Kathryn R. Falvo

Instructional Assistant Professor of History
Department of Liberal Studies



E-mail: kathryn.falvo@tamu.edu
Phone: +1 (409) 740-4948

Classroom Lab Building (CLB), Office 103B


CV


Learn more about Kathryn R. Falvo

Get To Know Kathryn R. Falvo

What in your life drew you to your current field of study?

I have always been interested in modern movements for social justice. I worked for a while with a guerilla theater group that focused on racism and bystander intervention, have participated in Pride Parade and other forms of LGBTQ activism, and worked for a while as a crisis counselor for domestic violence victims. But it was evident to me that if I were to understand these problematic structures of power that make up our world, I would need to understand their roots. I was drawn to the study of history as a way to understand why and how inequality exists in our world. I believe that we can only dismantle those structures through this knowledge. I study history, then, as a way to understand how our collective past has drawn deep pathways through our collective present. This is why I'm particularly drawn to the histories of women, LGBTQ folk, government, Civil Rights activism, and politics.

What do you hope your students gain from studying or working with you?

I hope that students leave my classroom with a better understanding of the way history informs their present moment. I often like to tell students that they were not born "neutral." They are born into a world that carries the weight of its past with it - and whether or not they like the concept, they'll have to bear that burden too. I hope my classes give students enough knowledge of the past that they know how it influences their world, so that they can live and work better within that world.

What are you passionate about in your personal life?

Food! I am obsessed with food. I love to cook and eat (my apologies to the students I have spoken to with my mouth full). But I'm also interested in food politically and historically. Food is omnipresent, but it is not neutral. Many people in our world face food insecurity. Many more face nutritional insecurity, as they continue to eat foods that are highly caloric but lack critical nutrients. We are addicted to fast food, facing a dwindling variety of fruits and vegetables, and consuming ever greater quantities of meat and dairy. Our choices about food have an immense impact on our environment, our wallets, our bodies, and our relationships. So why do we make the decisions that we do? In short, why do we eat what we eat? In many ways, that answer is a product of our history! This is why, in my own research, I focus on food and diet. I am constantly trying to understand why people make decisions about food, and how they understand food in relation to the rest of their lives. I also love cows. I just do.

Education

Ph.D. History and Women's Studies, Penn State, 2018
M.A. History and Women's Studies, Penn State, 2013
B.A. History, Susquehanna University, 2011

Courses Taught

HIST 105: US to 1877
HIST 106: US since 1877