Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi

Dr. David Blanke

An Outstanding Islander

Outline photo of Dr. David Blanke

He’s History
For Dr. David Blanke, the most fulfilling part of teaching United States history is witnessing students as they discover their places in the story of America. His favorite quote is from the American writer James Baldwin who once said, “If I am not who you say I am, then you are not what you think you are.” To Blanke, this requires each of us to actively examine our place in history. Each semester, the associate professor of history seeks to change the minds of students who may think history is merely a collection of memorized dates and events that have nothing to do with their lives. Instead, he strives to remind students that they possess and must actively develop the intellectual tools that empower American citizenship: including the abilities to analyze evidence, to ask questions, to form judgments and to effectively communicate their ideas. Blanke says these essential skills – through our nation’s history and today – define both successes and failures of this country’s past. The Chicago, Ill., native has taught at the Island University since 2001. His specialty areas are the U.S. Gilded Age and Progressive Era, U.S. Modern Popular Culture and U.S. Urban History. Prior to joining the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi faculty, he taught at Loyola University where he earned his doctorate, Briar Cliff University, and Dominican University. During his time as an Islander, he has served on various state, national and international historical panels and currently sits on the national council of the Society of Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive History. He has published numerous books on American consumer culture, popular culture, the automobile and is currently working on a history of Hollywood film legend Cecil B. DeMille. In January, Blanke gave the presentation titled “I Could Not Travel Both: Automotive Risk, Safety Reform, and the American Automotive Love Affair,” at the 124th annual meeting of the American Historical Association in San Diego, Calif.

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