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Why I Majored in Late Antique-Medieval Studies

Glen Williams ’21

When I transferred to Pomona from UC Davis for my sophomore year, I was working towards a double major in political science and economics. However, since I still needed to complete Area 3 [History, Values, Ethics and Cultural Studies requirement], I decided to take Medieval Europe and the World Outside with Professor Ken Wolf. It was my favorite class that semester, so I decided to take another one of his survey courses, Medieval Mediterranean. Once again, it was my favorite course, and I did quite well in it. I realized that I enjoyed medieval history far more than any other subject, so I decided to switch to Late Antique-Medieval Studies (LAMS), with the ultimate goal of attending grad school to study medieval history.

In my opinion, LAMS provides me with a more competitive grad school application than a history degree would because of LAMS’ focus on language: all LAMS majors have to do three semesters of Latin, Greek, or Arabic. For medieval history, competency with relevant languages is essential. Concerning my interests in the material itself, I find the medieval mindset fascinating, especially in regard to religious practices and beliefs, and how the different Abrahamic traditions interacted with each other.

Prof. Wolf is always available, including on the weekends, to assist his students with whatever they need. He puts all his effort behind getting his students into excellent grad school programs and improving our writing skills. I am great friends with all the other LAMS majors, in large part due to all the special events Prof. Wolf holds for LAMS, such as LAMSagna, where all the majors meet at Prof. Wolf’s house and eat vegetarian lasagna in celebration of the graduating seniors.

Everyone should take a class with Prof. Wolf. Every student will find their writing skills improve (in his survey courses, we write seven essays over the course of the semester). LAMS is a great choice for those who would like to go to law school, since we spend so much time closely analyzing texts, and Latin is the foundational language to much of the legal jargon. Also, Prof. Wolf writes great letters of recommendation.