Meet a Colleague: Mikki Brock Mikki Brock is an associate professor of history.
Q. How long have you worked at W&L?
I’ve been with W&L since fall 2014.
Q. What courses are you teaching this term?
Two sections of History 101 (History of Europe, 1500-1789).
Q. What do you like most about working at W&L?
The quality of both my students and colleagues. Our students are smart, motivated and engaged, which makes them a joy to teach. I also get to work with some wonderful people who are talented scholars, generous colleagues, and dear friends, and they make coming to work a pleasure.
Q. What advice do you have for students?
Take risks. Pick that random, weird class in the course offerings list that sparks your interest and take it. Don’t get bogged down in collecting majors, minors and credentials. Explore. Play. Let yourself mess up and try again. Do things purely for the pleasure of learning and discovery.
Q. What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not working?
I love running; I’ve done three half-marathons and have two more on the books. I really enjoy reading fiction and I do as much of that as I can fit into the term. I am also passionate about animals and I volunteer for an animal rescue. #adoptdontshop!
Q. Where did you grow up?
The Dallas/Fort Worth area of Texas.
Q. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to have a dog ranch. Seriously, I thought I would just rescue a ton of dogs, give them the best lives, and somehow people would pay me to hang out with puppies all day (this is still basically the retirement plan).
Q. Who inspired you to teach? What about them inspired you?
I took a class in college (at the University of Kansas) on the literature of human rights, taught by Dr. Peter Casagrande. Until this course, I had never considered how structures of power operate and how meaningful social change is actually achieved. Professor Casagrande really empowered us to interrogate our assumptions about the world and its history, with all its complicated cruelty and beauty. He made me want to do the same for my own students someday.
Q. What is the most adventurous thing that you have ever done?
Honestly, getting a Ph.D. It sounds boring, but growing up I didn’t know anyone with a doctorate, nor did I have any idea what all those years of graduate school would really entail. I leapt into it blindly!
Q. What book are you reading now?
I just finished Rebecca Makkai’s newest book “I Have Some Questions For You” and I LOVED it. I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Q. What is the website you visit most often and why?
The Washington Post or New York Times — I am a bit of a news and politics junkie.
Q. If you could live anywhere, where would you build your dream home?
Edinburgh, Scotland. It is my favorite city in the world.
Q. Your favorite film (movie) of all time?
Good Will Hunting. Cliché, maybe, but I love it so much.
Q. If they made a movie about your life, who would play you?
Parker Posey? Only because she kind of looks like me and her bizarre dog-mom energy in “Best in Show” is amazing and honestly relatable.
Q. What is your desert island food?
Really good Pho.
Q. Tell us something most people don’t know about you.
Unicorns were my favorite animal as a child and I feel this means I was destined to be a Scottish historian (the national animal of Scotland is a unicorn!).
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