Teaching & Learning


Incorporating the Atlantic and Pacific Worlds into the US History Survey

By Shannon Bontrager

Editor’s Note: This post is the first of a series of posts from the AHA Bridging Cultures project. Participants will blog about how they have redesigned their US history courses to take a broader view of the US relative to the Atlantic and Pacific worlds. Authors will also be contributing curricular materials, to be posted in our new online Bridging Cultures Resources.

series_National History Center

The Past for the Present: the New Mock Briefings Program and Reasons to Study History

By Cristina Belli

On a sunny day in September, I made a phone call home to my parents, eager to share all the wonderful experiences I was having in my first weeks at college. It was a routine conversation: How were my classes? Was I making any friends? How bad was the food? Amidst the flurry of inquiries, I quietly mentioned I had decided to declare history as my major. An uncomfortably long pause followed … and then an incredulous, “What?”

In my 18 years of life, I had always been determined to follow in my parents’ footsteps, studying economics and making a life for myself somewhere in the financial world—or maybe at the World Bank, like my father.