Advanced Humanities Research

Advanced Humanities Research (AHR) is a yearlong course offered to students with a deep interest in the humanities—languages, literature, history, philosophy and the arts—who want to build on the knowledge acquired in the humanities curriculum. AHR is designed for students to move beyond the Advanced Placement program, and in many ways, approximate the experience of undergraduates in top liberal arts schools.

After an introductory unit that exposes students to research methods in the various humanities disciplines, students use Berkshire’s resources to define a field of inquiry and formulate a question. They next prepare a comprehensive literature review in which they summarize and critique contemporary scholarship relevant to their topic. Finally, working with guidance from their instructor and a college professor who specializes in their field, the students compose and revise a full-length paper that they present to the school.


Advanced Humanities Research students often travel to locations that provide a genuine connection to an historical event, a popular figure, or a unique scholarly research resource. One recent trip to New York City included a stop at the New York Public Library, where students analyzed World War II maps drawn from U.S. soldiers' first-hand experience and browsed Shakespeare's First Folio. Other trips include visits to the Sawyer Library at Williams College, Edith Wharton's The Mount in Lenox, Ma., and the Clark Art Institute. 

There is such a legacy represented by these great institutions, and I'm so glad we got a taste of it.JULIE KOKOT '17
New york university


(Mentor listed below project title)

On The Edge: A Social Psychology Analysis of Freestyle Skiing
Jon Silverman, Professor of English, UMASS-Lowell

The Contested Construction of China’s Soft Power Profile
Sam Crane, Professor of Political Science, Williams College

Edward Said’s Orientalism and Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha
Gunther Gottschalck, Professor of Germanic, Slavic & Semetic Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

Walton Ford’s Unique Status in the American Art World
Karen Kurczynski, Professor of Modern & Contemporary Art, UMASS-Amherst

Pearl Harbor: A Day of Infamy or a Platform for Deceit?
Harold Goldberg, Professor of History, Sewanee, The University of the South

The Politics of Language in Rwanda’s Genocide
Chris Cook, Professor of Political Science, University of Pittsburgh

Fate in Ancient Greece, Elizabethan England & 20th-Century France
Keith McPartland, Professor of Philosophy, Williams College

Female Artistic Participation in the Minimalist Movement
Mary Sheriff, Professor of Art History, University of North Carolina

The Development of Christianity in 4th-Century Rome
Thomas Martin, Professor of History, College of the Holy Cross

American Political Rhetoric after September 11
Jon Silverman, Professor of English, UMASS-Lowell

Gender Representation(s) in Popular Music
Jennifer Scanlon, Professor of the Humanities, Bowdoin College

Women’s Lives Under Queens Elizabeth & Victoria
Mary Conley, Gender, Sexuality, & Women's Studies, College of the Holy Cross

An Analysis of Study Abroad Programs Through Cognitive Theory
Sean Kang, Professor of Education, Dartmouth College

Something Rather Than Nothing: An Interdisciplinary Exploration
Peter van Inwagen, Professor of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame

Psychoanalytic Investigation of Adolf Hitler
Fred Coolidge, Professor of Psychology, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs


AHR Matriculation

Since 2013, AHR students have matriculated at these and other leading colleges and universities:

Bates, Boston College, Boston University, Bowdoin, Bucknell, Claremont, McKenna, Colby, Colgate, Columbia, Cornell, Davidson, Dickinson, Hamilton, King's College-London, Middlebury, NYU, Pomona College, Princeton, St. John's University, Sewanee, SMU, Trinity, UMass-Amherst, U.S. Military Academy, and Williams


Dr. Sandy Perot
History Faculty
Dir. of Advanced Humanities Research

Independent Schools Magazine Winter 2017

Click here to download Dr. Kohlhepp's article Toward The Next Level about Humanities at Berkshire School, which was featured in Independent School magazine.