The history of America is in no small part the history of the sea. Most Americans remain largely unaware that we are inseparable from our maritime heritage and the fundamental ways in which our society has been shaped by our interaction with the sea and inland waterways. Our maritime history course, Americans and the Maritime Environment, is taught by Dr. Glenn S. Gordinier and is designed to deepen students’ historical understanding by gaining a more immediate and experiential sense of the past. To that end, the class is often taught at the site of a particular exhibit or artifact.
In this course, we cover a chronological survey of American maritime history from the period of European contact to the present in a variety of contexts, including social, cultural, economic, political, military, gender and labor history.
Your classroom is the museum, with its 60 historic buildings, 17 acres, and millions of artifacts, documents, photos, and boats. You’ll examine and analyze material objects and manuscripts, as well as published sources and secondary works. You’ll also develop research skills rarely utilized at the undergraduate level and produce a research paper based upon your use of the extensive primary resources available at Mystic Seaport’s G.W. Blunt White Library and at other local research institutions available to Williams-Mystic students.