Don Buerk, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of History

Office: Dana Hall, Office 2
Phone: 419-783-2454

Dr. Buerk’s teaching retains a keen focus on comparative history, primarily of Western Europe from the end of the Middle Ages to the present, and of North America, Asia, and the Middle East. He is especially interested in the variety of ways that nations and empires have organized themselves in order to address their social, political, and economic problems, and therefore studies how historical investigation has developed during the last several centuries.

"Comparing modern states and how accounts of their past have been recorded is of value in no less than three ways. First: by identifying historical similarities among nations, students can begin to develop generalizations about what those nations have in common and what their people can learn from one another. Second: recognizing historical differences among nations allows us to appreciate the uniqueness of each human society to a greater extent than might otherwise be the case. Finally: learning the history of others is an enjoyable and worthwhile endeavor in its own right because it reminds us that ours has been neither the only way, nor necessarily the best way."

Involvement at DC
For the past several years, Prof. Buerk accompanied Fellows and Scholars of the McMaster School to Cambodia. He participated in student projects associated with schools, hospitals, and women’s clinics. Summarizations of his work have been published in the McMaster Journal. 

Professional Involvement
Since 2013, he has been active in the Bean Creek Valley Historical Society, presented at the Steinem-Nyce Series on civil discussions and civic engagement, and served as advisor to The Normal Project, which sponsored "As Different as a Frog and a Grizzly," an original play by Dr. Jan Younger. He has also assisted with Dr. Younger's original play "Norma."

Prof. Buerk continues to lecture frequently as part of the Town and Gown series that introduces historical subjects of local interest to the Defiance Community. 

"We Have Made Germany, Now We Must Make Germans: Bismarck’s Social Welfare Program," Ohio Academy of History Annual Conference, March 2015.
Prof. Buerk has appeared on WGTE’s Deadline Now  with students and with other professional speakers.

Courses Taught
- World Issues
- 20th Century World History
- War and Military Innovation
- History of Science and Technology
- World Geography
- Colonial America
- History of Asia
- History of the Middle East
- Renaissance Europe to the Present
- Ages of Empires