History: Yvonne Pitts

by Howard W. Hewitt

September 4, 2005

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Yvonne Pitts is an Instructor of History with a love of good food, a nice Cotes du Rhone red wine, and legal history.

Pitts grew up in suburban Detroit as a Red Wings hockey fan. She graduated from the University of Michigan, Dearborn campus, and then earned her masters at Wayne State University. She has not quite completed her doctorate, studying at the University of Iowa.

"I’m really fascinated by law in society," Pitts said. "I’m fascinated by how the law functions in different legal institutions and how people use the law for their own purposes. I’m very, very interested in legal history, issues of race, African-American history has always been a big area of interest."

Other interests include history of the south, and the history of disability. "It’s how disability has been represented," she explained. "How people identify and think about what a disability is. That’s another area I hope to teach one day."

Pitts loves to cook and calls Asian influenced seafood dishes among her favorites, She has explored a few Indianapolis restaurants and hopes to visit more. And she is a big fan of French red wine.

"Because I do like good wine, I do find the necessity to run frequently so I’m a jogger. There is a correlation between running, eating, and drinking well."

Pitts believes one of the real dynamics of teaching is to not only impart knowledge but to learn from her students as well.

"I believe it’s absolutely critical to equip young men with skills they need to go out into the world and be good citizens," she said. "I don’t mean U.S. citizens, but citizens of the world. I want them to have a sense of critical thinking, how to think about evidence responsibly, how to make arguments and take positions responsibly after thinking the issues through and coming to their own position.

"I came to Wabash because I heard there was a high quality of mind here and this college was committed to the liberal arts mission. I’ve just been so impressed with the students. I love that discourse that occurs in the classroom. It’s thrilling."

Hewitt is Wabash College's Director of New Media/Web Editor.

 


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