Meet Denver Brunsman

Associate Professor of History at George Washington University

A native of Salt Lake City, Utah, Denver Brunsman grew up as “something of a political junkie.”

“My father was a journalist and deeply involved in current events, but I was drawn to America’s founding era in terms of the original reason for the nation, what ways America grew out of European tradition, and how we’ve changed over time.”

“I always want to get people thinking about the context of who they are and where they live. Many people don’t fully understand the context of how Washington as the capital’s location emerged.”

For his upcoming class at Oasis, Denver found inspiration from the popular musical Hamilton, “which describes, in its own way, the compromise and negotiation to make Washington the capital. I used it as a premise to share the actual history and compare the two. Hopefully, it’s fun, because when education is fun, people are more interested, and that’s our goal as educators.”

For Denver, lifelong learning provides a unique and rewarding teaching opportunity. “I’m incredibly inspired by the folks who come to Oasis events. They’re certainly different than my college students in terms of their life experience, and that adds a rich quality to these events.”

“I know I can’t pull a fast one on the Oasis crowd, because they often know a topic just as well as I do. In some ways, the appreciation for learning is even more pure than a college classroom, where someone’s working toward a degree…and that’s great, but an Oasis crowd is just there because they’re curious.”

Denver Brunsman
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