Hearst Field Annex B-22
Berkeley CA 94720-2495
Phone: (510) 664-4182
Email: berkeleyconnect@berkeley.edu

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The Berkeley Connect program opens up the extraordinary resources of the university to you: the extraordinary students on our campus. By joining, you will become part of a community of like-minded faculty, mentors, and students that will provide a supportive environment in which to exchange and discuss ideas and goals. Berkeley Connect will help you to make the most of your time at the university as you learn more about the major in History. We’re excited to get to know you!

Message from the Director

Tom DandeletAt the heart of Berkeley are its undergraduates. We invite you to come and join our world-class faculty and our graduate students in lively conversation and discussions about both history and the Berkeley experience. Through Berkeley Connect in History, you will have the chance to ask the questions you’ve always wanted to ask, meet the people you’ve always wanted to meet, and join an intellectual community second to none. Along the way, you will learn some of tricks of the historical trade, explore the Berkeley campus with a dedicated mentor, and meet a fantastic group of peers. Your Berkeley won’t be the same!

Professor Tom Dandelet
Director, Berkeley Connect in History

Program Description

The only requirement for joining Berkeley Connect in History is that you have an interest in the field of study. You do not have to be a major in order to participate! Undeclared freshmen and sophomores are welcome, along with entering junior transfers and juniors and seniors who have declared the major.Every semester, Berkeley Connect sponsors a wide range of activities and events for participating students. They include:

  • small-group meetings led by your mentor;
  • one-on-one meetings with your mentor;
  • special events, including informal lectures by professors and guest speakers, and panels on career options, graduate school admissions, and other topics;
  • and visits to Berkeley resources.

At the heart of Berkeley Connect is the relationship between you and your mentor. The Berkeley Connect mentors are advanced graduate students or recent PhDs in History, who are chosen both for their demonstrated commitment to undergraduates and for their scholarly achievement. They are dedicated to providing the kind of close-knit community and one-on-one attention that can be hard to find at a large university.

When you sign up for Berkeley Connect, you will join one of several small groups of participants in History. Your small group will be led by your mentor, and will meet every other week during the semester for an hour-long dinner discussion sessions. Discussions will focus on key intellectual issues as well as key skills you need to succeed in the major. Above all, the small groups will focus on building connections among students, so that each group becomes a supportive community for all participants.

You will also meet with your mentor one-on-one at least twice during the semester, once to get acquainted, and a second time just before Tele-Bears, to discuss your plans for completing your major. Your mentor also has office hours every other week, during which you are free to show up and ask questions, talk over your day or your week, discuss what you are learning in class, or just have an informal conversation.



Tom DandeletTom Dandelet is a Professor of History at UC Berkeley, where he has taught for the past fifteen years. He also taught at Bard College and Princeton University for six years after receiving his PhD from Berkeley. His broad interests in the themes of Renaissance empire, the influence of Spain in Italy, and Renaissance Rome are reflected in his books:  The Renaissance of Empire in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge, 2104); and Spanish Rome, 1500-1700 (Yale, 2001). His current project on the Colonna family of Rome is now being written, and he is looking further south to Sicily for his future research. He is a fellow of the American Academy in Rome (2000) and was also the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship (2007).

Berkeley Connect Mentors

Christopher CaseyChristopher Casey is a doctoral student in the History Department where he studies international law and humanitarianism. He was also an undergraduate here at Cal, which is one of the many reasons that he is excited to help Cal undergrads find and create their own intellectual community at UC Berkeley.

Sam RobinsonSam Robinson is an advanced PhD candidate in History. He has taught upper- and lower-division courses in European, American, and world history at UC Berkeley. Sam’s intellectual interests revolve around religious history, the history of the Enlightenment, and the cultural history of the body. His dissertation examines the problems of material bodies, human or otherwise, on the religious and philosophical ideas of early modern Britain. The product of a liberal arts education, Sam has a wide-ranging curiosity for the world and its ideas. He looks forward to sharing and cultivating this excitement with students in Berkeley Connect. When not on campus, he is usually grasping onto the last vestiges of his youthful fitness by running in the East Bay hills.

Julia ShatzJulia Shatz is an advanced graduate student in the History Department. A native of Berkeley, Julia did her undergraduate work on the East Coast before returning home for graduate school. At Cal, she has taught undergraduate courses in Middle Eastern, African, and British history. Julia specializes in the modern Middle East and the British Empire and she is particularly interested in themes of childhood, gender, internationalism, and public health. Her dissertation examines child welfare projects in Palestine in the twentieth century. Having seen how strong relationships with teachers and peers contributed to her own education, Julia is passionate about teaching and mentorship. She is excited to have the opportunity to participate in the Berkeley Connect program.


This course is primarily for students who are interested in history and the history major. A central goal of the class is to connect students to one another and the broader community of historians at Berkeley through a series of meetings with their graduate student mentors, faculty members and research scholars from a wide spectrum of specializations.  At the same time, the course will introduce students to a broad panorama of important historians across time and place as well as providing an early introduction to different approaches to history over time including practical discussions about various practices, methods, sources, and questions that shape historical inquiry and that are essential tools for the student of history. Regular weekly meetings will be complimented by visits to campus resources such as the Bancroft Library, Anthropology Museum or Art Museum.

Week One: January  19th 7:00-8:00 PM: 101 Morgan Hall.

Introduction to Berkeley Connect. Large Group Meeting.


Week Two: January 23-27:

First Small Group Meetings.

From Oral to Written History: The Ancient Traditions Part One.

From Singing Epic Poetry to writing Epic history in Greece.

(Practices/Skills: How to talk history—in and outside of class. What makes a good story?)


Week Three: January 30th to February 3:

One on One meetings with Graduate Mentors.


Week Four: February 6-10:  Small Group Meetings.

Historians from Ancient Rome and China: Dynasty, Empire, and Political Memory.

Practices/Skills: Identifying Sources and Using the Libraries for Research.


Week Five: February 13th -17th. Small Group Meetings.

Historians from the Medieval World: Chronicles and Sacred History.

(Practices/Skills: Developing a Critical Approach to Sources and Historical Argumentation when writing papers.)


Week Six:  February 20th – 24th: Small Group Meetings.

Intellectual History/Cultural History.

(Practices/Skills: Using non-traditional sources: how to see paintings, buildings and artifacts as historical sources.)


Week Seven: February 27th – March 3rd. Small Group Meetings.

The Birth of the Footnote and Archival History.

(Practices/Skills: How to use an archive: primary and secondary sources.)


Week Eight: March 6-10: Bancroft Library visits in Small Groups.

Monday: 12-1; Tuesday 11-12 and 1-2; Wednesday 11-12 and 1-2; Thursday 12-1 and 2-3; Friday 2-3.


Week Nine: March 13-17th: One on One Meetings.


Weeks Ten: March 20-24: Small Group Meetings.

Social History. (Practices/Skills: Identifying sources and using the Internet for research.)


 Week Eleven:  April 3-7:  Small Group Meetings.

National Histories and World History.

(Practices/Skills: Developing research interests, strategies and ideas for history seminar papers.


Week Twelve: April 10-14:  Small Group Meetings.

Environment and History.

(Practices/Skills: Natural Disasters, Big Data and the Data lab.)


Week Thirteen: April 17th to 21: Individual Visits to Faculty Office Hours. (Faculty Visits).


Week Fourteen: April 24-28th: Visits to Phoebe Hearst Anthropology Museum or Similar Large Group Event.


Reading Week:  May 1-5: Optional Study Sessions.


To find sections in the upcoming semester, search the Schedule of Classes for History 98BC (for first-year and sophomores) or 198BC (for juniors and seniors).To help you meet other students who share your experiences and perspectives, Berkeley Connect sections are designated as lower division (first-year students and sophomores), new junior transfers, and upper division (juniors and seniors), but you can enroll in any section that fits your schedule and credit requirements.

How to Sign Up

To participate in Berkeley Connect in History, you enroll in a designated section of History 98BC or 198BC (one unit, taken on a Pass/Not Pass basis). Many students chose to enroll for more than one semester. Participation is NOT restricted to declared majors.To sign up, enroll in a Berkeley Connect section when course registration opens.  Please see the Berkeley Connect sections listed above under “Schedule.”

**Read the schedule notes carefully—different sections are designated as primarily for lower-division (freshmen and sophomores), upper-division (juniors and seniors), or junior transfer students.

If you are interested in participating in Berkeley Connect, but course registration is not currently open, you can join the Berkeley Connect Mailing List, and you will be sent more details when the next semester’s information becomes available.

Contact Us

Please see our FAQs.  If you have additional questions about Berkeley Connect in History, please contact:  Prof. Tom Dandelet, Director, Berkeley Connect in History, tdandelet@berkeley.edu.

You can also contact the central Berkeley Connect office  at berkeleyconnect@berkeley.edu or (510)664-4182.

Links & Resources