Jane Vieth

Position: Professor
Field: England/Britain, World War II

Office: 215 Old Horticulture
Office Hours: Monday and Wednesday 8:45-9:45 and by appointment
Email: vieth@msu.edu
Phone: (517) 884-4919

Dr. Jane Vieth has been with Michigan State University since 1972, Department of Humanities and 1989 to the present with the Department of History. Her area of interests are World War II and Modern Britain.

Areas of Teaching:
British History
World War II

My passion is teaching undergraduates at Michigan State University, something which I have been happily and proudly doing since I came to MSU in 1972.  I am both an advocate and a product of the land-grant (world-grant) tradition; I am a professor at MSU and a graduate of Ohio State University where I earned my B.S. M.A. and Ph.D degrees.

When I initially came to MSU I taught undergraduate courses in the Department of Humanities in University College.  The courses focused on European History and dealt with the Ancient World, the Medieval and Early Modern World and the Modern World.  They combined the cultural traditions of those periods, the religion, literature and art and music within their historical, economic, and social context.

Since 1989 I have been teaching in the Department of History where my focus has been on English/British History, World War II, and Anglo-American relations prior to World War II: Hst. 340, Hst. 341, Hst. 414, IAH 221B.  In those courses too I use a humanistic approach and draw heavily on the cultural contributions of the people along with their historical, economic and social experiences.  My teaching model is lecture/discussion but in my seminars, Hst. 480/483, I use primarily discussion.

My courses are designed to achieve certain educational goals and objectives.  These include developing critical thinking; improving writing, reading and speaking skills; introducing a body of information, both factual and interpretative; and understanding the relevance of history to the contemporary experience.  My students learn that the past is never past and that studying history is lots of fun.

I have several scholarly projects that I enjoy working on.  I have completed a book-length manuscript entitled “Tempting the Gods: the Ambassadorship of Joseph P. Kennedy at the Court of St. James’s, 1938-1940.”  It deals with the founder of the famous Kennedy dynasty and his controversial performance as ambassador on the eve of America’s entry into WWII.  I also have been working on a project about women who lived through the Nazi occupation of Europe and studying how and why they were able to survive and even triumph.  Once I have completed those projects, I will focus on Great Britain in 1940 and attempt to understand why the British remained undefeated despite having no allies, little resources, and the constant threat of a Nazi invasion.

I find my professional life so enjoyable and fulfilling that I have no plans to retire in the foreseeable future.