Senior and Junior Advisory Groups and Current History Majors

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 Asher, and I’m a History and Political Science double major from New York (state…). I’ve taken a variety of History courses at Williams, but I’m especially interested in early modern cultural and intellectual history. In the summer of 2022, I did an archival research project in Special Collections about labor (e.g., custodians, landscapers, nurses) at Williams in the second half of the nineteenth century. This year (2023-24) I am writing a thesis which studies the intellectual interaction between Jews and Christians during the seventeenth-century English debate about whether to permit the presence of Jews in the country for the first time since 1290. Outside of class, I write for The Haybale, noodle on guitar, and annoy my friends with useless trivia from my summer research.

Asher Gladstone – [email protected]

Hi everyone! My name is Hikaru Wakeel Hayakawa, and I am a History major with an Environmental Studies concentration from the Lenape Homelands, specifically, Maplewood, NJ. My main interests are within the twentieth century from the perspective of the Global South and Native Nations (i.e., decolonization, the founding of international organizations, the Cold War, environmentalism, and human-nature relationships). I appreciate the History Department’s breadth and depth, and the opportunity to pursue independent research within our own interests. My favorite course in the Department was Mohican Nation in Williamstown, where I extended my internship with the Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican Nation’s Historic Preservation Office into the school year through public history research in collaboration with the Nation, Professor Christine DeLucia, and Professor Margaux Kristjansson. On campus at Williams, I am a member of Storyboard, the Native American/Indigenous Working Group, the Committee on Community and Diversity, the Record, and the Environmental Studies Advisory Committee. I am also a Tour Guide and Writing Tutor.

Hikaru Kayakawa – [email protected]
[email protected]

Hi! My name is Gabby and I am a history and economics double major from Philly! My favorite thing about the history department, besides the amazing professors, is all the different classes you can take. I’ve explored everything from modern Mumbai to medieval Europe, although my favorite class has to be Professor Nolan’s class on the development of the atomic bomb: ‘Going Nuclear.’ Regardless of which classes you take, I think the history major has been rewarding and incredibly valuable to my experience at Williams. The major has taught me to think and craft arguments in ways I never thought possible! Anyways, besides being a complete history nerd, I am also a member of the Women’s swim and dive team, a JA, and a Tunnel City coffee fanatic. Please reach out if you have any questions as I am happy to help!

Gabriella Lopez-Ona – [email protected]

Hello! My name is Ella, I’m a junior from New York City, and I’m majoring in history and religion and concentrating in Jewish studies. I’m particularly interested in religious histories of the modern period, and I’ve loved taking classes within that domain at Williams, including Professor Garbarini’s tutorial on Holocaust memory and Professor Bohlen’s seminar on religion and American politics. Outside of class, I enjoy working on the Williams Record and running near campus!

Ella Marx – [email protected]

Hello! My name is Ollie Saleh and I am a senior from Toledo, Ohio. My focus within the history major has been the state-building process in the post-WWI Middle East. However, my focus has expanded recently while studying abroad, and I am now also interested in various events in early modern European history that resulted in the continent’s liberalization (e.g., the Glorious Revolution and the Dutch Revolt). Outside of class, I have been involved in the Minority Coalition, the Muslim Student Union, and the Admission Office as an Admission Ambassador.

Ollie Saleh – [email protected]

Hi all! My name is Dover Sikes, and I’m a Junior from Eugene, Oregon. I’m majoring in history and pursuing a concentration in environmental studies and a certificate in French. While I’ve explored many different social sciences, my first history class at Williams in the fall of my sophomore year—“Controversies in American Thought” with Professor Casey Bohlen—reminded me how much I love this discipline. I’ve enjoyed every subsequent history class I’ve taken! I’m particularly interested in environmental history and modern European history, examining how we can use history as a tool for approaching current environmental crises. Outside of the classroom, I’m involved in dance on campus, the Jewish Association, Special Collections research, tour guiding, and am an avid hiker.

Dover Sikes – [email protected]

Hi! My name is Annabelle and I’m a junior from Newbury, Massachusetts pursuing a History and French double major. Ever since learning about the American Revolution in elementary school I have been fascinated with studying history. In high school I took every history class I could and trained to become a historic role-player at Strawbery Banke, a local outdoor history museum. While there I really enjoyed engaging the public in connecting with the past. At Williams my favorite class so far has been Professor Garbarini’s World War One tutorial which sparked my current interest in Modern European History. Outside of class, I’m a co-editor for the Williams Literary Review and ride on the Williams Equestrian Team!

Annabelle Svahn – [email protected]

Here is a list of all current JAG members with brief biographical statements and contact details:

Hello! My name is John and I am a History and French double major from San Diego, California. I first got interested in history as a kid, but I only started to think about it as a potential major after taking Professor Chapman’s “Cold War Films” class my freshman fall. I am particularly interested in the cultural and social histories of modern Europe, having taken courses on East Germany with Professor Kohut and queer European history with Professor Waters. Outside of school, I am a tutor at the Writing Center, and in my free time I like going to Images, playing the piano, and biking with the Cycling Club.

John Aste – [email protected]

Hi everyone! My name is Joel and I am a history and political science double major from Alabama. The history classes I have taken are all over the place, but I am mainly interested in political history and the history of political thought, especially in Europe. My favorite classes so far have been Professor Waters’ class on the Anglo-Afghan Wars and Professor DeLucia’s Native American history class. I am also interested in the role of art in history and politics (in my picture I am holding an original Goya from WALLS, Other Laws for the People), so hit me up if you want any art history class recommendations! Outside of classes, I play the trumpet in the brass ensemble and the Williams Jazz Orchestra, and you can usually find me sitting in one of the coffee shops around Williamstown.

Joel Bishop – [email protected]

HI! My name is Alexa, and I am a History and Comparative Literature major from Washington D.C. My experience in the history department at Williams has been absolutely incredible, from “Manifestos in U.S. Politics” with Karen Merrill to “Approaching the Past: The Use and Abuse of History” with Magnus Bernhardsson. I am particularly interested in collective memory formation and the evolving role of official histories therein, around the world. My interest has led me to research at various national museums, and to WEPO, where I am currently studying the emergence of European nation-states in the late 19th century. Back in Williamstown, I contribute to the Record podcast, play intramural sports, and sometimes play the oboe.

Alexa Cohen – [email protected]

Hi! I’m Daniela, a History and French double major from Norwalk, Connecticut! In elementary school, our librarians forced us to take out a fiction and a non-fiction book every few weeks. From what I remember, my non-fiction book was always historical, so I like to say that’s when I started studying history. Today, I’m most interested in modern history, but I wouldn’t say I have a regional preference. I like to make connections through space and time, so I like that the history department encourages majors to explore different cultural histories. For example, during my sophomore year, I took history courses on the subject of African colonization (with Prof. Twagira), European modern history (with Prof. Kiechel), and American diplomatic power (with Prof. Chapman). The classes are all seemingly distinct, but they were incredibly interrelated, and that’s what I loved about it. I’m currently studying abroad in France, but while at Williams, I’m a tour guide, a special collections worker, a member of some MinCo groups, and a Williams First!

Daniela Corona – [email protected]

Shihong Ge – [email protected]

Tatiana Geroulanou – [email protected]

Hello! My name is Nadia and I am a History and Africana Studies major from East Hartford, Connecticut. Some of my favorite history classes have been Professor Steward’s “Civil Rights in the North” and Professor DeLucia’s “Recent Native American Histories”. I am particularly interested in learning about African American and Afro-Caribbean histories and love investigating archival materials and bringing them into conversation with the present. I also have a deep appreciation for the vast diversity in classes the History department offers, and I am excited to continue exploring them in the semesters to come! On campus I am involved in the Black Student Union, Sisterhood, and Students of Caribbean Ancestry clubs.

Nadia Joseph – [email protected]

Hello! My name is Palvasha, and I’m a history and political science double major with a global studies concentration from Armonk, NY. I’m studying abroad at Cambridge University for the fall semester, and my main academic focus is around South Asia. At Cambridge, I’m doing research on the IMF’s neocolonial practices with Global South countries — which is something I hope to continue to work at Williams! I would recommend any classes in the history department; I especially enjoyed Professor Steward’s class on black labor history and Professor Kapadia’s class on pre-colonial South Asia. Outside of class, I’m involved in the Record, MinCo, the MSU, and SASA.

Palvasha Khan – [email protected]

Hi! My name is Karen and I am a History and Economics major from Queens, NY. I never anticipated majoring in History, but after taking a series of amazing history courses (especially Professor Reinhardt’s “The People’s Republic: China since 1949”), I realized that I had to be a history major. Since then, I’ve taken courses about Latin American history with Professor Kittleson, the Black Death with Professor Pattison, and continued my interest in Chinese history! I’ve had an amazing time in all of my classes! Outside of class, I am involved with the Firsts community so please feel free to reach out if you need any help!

Karen Liu – [email protected]

Emma Nathanson – [email protected]

Caleb Ockman – [email protected]

I’m Will, a junior from Westchester, NY, and I’ve always loved history. When I think back on things with my acutely trained 301-brain, I have to imagine that it all got going during the “he started it!” arguments with my brothers. At a certain age, you realize that if you keep moving backwards in time, accusing each other of “starting it”, the question becomes impossible to answer. Still, you need to find something to tell mom; you need to draw the line that marks exactly when events started to matter. This line-drawing process is what keeps history exciting and dramatic for me even now. At Williams, I study the Cold War and American Imperialism, and outside of class I like to hang out with my friends and play intramural sports (shoutout fellow JAG member Alexa Cohen).

Will Schnall – [email protected]

Nashia Solomon – [email protected]

David Wignall – [email protected]

Emily Zas – [email protected]

Class of 2024 Majors

Class of 2025 Majors