Spring 2015

The Place of Memory: Engaging History in the Digital World

Listed in: Special Seminar, as COLQ-239

Moodle site: Course (Guest Accessible)


Andy Anderson (Section 01)
Lisa Brooks (Section 01)


In this Mellon Seminar, we will  focus on one particular place – New England – in one historical moment, King Philip’s War (1675-8). We will explore the intersections of colonial American and Native American histories, relationships of exchange, and the breakdown in reciprocal relations that led to violent conflict. While learning about the war as a whole, the seminar will  unravel multiple perspectives regarding the “end of the war.” Reviewing maps, documents, and place names, we will consider how “where” we stand impacts how we “see” the war and its “end.” Then, we will investigate whether the digital world might offer possibilities for presenting and representing these multiple points-of-view, considering how we might engage readers and researchers in multiple strands of inquiry through a rhizomatic, relational structure. This open-ended process of reading and writing, which lends itself to the web, is also reflective of Indigenous oral traditions, a key framework for our collaborative work.

Students will work with primary documents (manuscripts, print texts and maps), and consider the network of people and places that can extend from a single document. They will pursue active, engaged research in primary and secondary texts. However, they will also have the opportunity to engage with contemporary historians  and tribal communities who have studied this war closely. While assisting with research for the final chapter of an ongoing book project, students will also have the opportunity to design a website that will extend the life of the book beyond the printed page.

This course is part of a new model of tutorials at Amherst designed to enable students to engage in substantive research with faculty.

Limited to 6 sophomores and juniors.  Spring semester. Professor Brooks.


If Overenrolled: Professor will create an admission form with questions designed to select students best suited to the project


Research attentive


2015-16: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2015