Cavert, Will portrait

Cavert, Will

Assistant Professor
Degree
Ph.D., Northwestern University, 2011
Office
JRC 415
Phone
651-962-5738
Mail
JRC 432
2115 Summit Ave
St. Paul, MN 55105

Dr. Cavert is a historian of Britain during the early modern period, c. 1500-1800, with research interests in urban and environmental history. He is the author of The Smoke of London: Energy and Environment in the Early Modern City, as well as other studies of coal consumption and London air pollution which have appeared in The Journal of British StudiesUrban History, and The Global Environment. His work on the politics of cold winters during the Little Ice Age has appeared in Governing the Environment in the Early Modern World. He joined UST from The University of Cambridge where he was a post-doctoral fellow at Clare College, having taken a Ph.D. at Northwestern University in 2011 and an M.A. at Loyola University Chicago. Before that he completed his undergraduate studies at Carleton College, and is a native Minnesotan. He regularly teaches classes on The Modern World Since 1550 (HIST 112) and early modern Britain and Europe, as well as courses on the history of science, climate history, the history of environmentalism, and natural disasters.

The Smoke of London: Energy and Environment in the Early Modern City was published by Cambridge University Press in 2016, paperback 2017. It was awarded: 

- The Turku Book Award from the European Society for Environmental History and the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, for best environmental history book.

- The Whitfield Prize from the Royal Historical Society for best first book on British history.

- The John Ben Snow Prize from the North American Conference on British Studies for best book on British history before 1800.

Spring 2019 Courses

Spring 2019 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
HIST 112 - L01 Hist Mod World Since 1550 M - W - F - - 0935 - 1040 JRC 414

Days of Week:

M - W - F - -

Time of Day:

0935 - 1040

Location:

JRC 414

Course Registration Number:

20314 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

4 Credit Hours

Instructor:

William M. Cavert

Introduces students to historical reasoning. Students learn to analyze evidence from the past in context in order to explain how the past produced the ever-changing present. This course surveys the foundation and expansion of global networks from the sixteenth-century exploration to the contemporary world, and it examines the resulting breakthrough in communication and cultural exchanges between Europe and Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Key aspects of the modern world are explored, such as state power and citizenship, economic systems and human labor, ideas about belonging and community, and the relationships and activities that constitute daily life. This course fulfills the Historical Analysis requirement in the core curriculum.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
HIST 112 - L02 Hist Mod World Since 1550 M - W - F - - 1055 - 1200 JRC 414

Days of Week:

M - W - F - -

Time of Day:

1055 - 1200

Location:

JRC 414

Course Registration Number:

20315 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

4 Credit Hours

Instructor:

William M. Cavert

Introduces students to historical reasoning. Students learn to analyze evidence from the past in context in order to explain how the past produced the ever-changing present. This course surveys the foundation and expansion of global networks from the sixteenth-century exploration to the contemporary world, and it examines the resulting breakthrough in communication and cultural exchanges between Europe and Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Key aspects of the modern world are explored, such as state power and citizenship, economic systems and human labor, ideas about belonging and community, and the relationships and activities that constitute daily life. This course fulfills the Historical Analysis requirement in the core curriculum.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
HIST 394 - 01 Topics: The Enlightenment M - W - - - - 1525 - 1700 JRC 222

Days of Week:

M - W - - - -

Time of Day:

1525 - 1700

Location:

JRC 222

Course Registration Number:

22391 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

4 Credit Hours

Instructor:

William M. Cavert

The Enlightenment: The "Age of Reason" in Europe and its Empires During the 18th century Europeans were increasingly confident that they had entered an age of reason, in which rationality and science would bring progress and end superstition and oppression. In this course we will examine key examples of this thinking, including the economic, religious, and political works of influential figures like Adam Smith, Voltaire, and Ben Franklin. But we will also focus on many of the questions that historians are now asking about this process: did religious faith really decline? what roles did women play in this movement? did these ideas lead to political revolutions, and if so did they cause liberty or violence? why was an "age of reason" actually so full of emotion? and why, if this was really a European process, did so much of the Enlightenment take place elsewhere, in American colonies and among Europeans discovering the rest of the globe?

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)

Summer 2019 Courses

Summer 2019 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location

Fall 2019 Courses

Fall 2019 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
HIST 112 - L01 Hist Mod World Since 1550 M - W - F - - 0935 - 1040 JRC 414

Days of Week:

M - W - F - -

Time of Day:

0935 - 1040

Location:

JRC 414

Course Registration Number:

40694 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

4 Credit Hours

Instructor:

William M. Cavert

Introduces students to historical reasoning. Students learn to analyze evidence from the past in context in order to explain how the past produced the ever-changing present. This course surveys the foundation and expansion of global networks from the sixteenth-century exploration to the contemporary world, and it examines the resulting breakthrough in communication and cultural exchanges between Europe and Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Key aspects of the modern world are explored, such as state power and citizenship, economic systems and human labor, ideas about belonging and community, and the relationships and activities that constitute daily life. This course fulfills the Historical Analysis requirement in the core curriculum.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
HIST 112 - L02 Hist Mod World Since 1550 M - W - F - - 1055 - 1200 JRC 414

Days of Week:

M - W - F - -

Time of Day:

1055 - 1200

Location:

JRC 414

Course Registration Number:

41306 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

4 Credit Hours

Instructor:

William M. Cavert

Introduces students to historical reasoning. Students learn to analyze evidence from the past in context in order to explain how the past produced the ever-changing present. This course surveys the foundation and expansion of global networks from the sixteenth-century exploration to the contemporary world, and it examines the resulting breakthrough in communication and cultural exchanges between Europe and Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Key aspects of the modern world are explored, such as state power and citizenship, economic systems and human labor, ideas about belonging and community, and the relationships and activities that constitute daily life. This course fulfills the Historical Analysis requirement in the core curriculum.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
HIST 466 - D01 Capstone: Natural Disasters M - W - - - - 1525 - 1700 JRC 481

Days of Week:

M - W - - - -

Time of Day:

1525 - 1700

Location:

JRC 481

Course Registration Number:

42635 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

4 Credit Hours

Instructor:

William M. Cavert

Natural Disasters like storms, floods, earthquakes, and volcanoes are dramatic events. Often spectacular, terrifying, and deadly, they raise urgent questions for those who survive them and seek to respond. Why did this happen? Is it a divine judgement, the normal course of nature, or some failure of human foresight and planning? And what should be done in response: rescue, rebuilding, moral and religious reformation, or abandonment? Studying such events in the past allows historians unique windows into the societies and cultures faced by these emergencies, but it also raises basic conceptual problems. Just what separates "natural" from social or political disasters? Should plagues, famines, fires - even war - be included in this category? And what, as historians, can we know and should we say about these events? In this course students explore these questions, first through common readings that offer some possible answers and then by putting these insights into practice by conducting an in-depth research project.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)