Faculty News: Heather Streets-Salter Joins History Department as Director of World History Programs

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Heather Streets-Salter joined the Department in January 2012. She spoke with the Departmental Graduate RA Zach Scarlett.

1.       What are your primary research interests?

The history of Britain and the British Empire, Colonial Southeast Asia, and World history.

2.       What are you currently working on? Do you have any upcoming publications?

I am researching and writing my next book, which is called Webs of Empire: Connections Across Imperial Boundaries in Southeast Asia. This book explores inter-imperial connections—both administrative and nationalist—between British Malaya, French Indochina, and the Dutch East Indies. I have a book chapter coming out in May called, “Becoming a World Historian: Training, Topics, and Goals,” in Douglas Northrup, editor, A Companion to World History. Finally, I have an article on writing for student audiences coming up in the journal Historical Reflections, and in February I will submit an article on the 1915 Singapore Mutiny to the Journal of Global History.

3.       What do you see as the main value of studying world history?

I think different world historians have different answers to this question. For me, it is intellectually valuable because it forces me to stretch and grow as a historian, to move outside my field of specialty ‘comfort zone,’ and to think outside of traditional boundaries—whether nation-states, empires, or other structures.

4.       What drew you to Northeastern?

Among the many positive aspects of Northeastern’s History department—including terrific colleagues, ambition to grow, and strong undergraduate students—the graduate program in World history was the most appealing aspect of Northeastern for me.

5.       What classes are you teaching here at Northeastern?

This semester I am teaching the Introduction to World History undergraduate class and the Theory and Methodology II graduate class. Next year I will teach undergraduate courses on  “The Origins of Today” and Imperialism/Colonialism, as well as the Theory and Methodology II class.

6.       What do you hope to accomplish during your time at Northeastern?

I hope to do my part to help the department achieve its goals to grow, to continue to be a leader in graduate World History education, and to provide excellent undergraduate instruction. I look forward to teaching, researching, and serving in this stimulating environment.