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 Junior 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. Outside of classes and research, I’m passionate about education access and policy, community outreach, creative writing, and art.
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]
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]
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]
I’ve loved all the classes I’ve taken in the history department. I’m still figuring out my focus within the major, but I know I’m interested in U.S. history, especially U.S. religion, law, and politics. At Williams, I’m an editor on the Record and an aficionado of the songs played on the Thompson bells. I live on campus, close enough to the bell tower to hear each clanging of “Edelweiss” or “Hey Jude.”
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! My name is Connor and I’m a History and Economics double major from Long Island, NY. I chose my History major almost purely because of the amazing professors I’ve had the great fortune to learn with, including Professors Dubow, Merrill, Bernhardsson, and Bevilacqua. 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 “radical” responses. This year I’m taking tutorials through the Williams-Exeter Programme at Oxford University and studying global capitalism, revolution/dissent, labour relations, and inequality, which I’m hoping will lead to a more specific senior thesis in economic history next year. Aside from my studies, I also do a lot of work with the Williams Firsts community and Summer Humanities & Social Sciences program, I work in the Admission Office as a Tour Guide and 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. Though I spend a lot of time learning about 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. I just like reading old documents, so I’m pretty easy to please. 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]
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]
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]
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]
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 (mentored by Professor Merrill) for the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship 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 for the Gospel Choir, a co-chair for Converging Worlds, 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 history major from New York, NY. This year, I am studying abroad through the Williams-Exeter Programme at Oxford and am super excited about seriously delving into British history. Since my freshmen spring, I have taken classes all over the major, from Professor Dew’s first-year seminar on slavery in the American South to Professor Bevilacqua’s cultural history tutorial that studied the relationships between European Christians and Islamic Arabs throughout time and place. After taking Professor Bernhardsson’s transcendent “Modern Middle East” my sophomore fall, I knew that I wanted — rather, needed — to be a history major. It was probably the easiest decision I’ve had to make at Williams, and I’m super excited to see where the rest of my courses take me, maybe even to a thesis next year!
Isabelle Wood – [email protected]