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.