The Senior and Junior Advisory Groups (SAG and JAG) play a significant role in the life of the History Department, advising the Chair and other members of the Department on such matters as the History curriculum, the structure of the major, advising within the major, and public events, both social and intellectual. In years when the Department is hiring new faculty members, SAG and JAG students participate in the hiring process, meeting with the candidates and subsequently offering their feedback from the perspective of students and majors. Members of the advisory groups also help out during registration and new student orientation, answering questions about the History major and sharing their knowledge about the Department in general. Each Fall self-nominations, along with nominations from the faculty and other students, are sought for membership in the Junior Advisory Group. Juniors automatically transition to the Senior Advisory Group at the beginning of their senior year at Williams.
If you are thinking about being a History major, or have just declared History as a major, or are simply interested in History, you should feel free to get in touch with any member of the advisory groups with your questions about the major, courses, and faculty in the Department. Moreover, if you have ideas about the major or the Department and its undertakings – things we should be doing or doing differently – reach out and share your ideas with members of the advisory groups.
Here is a list of all current SAG members with brief biographical statements and contact details:
My name is Emily and I’m a Senior history major. I came to Williams unsure what I wanted to major in, but hoping to explore the concept of narrative deeply. I’m so grateful for how this interest brought me to the History department! Each course I’ve taken, whether on Material Culture or the North American West, has expanded and disrupted my previous perception of storytelling, fueling interdisciplinary thinking to construct the most raw and complex accounts. This year, I’m writing an Honors Thesis on refugee-immigrant communities in Mexico during the pre-WWII and WWII years. Outside of classes and research, I’m passionate about education access and policy, community outreach, creative writing, and art. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions about history at Williams!
Emily Bleiberg – [email protected]
Hi! I’m a Junior History and Political Science double major with a Leadership Studies Concentration and Arabic Certificate. Though I’m especially interested in the Middle East, I’ve taken history courses on lots of different time periods and topics. The department really encourages its majors to explore a wide range of issues, and I love making connections between different classes. In my free time, I also enjoy showing Williams to prospective students as an admissions tour guide and serve as one of the co-presidents of the Junior Advisors to the class of 2024!
Max Chayet – [email protected]
Hey! My name is Darío and I am a History major and French concentrator. I have always been drawn to history but I never thought I would actually end up majoring in it! What I love about history is how encompassing it is, which is perfect for me because my interests are all over the place. I really enjoy learning about religion, border studies, cultural heritage, kpop (Twice <3), and anything in between. When I am not imagining myself in some random historical setting, I dance with Ritmo Latino, go to VISTA and CISA meetings, and love to be outdoors (for the most part :0 )!
Dario Herrara – [email protected]
My name is Kitty and I’m a History and Art History double major from Telluride, Colorado. I rediscovered my childhood love for history during the Spring of my first year, and I’ve taken a range of courses since, from American Slavery to Russian Imperialism. My expansive interests, or more accurately my inability to pin down one favorite region to study, has led me to pursue global history and the nuances of connection and exchange beyond the label of the nation, which is what I’m studying here at the Williams-Exeter Programme at Oxford. In addition to a tutorial on Global and Imperial History I am taking a class on Modern Art where we look at images and objects not solely as the work of an artist but as products of a historical moment. I feel so grateful to be a part of this group and am excited to continue thinking historically in this department and beyond.
Kitty Holbrooke – [email protected]
My name is Rachel and I’m a History major from Brooklyn, New York. I’ve always loved history, and since coming to Williams I’ve really enjoyed taking a range of courses in American, European, and South Asian history. I’m particularly interested in US history, politics, and the role of social movements in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Rachel Horowitz – [email protected]
I am a History and Political Science double major. Looking back, I have always loved history courses and have been fascinated with how the past influences our present, but I didn’t consciously realize this until taking two history classes during my freshman year. Since then, I have taken a wide variety of classes in different areas and time periods, and I am particularly interested in how history is told and remembered over time. Aside from academics, I also work at the elementary school and enjoy playing music in what little free time I have.
Elizbeth Hughes – [email protected]
I’ve loved all the classes I’ve taken in the history department, but I’m especially interested in U.S. history, especially U.S. religion, law, and politics. My thesis will be on the Anti-Masonic Movement of the 1820s and 1830s. At Williams, I’m an editor on the Record and an aficionado of the songs played on the Thompson bells.
Irene Loewenson – [email protected]
My name is John Menton, and I am a History major and Leadership Studies concentrator from Tallahassee, Florida. I am interested in studying history as it relates to understanding modern dynamics in American politics, and I am particularly interested in studying the history of the American South and how that history influences the political and racial divisions we see in America today. Additionally, I have taken classes on Middle Eastern and Chinese history at Williams, and am currently expanding my knowledge of global history at Oxford through the WEPO program. Outside of my academic interests, I am on the Men’s Golf Team at Williams and am also involved with the Leadership Studies Student Advisory Group.
John Menton – [email protected]
Hey everyone, I’m Connor (he/him) and I’m a History and Economics major from Long Island, NY. I chose my History major almost purely because of the amazing professors in the department (I just kept taking classes with interesting people) and because the class offerings were so far beyond anything I could take for history in high school. Although the classes I’ve taken in the department have been all over the place geographically and topically, I’ve found that a lot of my interest lies at the intersection of my two majors and seeing how economic/material developments influence culture, policy, and everyday experiences. Aside from my studies, I serve as the Williams Firsts Coordinator, I work in the Admission Office as an Admission Ambassador, I’m a peer tutor for Economics, I mentor high schoolers in an alternative public school program through our Center for Learning in Action, and I dance with Ritmo Latino!
Connor Middleton – [email protected]
I’m a History and Chinese double major from Atlanta, Georgia, currently working on a thesis about script reform in the PRC between 1949 and 1958. Though my academic focus is definitely on China, my interests are as varied as can be, and I’ve had a blast exploring a wide variety of topics through the History department. Outside of class, I play a lot of music around campus and help to run NovelTeas, the College’s book and tea club.
Hal Olson – [email protected]
I decided to be a history major because it is a subject I can read and write about for hours. I did not take a history class until my sophomore spring so I would like to emphasize how it’s possible to take on a new major later in your college career! History is amazing because it allows us to examine the origins of systems that define the world we live in today. It also gives us a lens into moments of both immense personal strength and weakness that can help add nuance to how we view humanity. Right now I am studying abroad at Oxford where I am taking a course on early modern European History. Please feel free to reach out to talk about classes at Williams or Oxford, I love to talk about history!
Nicolas Shanosky – [email protected]
Hey, y’all! My name is Kaylen and I’m a History and Psychology double major & Africana Studies concentrator from Georgia. I realized that I wanted to major in history during my freshman year when I took a class taught by Professor Merrill entitled “Manifestos in American Politics.” My current research project for the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship and my thesis(!) is actually inspired by my time in this class, as it focuses on the history of the Black Manifesto (1969) and the links between Black radicalism, religion, and reparations. In my history courses at Williams, I have been most interested in rethinking U.S. history through historically underrepresented voices. On campus, I am a dancer in Kusika, a director of the Gospel Choir, co-chair of Converging Worlds, co-president of the Gargoyle Society, and the TA for the Africana Department.
Kaylen Smith – [email protected]
I’m a philosophy & history double major concentrating in Africana. My favorite history courses have been those taught by professors Dubow, Bevilacqua, and Kohut, who are all so amazing. My favorite courses so far have to be on European Intellectual History (331) & my tutorial on Victorian Psychology (484). I became a history major because I value how uniquely comprehensive historical methodology engages with the world, and simply fell in love. I also find myself constantly moved, encouraged, and supported in the history classes I’ve taken, and feel so fortunate to be in community with such remarkable people.
Blain Solomon – [email protected]
Hello! My name is Isabelle, and I am a senior History major. After discovering my newfound love for early modern English history at the Williams-Exeter Programme at Oxford, I am currently working on an independent study with Professor Bevilacqua that examines the intersections of policing and public leisure in London over the course of the late-18th and early-19th centuries. Since my freshmen year, however, I have taken classes all over the major, from Professor Dew’s first-year seminar on slavery in the American South to Professor Bohlen’s upper-level seminar on Controversies in American thought and Professor Bernhardsson’s survey course on the Modern Middle East. The breadth of courses offered by the Department (and the fabulous people who teach them) drew me to the major as an underclassman and continues to keep me engaged and excited about the material I am learning. Choosing to study History at Williams has probably been the easiest decision I’ve made here and might even take me to graduate school next year!
Isabelle Wood – [email protected]
Here is a list of all current JAG members with brief biographical statements and contact details:
Hi, everyone! My name is Sanjeev and I’m a History & Mathematics major from Connecticut. I’m most interested in American history, particularly when examined from underrepresented perspectives. While all of my history classes at Williams have been amazing, my favorite has been “Freud: A Tutorial” with Professor Kohut. The skills I’ve gained as a history major at Williams–reading efficiently, writing well, and thinking critically–have proven to be so useful in many aspects of my life, both professionally and personally. This spring, I’ll be a part of the Williams-Mystic program, which I’m very excited about. Outside of class, I’m a Peer Business Advisor at the Career Center, and I’m on the Executive Board of the Williams Finance Club.
Sanjeev Ashok Kumar – [email protected]
Hi! My name is Peyton, and I am a History and Anthropology double major from Long Beach, CA. The study of history has always been a passion of mine, and I have been very lucky to explore it at Williams and now abroad through the Williams-Exeter Programme at Oxford. My areas of interest lie primarily in social history and more recently material history, archival work, and museum studies. I love the History major’s opportunities to engage in independent research and the amount of depth that can be found in all of the courses. A few of my favorites have been Professor Skorobogatov’s tutorial on Stalin and Professor Garbarini’s tutorial on the First World War. On campus at Williams, I am involved behind the scenes with the theatre department, and hope to continue that while at Oxford.
Peyton Beeli – [email protected]
My name is Eden Bloch, and I am a junior from Long Island, New York. I am a History major, concentrating in Africana Studies, Jewish Studies, and Justice and Law. I have enjoyed developing close relationships with many professors within the History Department. One of my interests relates to how minority groups, including African Americans and Jews, have responded to discrimination throughout history, and the ways in which their responses are similar and different. In addition to the History Department’s Junior Advisory Board, I serve as the Committee Chair for the Library Committee and a member of the Honorary Degrees Committee. I am also a Mentor for Peer MentEph and a member of the Williams College Jewish Association.
Eden Bloch – [email protected]
Hi! My name is Oliver, and I am a History and Economics double major from Chicago. While modern European history is one of my main interests (shoutout to Professors Garbarini, Waters, and Kohut!), I have loved exploring the department’s diverse offerings and always find that there are too many amazing courses to choose from during registration. Outside of academics, I am involved in the Club Volleyball team, the Jewish Association, and Margins Finance Club. Definitely reach out if you have any questions about the wonderful History Department or anything else!
Oliver Cohen – [email protected]
Hello! My name is Eleonora (but I mostly go by “Ele”) and I’m a Junior History and English double major. I first discovered my love for history in high school where I had several wonderful history teachers, but I solidified my interest in the subject during my freshman year. I have taken a wide variety of history courses during my time at Williams, and I have discovered a particular interest in the early modern period. As a double major, I especially enjoy exploring the rich dialogue that exists between history and literature by considering how historical context shapes an era’s literature. This year, I am taking my study of history abroad with the Williams-Exeter Programme at Oxford where I will be studying the history of early modern Europe, witchcraft, and the Victorian period. Outside of academics, I am an avid (though slow) runner, a dedicated member of Novelteas, a barista at Goodrich Coffee Bar, and a Writing Tutor in the Writing Workshop.
Ele Grenfell – [email protected] (at WEPO 2021-2022)
Hello! My name is Jackson Hartigan and I’m a Junior from Portland, Oregon. I’ve had nothing but wonderful experiences in history classes here at Williams, but I think it was Chris Waters’ “Archive Stories” tutorial that made me realize I had to be a history major. Since then, I’ve developed an interest in the history of knowledge production, storage, and transmission, particularly through early modern archives, libraries, and antiquarian practices – my prospective thesis subject. I am attending WEPO this year, where I plan to continue pursuing my current interests while also developing a background in global history. Outside of classes, I’m on the cross country and track teams, and I’ve had a fantastic and productive time working on various projects in Special Collections since my Freshman fall.
Jackson Hartigan – [email protected] (at WEPO 2021-2022)
Hi! My name is Brandon and I am a History major from Cranford, New Jersey. I, like so many others, came to Williams undecided. I started my foray into history with Professor Skorobogatov’s course, “After Stalin: Soviet History from ‘Thaw’ to Collapse” and have not looked back since. My favorite part of the major is the way that history complements the rest of my coursework in political science, art history, and religion. The foundational knowledge afforded by studying history has allowed me to “connect the dots” in so many ways that I never thought possible. Outside of academics, I am involved in student-faculty committees and work with the Dean’s office to advocate for transfer and non-traditional students on campus.
Brandon Hashemi – [email protected]
Hi! My name is Madeline and I am a History and Arabic Studies double-major. After taking the Fall 2020 semester off, I am returning to campus this spring to begin my Senior year. I have always loved history, particularly US history, but throughout my time at Williams I have developed a more general interest in the ways that policies and actions throughout history, particularly those in the US, go on to impact current ones that then have wide-reaching influences on Americans and people all over the world, especially those in the Middle East. During my Junior year, I spent six months working and then studying in Amman, Jordan, which was an incredible learning experience. On campus, I am also a barista at and manager of Goodrich Coffee Shop (when it is open) and a member of the Ultimate Frisbee Team.
Madeline Kaplan – [email protected]
Hey! My name is Nina, and I am a History and English double major from New York City. I’ve always been drawn to History, and realized halfway through sophomore year that I had already completed the vast majority of the major requirements just by taking courses I was interested in. Throughout my time (so far) at Williams, I’ve taken exceptional courses covering topics such as: soccer and the political history of Latin America, the role of emotions in modern Japanese history, queer European History, and Black labor history. Every professor has made such a radical impact on my experience at Williams that it just made sense to become a History major, and I’m delighted to hopefully do a thesis on my as-of-yet undecided focus within the major. Outside of academics, I’m involved with theatre on campus, I play on the Ultimate Frisbee team, and I am a JA.
Nina Kolman – [email protected]
My name is Emily, and I am a History and History & Studio double major. I always loved studying history, but it was not until my sophomore year that I started to take history classes at Williams. I especially love learning about Asia, although I also have a strong fascination with American and European history. My other academic interests include learning more about museum practice and architectural design. Outside of class, I enjoy learning how to play liuqin with the Chinese Music Ensemble.
Emily Kuwaye – [email protected]
I’m Darin, a math and history major from the Bay Area. My recent research was focused on early American political culture in coffeehouses and Japanese nationalism vis-à-vis photographs of the Ivy League. My interests are hard to pin down, but that’s quite okay. On campus, I help to run the Writing Workshop. Before I graduate, I want to try all the brunch places in the local NY, VT and MA area.
Darin Li – [email protected]
Hey, y’all! My name is Maximilian (he/him), and I’m a history major and global studies concentrator from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. I hadn’t planned on becoming a history major when I arrived at Williams, but I took a first-year seminar with Professor Merrill titled The Manifesto in US Politics, and I’ve been hooked ever since. (Professor Merrill is even my advisor now!) I’ve taken courses that cover a variety of places and times, but I find myself particularly drawn to Eastern Europe and the American West and Midwest — places I or my family are from — in the twentieth century. Outside of classes, I’m a member of the Firsts community on campus, I dance and drum with Kusika, and I love to play board games, eat ice cream, and play with dogs. Please feel free to reach out to talk about anything; I’d be happy to meet you!
Maximilian Peters – [email protected]
Hello, I’m a Junior from New York City. I’m majoring in History and Political Science with a concentration in Justice and Law Studies. For the fall semester I’m studying in Copenhagen, Denmark (and sorely miss Williams History). I tend to take courses relating to American foreign policy, which I have been able to explore across a range of subfields. I study history in order to examine how power is wielded and to see how stories of power-wielding are told. When I’m not studying, I enjoy cycling, hiking, eating offal, and reading longform journalism.
Ben Platt – [email protected]
Hello! My name is Hazel and I am a History, Comparative Literature, and French triple major. I have always loved history and have wanted to be a history major since I first learned what a major was. My focus within the history major is Latin America and the Caribbean, but I have taken courses spanning the world, from Africa to Europe to the United States and global history. I’m particularly interested in decolonization, storytelling/historiography, and the francophone world. Outside of the classroom, I’m involved with a variety of clubs, work at the Career Center, and spend a lot of my time running around the Purple Valley.
Hazel Richards – [email protected]
Hi! My name is S. Justin Rivers; however, everyone calls me Say Say. I am an Economics, French, and History triple major with a concentration in Africana Studies. I did not come to Williams planning on being a History major; however, I am most definitely elated that I am one. During my time at Williams, my History courses have been without a doubt some of the most memorable and enjoyable courses that I have taken. I have found myself most passionate about American History, as well as European History – given my French major. Thus far, I have taken the following eight History courses towards my History major: HIST 226, “Early Modern Europe;” AFR 164, “Slavery in the United States;” HIST 364, “History of the Old South;” LEAD 212, “Sister Revolutions: France & America;” AFR 385, “Civil War and Reconstruction;” HIST 301, “Approaching the Past: The American Civil War;” and HIST 242, “Latin America: From Conquest to Independence.” Outside of the History Department, I am a member of the football team, I work in Lassell Fitness Center and for the Athletic Department as a clock operator at basketball, lacrosse, and baseball games, and I am co-president of the Gaius C. Bolin Chapter of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. I enjoy morning runs, getting a sweat in in Lassell, fried potato puffs at Paresky, and Sunday brunch at Driscoll. Feel free to contact me with any History questions. I would love to answer them and share my love for the Department and its courses with you.
Say Say Rivers – [email protected]
Salvador Robayo – [email protected]
I am a History major and Public Health concentrator interested in American history, specifically the development of the American public health system and American immigration policy. During my time at Williams, I have taken classes in Middle Eastern history, American history, and Russian history. This spring, I will begin a senior history thesis studying the 1978 campaign for Proposition 13 in California, a constitutional amendment that significantly decreased property taxes in the state. On campus I am a manager of Goodrich, the student-run coffee bar, and a member of the ultimate frisbee team (La Wufa).
Clare Rogowski – [email protected]
Lucy Walker – [email protected]