Senior and Junior Advisory Groups

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:


I am a History and Classics double major from Claremont, California. I began my coursework in the History Department during Winter Study in my first year through “The Rose and the Pendulum,” a seminar that considered Umberto Eco’s Name of the Rose and Foucault’s Pendulum as commentary on the construction of history. Since then, I have studied medieval witchcraft, the intellectual history of the early modern West, the cultural exchange between Europe and the Ottoman Empire, reformations, classical reception, colonialism, and archive studies. I am writing a thesis on the medieval manuscripts of the Hunterian Collection, a critical yet understudied library assembled by the eighteenth-century surgeon William Hunter and currently held at the University of Glasgow. I hope to offer a comprehensive catalogue of its medieval documents and to unearth the medievalisms – the archival representations or definitions of the Middle Ages – central to its construction.

Will Abersek – [email protected]
(studying remotely Fall ’20)


My name is Dom and I’m a History and Political Science major from South West England. This year I’m writing a thesis with Professor Waters on social policy and moral panic in 1980s Britain, but my historical interests also include European colonialism, particularly in the Middle East. During my time at Williams I have also had a strong interest in education and have been involved with various education outreach programs with the Center for Learning in Action.

Dominic Clarke – [email protected]
(on campus Fall ’20)


 

 

More info coming at a later date.

 

Tricia de Souza – [email protected]


I’m a History major with a Justice and Law concentration. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been interested in how the law is informed by, involved with, and influential upon social movements. This year I am writing a thesis advised by Professor Dubow that will explore the battle for socioeconomic rights in 1970s America, which spans from grassroots movements to arguments before the Supreme Court. But the great thing about the History major is that everybody is encouraged to explore a wide range of courses, which means that I (and most other majors) don’t just have one interest; for example, after taking classes with Professors Bernhardsson and Bevilacqua, I’ve discovered a passion for Middle Eastern cultural history. Outside of classes and research, I love to draw, sing a cappella with the Williams Accidentals, watch sunsets on Stony Ledge, and compete with the Mock Trial team.

Zoë Fisher – [email protected]
(on campus Fall ’20)


I’m a History and Chinese double major, so East Asia is a core interest of mine. My thesis, however, is on the Brazilian Amazon, so I’ve been working a lot with Portuguese and Spanish sources lately. My focus is on the intersections of environment and history. I arrived at Williams planning to major in History and Environmental Science, but I found that interpreting the natural world through the lens of social science was preferable. I supplemented my coursework with Envi classes relevant to my research (environmental law, botany) but kept my focus on History.

James Fitzgerald – [email protected]
(on campus Fall ’20)


Hello! I’m a History and English double major, as well as a thesis writer studying the New York City subway in the late 20th century. I have no idea how to summarize my interests but I tend to be drawn to urban spaces and political things (like the subway! Public transit is great!) Outside of the History Department, I am an editor at the Record and a harmonica player in the jazz band.

Joey Fox – [email protected]
(on campus Fall ’20)


I’m a senior, double majoring in History and Art History, with a concentration in medieval history. Last year I studied abroad with the Williams Exeter Program at Oxford University, where I got to further explore my interests in medieval history, cultural heritage, and archaeology. I am planning to write a senior thesis on the role that representations of Joan of Arc play in French visual culture and national identity. While at Williams, I’ve also been involved with both the Williams College Museum of Art and the Clark.

Meadhbh Ginnane – [email protected]
(on campus Fall ’20)


I am a senior History and Biology double major from Vero Beach, Florida. I have many interests in history, but particularly love studying the premodern era, excited to continue that track in my senior year. On campus, I am also a member of the Swimming and Diving team, a thesis student researching pollination networks, and an enthusiastic enjoyer of the beautiful Berkshire views!

Ally Grusky – [email protected]
(on campus Fall ’20)


 

 

More info coming at a later date.

Amelia Jamond – [email protected]
(taking a leave Fall ’20)


Hi! My name is Madeline and I am a History and Arabic Studies double major. Going into my senior year, however, I have decided to take a leave of absence in the Fall due to the pandemic. 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. Last 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 and a member of the Ultimate Frisbee Team.

Madeline Kaplan – [email protected]
(taking a leave Fall ’20)


I’m a Mathematics and History double major. My thesis is about the turbulence of public spheres during the 1760s and 1770s, as the thirteen colonies approached the Revolutionary War. I’ve written about Williams’ earliest abolition and colonization supporters, a challenging history that must be again confronted. Beyond coursework, I fish, climb, and ski with naive courage and excess gusto.

Darin Li – [email protected]
(on campus Fall ’20)


Hey! My name is Sonia Nyarko and I’m a History major! In high school, my favorite classes were in history and the mentors I have today were in the department. So coming to Williams I knew for sure that I wanted to be a History major, while simultaneously wanting to be a medical doctor. You CAN do both! I started my History journey with Professor Bevilacqua’s introductory course on the history of the coffeehouse and its connections to the Enlightenment. This course intensified my love for historical research and study! Since then, I’ve taken courses in a variety of subjects: medieval England, ancient China, the Nile, the modern Middle East, and historical philosophers like Thucydides, Hegel, Marx, and Foucault. All of these courses taught me information and skills I hadn’t learned in high school or expanded on basic concepts. The History Department has a wonderful team of professors and I have thoroughly enjoyed the courses I’ve taken with instructors like Professors Bernhardsson and Kohut. This year, I am writing a thesis advised by Professors Wong, Twagira, and Steward on African American/African immigrant relations/exchange in the mid-1900s. All of my work in History, in reading, writing, and researching, has prepared me for this endeavor and I’ve been supported by the Department the whole way! Joining the History major is one of the best decisions I’ve made at Williams and one that most people don’t regret! Happy to give recommendations and advice anytime!

Sonia Nyarko – [email protected]
(studying remotely Fall ’20)


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]
(taking a leave Fall ’20)


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. I am taking a leave of absence during Fall 2020 and will return to campus for the Spring semester. When I return, 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]
(taking a leave Fall ’20)


I am a History and Economics double major from Korea and Vietnam. I’m particularly interested in how we can use empathy to re-think and re-imagine an inclusive history — one that doesn’t “other,” needlessly categorize against a “norm,” or appropriate — and seek targeted change. I’ve done some research on the history of student activism at the College as a public humanities fellow where I got to consult the College’s library archives and conduct interviews with current students and alumni. The past summer, I worked on my Levien fellowship researching hunger, elections, and other Covid-19 related struggles, while pickling cabbage (Kimchi), baking bread, and practicing yoga!

Haeon Yoon – [email protected]
(on campus in Fall ’21)