David Idol is a Ph.D. candidate in Modern European History at the University of California, San Diego, focusing on Modern Greek history, social history, and environmental history. At Loyola Marymount University, he teaches courses on Modern Greek history and society, European Imperialism, and American Diversity.
University of California, San Diego: C. Phil., Modern European History 2014
New York University: M.A., European and Mediterranean Studies 2009
New York University: B.A., History 2008
Areas of Expertise (4)
Modern Greek History and Society
This course is an introduction to the history and society of Modern Greece in the context of European and world history. Combining several disciplines and approaches (history, anthropology, political science, film, and literature) students examine the crises and challenges that have shaped modern Greek society, 1821 to the present.
Growing Up American: Who Do I Say I Am?
This course examines what it means to be an American now, how this identity has changed over time, and the ways this identity has been contested and negotiated among diverse populations. We study these questions through personal narratives, testimonies, opinion pieces, fiction, film, and debates in popular culture. We also engage with scholarly research in a variety of fields, including history, sociology, psychology, and ethnic studies.
This course is an introduction to the history of European imperialism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as well as the processes of decolonization since 1945.
In the 1880s, a company was formed in France for the purpose of draining Lake Kopaïs—a large, natural lake in Central Greece. This was the largest water management project yet undertaken in the country, made possible by recent advances in engineering and technology, and it ushered in a century of similarly ambitious projects. Draining the lake fundamentally altered the environment of the region, but it did not create new agricultural land out of wasteland as the project’s backers maintained; instead, it transformed one type of productive land into another type, and the resulting dislocations were felt in the region for years to come. As revealed in the records of the French company and the British company that succeeded it, as well as in contemporary news reports, legal documents, and government records, this transformation created conflicts between those who sought to protect their traditional land use rights and those who sought to use the land for capitalist agriculture. These conflicts lasted for decades, and they were fought in parliament, in the courtroom, and occasionally in the countryside with violence.