywood
PACS 001 Pacific Seminar I
GEND 11 Introduction to Gender Studies