Deanna Forsman

CLA 199

Office Hours:

I'm available for virtual appointments generally between 11 am and 8 pm, M-F (actually days and times vary depending on other tasks and duties). Feel free to contact me via email to schedule something!


  • BA, University Of California-Los Angeles
  • MA, University Of California-Los Angeles
  • PHD, University Of California-Los Angeles

I graduated from UCLA in 2002 with a Ph.D. in Medieval European History. I wrote my dissertation on contact between Britain/England and Gaul/Francia between the 4th and 7th centuries, mainly looking at individuals who crossed the British Channel and why they did so. This period of history is often referred to as the “Dark Ages” because we don’t have a lot of written sources. The most famous person from this region is King Arthur—who may or may not have been a real person, we just don’t have enough evidence to say one way or the other!

I’ve been teaching history at North Hennepin Community College since the Fall of 2002. At this point, I’ve taught nearly every course in our catalog, except for courses related to modern US History. Beginning Fall of 2018, I added a teaching credential in English, so I also occasionally teach College Writing in the English department.

In addition to teaching, I serve as Co-Editor In-Chief of The Heroic Age: A Journal of Early Medieval Northwestern Europe. I’m also the treasurer for the American Society for Medieval Irish Studies (ASIMS) and I maintain the backside of their website.

Deanna Forsman graduated from UCLA in 2002 with a Ph.D. in Medieval European History, focusing on Europe between 300 and 700 AD. In addition to teaching in the History and English departments at NHCC, she also serves as the Co-Editor in Chief of The Heroic Age: A Journal of Early Medieval Northwestern Europe and as the treasurer for the American Society fo Medieval Irish Studies.

Courses Taught

  • World History Sequence (1010, 1020)
  • Western Civ Sequence (1110, 1120, 1130, 1140)
  • US History, first half and Labor (1200, 1230)
  • History & Popular Culture (2700)
  • Applied History (2900)
  • College Writing (ENGL 1201)

Areas of expertise/interest

  • Late Roman Empire and Early Medieval Europe
  • Identity and "othering"
  • Race & ethnicity


  • 2014. MnSCU Board of Trustees Educator of the Year
  • 2013. AHA Member Spotlight Featured Historian
  • 2003. “Swearing False Oaths: The Identity of ‘Aglibert’ in the Chronicle of Fredegar Continuation 3.” Medieval Prosopography 24:89–105.

What can students expect in your classes

In my History classes, I focus on teaching the skills of a historian. This means we spend a lot of time reading, annotating, interpreting, and writing about primary sources, the written words from the past that survive to the present. We use these documents to try to understand the people of the past on their own terms by analyzing their words.

In my English classes, I focus on writing as a discipline, so students will spend a lot of time writing about how and why we write, and experimenting with different ways of writing.

In all my classes, I place a heavy emphasis on learning and mastering skills, and the best way to learn skills is by trying them, practicing them, and reflecting upon them. The point is not to be perfect the first time you try a skill. The point is to demonstrate effort and growth.

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