Fall 2024

Global Valley

Listed in: American Studies, as AMST-111  |  English, as ENGL-151


Lisa Brooks (Section 01)
Karen J. Sanchez-Eppler (Section 02)


(Offered as AMST-111 and ENGL-151) [Pre-1900] Drawing on a wide range of primary materials, and taking advantage of the ease of visiting the sites of many of the topics we study, this course offers an introduction to American Studies through an exploration of the Connecticut River Valley that stresses both the fascination of detailed local history and the economic, political, social, and cultural networks that tie this place to the world. Topics may include conflicts and accommodations between Native peoples and English settlers; changing uses of land and resources; seventeenth-century witchcraft trials; the American Revolution and Shays rebellion; religious revivalism of the Great Awakening; abolitionist and other nineteenth-century reform movements; tourism and the scenic including Thomas Cole's famous painting of the oxbow; immigration, industrialization and deindustrialization, especially in the cities of Holyoke and Springfield; educational institutions and innovations; the Cold War, the reach of the "military industrial complex" into local educational institutions, and "the bunker"; the sanctuary movement; feminist and gay activism; present environmental, mass incarceration, and other social equity issues; and of course, Emily Dickinson's poetry.

Limited to 16 students per section. 8 seats per section reserved for first-year students. Fall semester. Professors Brooks and Sánchez-Eppler.

How to handle overenrollment: Preference given to majors, and first and second year students as this is an introductory course.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Emphasis on discussion, reading, written work, field trips, critical analysis, independent research, and exposure to a wide range of American Studies interpretive methods including interpreting landscapes, material culture objects, poems, novels, deeds, maps, archival manuscripts, photographs, and paintings. This course aims to foster critical engagement with the history of colonialism and of diverse forms of inequality in the Connecticut River valley.

Course Materials


Other years: Offered in Fall 2023, Fall 2024