Spring 2013

The Immigrant City

Listed in: History, as HIST-251


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


[US] A history of American cities in the industrial era, this course will focus especially on the city of Holyoke as a site of industrialization, immigration, urban development, and deindustrialization. We will begin with a walking tour of Holyoke and an exploration of the making of a planned industrial city. We will then investigate the experience of several key immigrant groups – principally Irish, French Canadian,  Polish, and Puerto Rican – using both primary and secondary historical sources, as well as fiction. Students will write several papers on one or another immigrant group, and a final paper that explores in greater depth one of the topics touched upon in the course. In the middle of the course, the class will explore the ARIS historical simulation project, which has been used to construct a “game” based on historical data and set in the city of Holyoke. Students may choose to fulfill the final project requirement by making a contribution to this ARIS historical simulation. The course will include students from Amherst College and Holyoke Community College. The course is open to all students, majors and non-majors, but history majors who wish to satisfy their major research requirement in the context of this course may do so by arrangement with Prof. Couvares. One class meeting per week.

Limited to ten students from each institution. Spring semester.  Professors Couvares and Clinton (Holyoke Community College).


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2013, Spring 2016