Spring 2012

The Immigrant City

Listed in: Film and Media Studies, as FAMS-315  |  History, as HIST-457


Mark Clinton (Section 01)
Francis G. Couvares (Section 01)


(Offered as HIST 457 [US] and FAMS 315.)A research seminar, this course will enroll eight students from Amherst College and eight from Holyoke Community College, and will be taught on alternate weeks at both colleges.  The city of Holyoke will be the focus of individual and collective research. Students will form research teams (one Amherst, one HCC student in each) and choose a topic for research. Each student will write a research paper based on primary sources, but the results of that research will also go into a collective data base and an ARIS historical simulation project. The latter will allow students (and, eventually, anyone who wishes to access the program) to create visual and narrative simulations about Holyoke history. For example, a research team might generate a “typical” Irish immigrant family story, recounting migration, settlement, work experience, marriage and family growth, political and union affiliations, etc.  Another might investigate the anti-immigrant or anti-Catholic movement, perhaps by generating a “typical” Yankee family story; still another might look into the building of the canals and the growth of factory economy, or the architectural evolution of the city, any of which might make use of the GPS and other visual capacities of the ARIS system.  Technical support will be available to assist in these efforts. Much of the first half of the course will be devoted to intensive readings and discussions about immigration, urban development, industrialization, etc.  However, from the start, students will be expected to become familiar with the ARIS program and to begin to generate ideas for research. Most of the latter weeks of the course will be devoted to research, writing, and oral reports to the class.  One three-hour class meeting per week.

Admission with consent of the instructor. Limited to 8 Amherst juniors and seniors. Spring semester.  Professors Couvares and Clinton (Holyoke Community College).

If Overenrolled: Preference given to History majors-- then seniors and juniors.


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2018, Spring 2020