History Professor Brian Williams shares his passion for the Middle East.
Professor Williams loves teaching his students about Iraq. He believes that to do his job well, he needs to be on the frontlines.
History isn’t dead for me. History is exciting and I’m passionate about it, and I want my students to be excited, to care.
What we’re dealing with in my classes are very important, controversial topics, and I love it.
If I’m going to talk about Iraq, for me it’s crucial to be on the frontlines there, meet those soldiers who are about to fight the terrorists, and come back with my own stories.
I don’t do things that happened two hundred years ago, a hundred years ago; I’m doing history that happened a week ago. It has pertinence to my students, and they themselves learn how to think about things that are happening in their lives right now through the lenses of history.
The students are on fire. They are so refreshingly eager to learn. They are not regurgitating someone else’s extremes, they’re creating their own.
There’s a need for teachers who care. Our professors here get their students, they interact with them, and they’re their friends. And I’ve never seen that before, this comradery, this accessibility.
And when you have that proactive, galvanized professor, it is contagious. I’m thrilled to be a part of that electricity that flows through the corridors here at UMass Dartmouth.