Today’s entrant is Williams College, which U.S. News and World Report ranked as the best liberal arts college in 2016. It is true that, if you pick your way through the history courses, you can find a handful substantive history classes there. The vast majority of classes, however, are entirely obsessed with race and gender or, even if race and gender aren’t the dominant tropes, they cannot resist wrapping the class around to reach those topics.
Williams, for those unfamiliar with it really ought to make a point of teaching American history the right way. After all, it’s been teaching away in a cold and beautiful corner of Massachusetts since 1793. Many who know it claim that it’s the most beautiful campus in America.
I’ll start with the tribal, balkanized “American Studies” curriculum, and then branch out to the broader “History : American and Canada” offerings. There are quite a few classes in each category, so I’ll try to choose representative samples.
Before I begin, let me explain what “EDI” stands for because it crops up in the very first class description. The “Exploring Diversity Initiative” which is a mandatory requirement for all students hoping to graduate. The faculty that voted it into place describes it thusly: