Why I Majored in Late Antique-Medieval Studies

Kevin Carlson ’24

I’ve always had an interest in medieval history and LAMS was the perfect opportunity to explore that interest for the first time. LAMS has exposed me to many of the valuable insights that history has to offer the modern world. Looking into the past as a mirror has also helped me learn so much about myself and those around me.

Leslie Paz ’24

When I started my Pomona College journey, majoring in LAMS was nowhere in the picture. I originally came in as a prospective history major, and while my interests in history have definitely been sustained, fate threw in a welcomed twist.

After taking “Medieval Mediterranean” with Professor Ken Wolf during the spring of my first year, I was enraptured by the inter-religious interactions sustained in the Medieval world. Wanting to further explore these relations in-depth, I took “Medieval Spain” my sophomore year and fell in love with not only the inter-religious interactions but also the intercultural and linguistic relationships in Medieval Iberia. The rest has been history! Thanks to the multi-disciplinary nature of LAMS, I have taken classes across a wide array of fields, such as Classics, History, Religious Studies, and Middle Eastern Studies. As diverse as LAMS is in its course offerings, so too is it in its offering of opportunities. I have studied Latin and Arabic and gotten reacquainted with my mother tongue of Spanish. I have carried out independent research on the Spanish Inquisition and studied abroad in Spain—all of which would have been impossible without the help and support of LAMS faculty and the fellow LAMS majors.

Through LAMS, I have discovered that the Medieval Mediterranean presents us with a world, not too unlike our own, that enables us to explore important recurring themes to humanity, such as the role of religion, collective memory, cultural relationships, and navigating differences.