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Faculty Profile: Peter Rothstein

by Bridget Hughes '11

Peter Rothstein is not new to Juniata, but he is not a faculty member that many students know well. This year, students are having the privilege of getting to know him better, as he acts in the stead of Professor Doug Stiffler, who is on sabbatical in China. He has been part-time at Juniata since 1998, teaching various courses such as Cultural Analysis classes and College Writing Seminar. He says that teaching World History is “cool because it is a class that people choose to take.”

 Professor Rothstein studied at Oberlin College in Ohio, but it was not until the end of his junior year that he decided to major in history. Luckily for him, he had already completed a number of history credits and so he was still able to graduate on time with a B.A. in History and a minor in Studio Art. After college, he attended an intensive one-year program at Cornell University in order to learn Japanese. He then put his recently acquired knowledge to work by teaching middle school in Japan for a year. These experiences reaffirmed his interest in Japanese history as his area of focus. He is currently in the process of writing his dissertation in order to earn his Doctorate in Japanese History at the University of Chicago.

Professor Rothstein’s dissertation focuses on educational reformers in Japan from 1910 to the 1930s. These reformers wanted to get education of the grip of the statist agenda. He argues that the use of compulsive education to change the population in Japan was a larger part of the Modernization process that began in the 19th century.

Prof. Rothstein and his wife Laura Siems have three sons, aged 13, 9, and 4.