All Posts By

Rebecca Koerselman

Essay

Refuge

In Iowa, during January, the nights are long and dark. If it isn’t below zero, I find myself enjoying the quiet starlight during early morning runs. The snow makes the roads slippery, but also hushes the sounds. I don’t hear…
Northwestern College
Essay

The Trauma of White America

When Mark Charles visits schools, college campuses, and communities, he always begins by introducing himself. According to the matrilineal Diné culture, his four clans include his maternal grandmother, of Dutch heritage (translated as ‘the Wooden Shoe people’), his paternal grandmother…
Northwestern College
Essay

Good Intentions

There is less information about the teachers at the Indian boarding schools, but I wonder how many of them believed they were doing the best thing for Native Peoples. I think that many of them meant well. After waging wars…
Northwestern College
Essay

Democratization of Christianity

When I talk with people about the history of religion in the United States, people have a wide variety of reactions. Many people are uncomfortable reading or listening to something that is different from what they believe, what they think…
Northwestern College
Essay

A Tale of Andrew Johnson

The oft quoted and misquoted aphorisms about being doomed to repeat history have always confused me. History exists, as do similarities and differences with the past, regardless of what the current population “knows.” Also, since when are all similarities or…
Northwestern College
Essay

Trying to Protect the Students’ Innocence

While standing at the National Archives Museum, our current president called for a “1776 Commission” to “restore patriotic education to our schools.” A student sent me an email, asking me what was going on. Indeed.Perhaps the poet Billy Collins said…
Northwestern College
Essay

A Most Excellent Story of Labor

It is an interesting time to think about workers and labor. In the aftermath of the Civil War, unions became increasingly vocal about defending the rights of workers. Some of the more pragmatic unionists accepted capitalism but wanted to minimize…
Northwestern College
Essay

What’s in a Name?

Our warriors kicked full speed into their mounts and went racing after , whooping wildly to strike terror in the herd and make them break in confusion. “Therump, therump, therump”—the ground fairly shook under the beat of our horses’ pelting…
Northwestern College
Essay

Transgressions and Sanctification

Americans love a tragedy and redemption story. To use religious language, many of us might call this narratives of transgression and sanctification. But what is the proper amount of both and should it be thoughtfully calibrated to connect with a…
Northwestern College