Stephen T Staggs

Stephen Staggs


  • B.A., History, Calvin College
  • M.A., Colonial North America and Early Modern Europe, Western Michigan University
  • Ph.D., Colonial North America and Early Modern Europe, Western Michigan University


A year after graduating from Calvin College with a History Education Major and a Psychology Minor, I married my high school sweetheart, a Hope College grad. Shortly after, I began teaching Religion and Social Studies courses at Redlands Christian Middle School. After three years, we moved back to West Michigan. While my wife worked as a resident director at Calvin College, I interned at the Muskegon Historical Museum for a semester and then accepted a position teaching Religion courses and European, United States, and A.P. World History courses at Holland Christian High School. While at Holland Christian, I began a master's degree in History at Western Michigan University (WMU). 

After completing my masters, I decided to begin a PhD program in History at WMU, focusing on Early Modern Europe, with a particular focus on the Low Countries, and Colonial North America with an emphasis on Native American History and Ethnohistory. In fact, I graduated with an Ethnohistory Certificate from WMU, one of the few institutions in the United States that currently offers a certificate in Ethnohistory. During the 2010-2011 academic year, I was a Fulbright Scholar affiliated with the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam where I explored Protestant conceptualizations of Native Americans constructed by early modern Dutch theologians in various archives and special collection libraries throughout the United States, the Netherlands, and England. I am also interested in and have published an article on Pedagogy Studies in History. 

Since defending my dissertation in the spring of 2014, I have taught both halves of the United States History survey, Colonial American History, American Economic and Business History, The Early Middle Ages, The High Middle Ages, The Early Renaissance, The Reformation, and both halves of the World History survey as an Adjunct Professor of History at Western Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, Kellogg Community College, and Calvin College. I am also one of the editors of the Low Countries website, which is a part of the H-Net organization of scholars and teachers who advance the educational potential of the Internet.  

Beyond my duties as an instructor, I am currently working on two projects. First, I am currently revising a manuscript that analyzes Indian-Dutch Relations in New Netherland/New York between 1609 and 1750. The director of the Indiana University Press is interested in bringing it to publication. A chapter from that manuscript will appear in Dutch and Indigenous Communities in 17th Century Northeastern North America: What Archaeology, History, and Indigenous Oral Traditions Teach Us about their Intercultural Relationships, which is scheduled for publication with SUNY Press in Fall 2019. Second, I am conducting archival research in Michigan, New York, and New Jersey for a new project that is being funded by the Louisville Institute, a Calvin Research Fellowship, and Frederik Meijer Chair in Dutch Language & Culture: "Members Only: Race & Religion in the Dutch Reformed Church in America, 1772-1827."



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