Dr. Jason Duncan, Professor of History

Jason Duncan

Jason Duncan, Ph.D.

Professor of History
Phone: (616) 632-2837
E-mail: duncajas@aquinas.edu

Educational Background
Ph.D., University of Iowa, 1999
M.A., University of Iowa, 1992
M.A., Georgetown University, 1987
B.A., St. Lawrence University, 1985


Dr. Duncan's Curriculum Vitae (pdf)

Spring 2015 Courses
HY102: American History since 1877
HY311: American Catholic History
HY317: Vietnam War
About Jason Duncan

Jason K. Duncan was born in Albany, New York, and educated in Catholic schools in that city.  He graduated in 1985 from St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, a college originally in the Universalist tradition, with a B.A. in Government.  He later earned an M.A. in Russian Area Studies from Georgetown University, writing his Master’s Essay on “Martin Luther King, Jr. Through Soviet Eyes.”  He then worked in politics, including three years as a legislative assistant in Washington, D.C. to U.S. Representative Tom Sawyer of Ohio.

Professor Duncan went on to earn his Ph.D. in American History from the University of Iowa in 1999, writing a dissertation entitled “A Most Democratic Class: New York Catholics and the Early American Republic.”  In 2002, he joined the faculty at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he is currently Professor of History.  He teaches classes in American and Russian History, and has twice served as co-director of the college’s semester program in Ireland, where he taught Irish History. 

Professor Duncan has presented academic papers at venues such as the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, the American Catholic Historical Association, and the Society for United States Intellectual History.  He has also given invited lectures at the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism at the University of Notre Dame and the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies at Grand Valley State University.

In November 2013, Routledge University Press published his most recent book, John F. Kennedy: The Spirit of Cold War Liberalism.  His first book, Citizens or Papists? The Politics of Anti-Catholicism in New York, 1685-1821, was published by Fordham University Press in 2005.   His current research is on Martin Van Buren and the Catholic question in American politics from 1815-1840.

Professor Duncan lives in Grand Rapids with his wife Amy, and their sons, Leo and Jack.  

Recent Scholarly Activity
Selected Research Publications
John F. Kennedy: The Spirit of Cold War Liberalism (New York: Routledge University Press, 2014).

Citizens or Papists?: The Politics of Anti-Catholicism in New York, 1685-1821,  New York: Fordham University Press, 2005.

Selected Articles and Published Papers
Martin Van Buren, The Catholic Question in American Politics, and The Democratic Party (in process).
"John F. Kennedy and the Irish Catholic Political Tradition," The Forum 12, no. 1, article 8 (2014).

“The Great Chain of National Union: Catholics and the Republican Triumph,” Working Papers Series/Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism (University of Notre Dame, 2002).

Selected Opinion Essays

“What Does Russia’s Resurgence Mean for the United States?” Grand Rapids Press/MLive May 12, 2014

"What JFK Still Teaches Us" DetroitNews.com November 22, 2013
Selected Poplar Article
“A New Leader for a New Generation” in Kennedy: His Life and Legacy (I-5 Publishing, Fall 2013).
Selected Book Reviews

Review of Papist Devils: Catholics in British America, 1574-1783 in The Catholic Historical Review (forthcoming).

Review of George F. Will, A Nice Little Place on the North Side: Wrigley Field at One Hundred in Middle West Review 1, no. 1 (September 2014).

Review of Katie Oxx, The Nativist Movement in America: Religious Conflict in the Nineteenth Century in American Catholic Studies (Winter 2013).
Selected Conference Papers and Invited Lectures

“Reading John F. Kennedy’s Cold War: The Books that Shaped JFK’s Foreign Policy”  Society for U.S. Intellectual History Conference, October 2014, Indianapolis, Indiana.

“John F. Kennedy: The Spirit of Cold War Liberalism:” A Conversation with Gleaves Whitney, Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies, Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, Michigan, February 2014.

"John F. Kennedy: The Spirit of Cold War Liberalism," Hauenstien Center for Presidential Studies, Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, Michigan, December 2013.

 “Postcolonial New York, a Catholic Minority and Emerging Jurisprudence,” Panel at Religious Freedom in America, 1813-2013: Bicentennial Reflections on People v. Phillips, New York University, New York, New York, April 2013.

"Rethinking Kennedy 50 Years After Dallas: JFK and the Irish Catholic Political Tradition" Symposium on Religion and Politics, Paul Henry Institute, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, April 2013.

"Catholics and Their Unknown American Revolution," American Catholic Historical Association, Princeton, New Jersey, March 2010.

Academic Fellowships

Visiting Scholar, Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal, Mecosta, Michigan, Fall 2014

Seminar on The Creation of the Modern American City, Newberry Library, Sponsored by the Council of Independent College and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois, June 2014.

Visiting Scholar, Center for Russian and East European Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, May 2013
Lilly Fellows Program in the Humanities and Arts - "Teaching Peace and Reconciliation" Theory and Practice in Northern Ireland" County Antrim, Northern Ireland, July 2012