Skip to main content

History-Philosophy

Applicable for the 2020-2021 academic year.

History-Philosophy Website

Professors HOURDEQUIN, J. LEE, McENNERNEY, NEEL, RAGAN, ROMMEL-RUIZ, SANCHEZ

The Departments of History and Philosophy offer a combined major. Admission to the major is by application and must be accomplished by the end of the first semester of the junior year. Each student develops an integrated program of historical and philosophical inquiry in conjunction with two advisors, one from each of the sponsoring departments. Students may develop a program that focuses on a period (e.g., the Middle Ages, the 19th Century), an area (e.g., East Asia, the Mediterranean), or an issue (e.g., the environment, feminism).

Major Requirements

The major requires up to 16 units, distributed as follows:

  1. Introductory Coursework (four blocks):
    1. Any two blocks of the following introductory history courses:
      1. One two-block 100- or 200-level history survey; or
      2. Two one-block 100-level introductory history courses; AND
    2. Any one of the following two-block history of philosophy sequences: 
      1. PH201 History of Modern Philosophy; or
      2. PH210 Ancient through Early Modern Western Philosophy; or
      3. PH244 History of Social & Political Philosophy: Classical Visions AND PH 245 History of Social & Political Philosophy: Modern Debates.
  1. Four electives in the concentration of an area, period, or issue (four blocks):
    1. A minimum of one block must be taken in each of the two sponsoring departments. These four blocks must be approved by the two coordinating advisors to ensure that a coherent field-of-inquiry is being addressed. 
  2. Two methods courses (two blocks):
    1. HY399 Junior Seminar: Studying History; AND
    2. Any one of the following philosophy methods courses:
      1. PH301 20th Century Analytic Philosophy; or
      2. PH302 20th Century Continental Philosophy; or
      3. PH452 Junior Seminar.
  1. Senior Thesis (two blocks):
    1. HY425 History–Philosophy Thesis; AND
    2. PH425 History–Philosophy Thesis.
    3. The thesis is due by the last day of Block 6 in the senior year.
  2. Foreign Language (four blocks):
    1. The language must be appropriate to the field of study and approved by the two advisors. Proficiency through the end of intermediate language instruction must be demonstrated, either through coursework or advanced placement (or some combination of the two).

Courses

History

An introductory survey of human culture and society through the comparison of Europe and one other major area of the world from ancient to the modern period, focusing on fundamental topics in the development of world civilizations, including material culture, political organization, and aesthetics. The course will emphasize critical moments in historical development, thematic connections, and primary textual and visual sources. May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

Western civilization from ancient to modern times. Cultural, social, and political developments that shaped the modern world. The department offers this course in sections designated Europe or Atlantic World. Atlantic World includes the study of the heritage of Western civilization in the Western hemisphere. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

As the German-Jewish philosopher Walter Benjamin noted, the march of progress is like a storm that leaves only ruins in its wake – ruined environments, ruined cultures, ruined bodies. Whereas some have sought refuge from these storms of progress in nostalgic attempt to retrieve – and, in some cases, return to – lost times, others have eschewed such romantic pursuits, seeking instead to forge alternative ways of being in the world, some modicum of a right life in the wrong one. After examining the destructive dynamics associated with capitalist modernity, this course will turn its attention to the oppositional milieus and defiant voices that have flourished in modernity’s ruins. Although the course makes occasional forays into global history, the primary focus will be on 19th- and 20th-century Europe. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

East Asian civilization from ancient to modern times. Cultural, social and political developments that shaped East Asian nations and their place in the modern world. Introduces basics of historical method: contextualization, analysis, and critical evaluation of primary sources and their significance. May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

An introduction to history through the study of a special subject in depth. Emphasis on the ways in which historians find and interpret the materials of the past. For students who do not complete the West in Time requirement in the History Department, a gateway to the History major. Topics designated according to the specialties of the faculty.

Read More

As a burgeoning turn-of-the-century metropolis, the capital of Imperial Germany, an early epicenter of queer culture in the 1920s, the administrative center of the Nazi genocide, a frontline city in the Cold War, a hotbed of leftist activism in the 1960s, and a symbolic capital of post-Cold War Europe, the city of Berlin has played an outsized role in twentieth-century history. Using a wide array of primary documents (ranging from experimental films and mass-market novels to political manifestos and architectural plans), this course explores the history of Berlin from the late nineteenth to the early twenty-first century. In so doing, it both familiarizes students with some of the central events of twentieth-century European history and serves as an example for how to employ the tools of cultural and urban history.

Read More

Latin American history from pre-Columbian times to the present. Emphasis on colonial Mexico and Peru, the centers of Spanish power in the New World, and the political and social development of post-independence Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico. Introduces historiography and the basics of historical method: contextualization, analysis and critical evaluation of primary sources and their significance. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

Aegean and Greek archeological, historical, literary, and philosophical texts, with emphasis on those ideas formative in shaping Western culture. The development and transformations of these ideas as reflected in selected texts from the early Christian era, the Enlightenment or the Modern Age. The rise of individualism and its conflicts with community, ritual relationships to nature vs. separation and exploitation, the relation of theology to the ordering of experience, and how psyche both forms and is formed by its relationships to community, nature, and god(s). (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

Two block course that introduces the full sweep of American History from its pre-contact, 'New World' beginnings to the recent past. Students will experience how history is made, understood, revised, and debated. Themes include cultural encounters and adaptation complexities of ethnicity and immigration; movement; the success and failures of republican ideology, capitalism, individualism and community; and the formation of American cultures. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

Examines large-scale social structures and the question of 'ordinary' men and women from the seventh century C.E. to the present. Through a range of historical approaches-cultural, intellectual, political and social-and an emphasis on close reading of primary materials, students explore in what ways the histories of Islamic Civilization, Western Civilization, African Civilization, and Central Asian Civilization were connected histories and how people in the Middle East have critiqued their own societies and those of their contemporaries. May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

This course examines art and cultural history in Europe from Antiquity through to the twentieth century. Taking an interdisciplinary perspective, one which seeks to bring art history and history in critical dialogue with one another, the students and professors will interrogate the meta-narrative of “progress” across time. In many ways, succeeding periods engaged in conversations with their pasts to make claims of domination through pictorial and cultural production. But it is important, too, to examine counter-narratives made by subaltern groups of the various eras, along the critical axes of gender, sexuality, class, ethnicity, race and other markers of identity. Students will be called upon to think systematically about “who” they themselves are in order to engage with the past and explore human similarities, as well as differences, across a long period of time. Thinking systematically about the notion of “critical bias” and the need to analyze the past in its own terms, as well as in ours, will open up avenues to thinking about the present in new ways. We will examine the most important eras of European history, in particular, Ancient Greece and Rome, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the early modern period, and the more recent past. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

Selected topics in the study of history. Specific content and emphasis to be determined by the instructor.

Read More

Emerging in the 1920s as a radical, right-wing fringe group seeking to rejuvenate Germany following its catastrophic defeat in the First World War, Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party would go on to become one of the most destructive forces of the Twentieth Century. After first examining the Nazi rise to power in the wake of the Great Depression and the subsequent brutality of its reign, the course will delve into the manifold, and often contradictory, efforts to reconstitute European society after the war. In so doing, it will pay particularly close attention to the multiple 'afterlives' of fascism including the resurgence of neo-Nazi political movements, the subcultural appropriation of fascist imagery, and the multifaceted attempts to memorialize and to “come to terms with” the manifold traumas of the Nazi years.

Read More

Born amidst the crucible of the First World War, the Soviet Union sought to realize a progressive, socialist vision, a utopia on earth in which all people would be equal, nature would be conquered, and society would be freed from the destructive dynamics of capitalism. From the outset, however, the implementation of these utopian blueprints was coupled with astonishing acts of violence – the dreamworlds of socialism were constantly shadowed by their opposite. Taking seriously both the utopian and the dystopian aspects of the soviet experiment, this course traces the violent emergence, the piecemeal realization, and the protracted decline of the Soviet Union. Relying heavily on literature, art, and film from the era, the course takes an explicitly cultural historical approach to soviet history.

Read More

Broad approach to the history of American traditions and institutions from Anglo-American settlement to the outbreak of the Civil War, addressing Native American-Anglo American encounters; colonization and development of Anglo-American culture and society; African Slave Trade and the Plantation Economy; American Revolution; Jeffersonian Ideology and Westward Expansion; Jacksonian Democracy and the Industrial Revolution; the Politics of Slavery and Secession. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement.

Read More

Broad approach to the history of the United States since the Civil War, focusing on multiple meanings of American freedom and the rise of the modern United States as a global power, including attention to Emancipation and Reconstruction; Industrialization, Migration, and Immigration; Civil Rights Movements and Protest Politics; the Great Depression, New Deal and WWII; American Foreign Policy and the Cold War; the Great Society, Vietnam, and the Challenge to the New Deal Order. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement.

Read More

Detailed study of a period (such as the end of the Roman Republic or Periclean Athens) or a theme (such as slavery or the rise and fall of the middle class) in Greek and/or Roman history.

Read More

Introduces students to the history of native peoples primarily in North America. The course includes histories of individual native groups as well as the relationship between American Indians and a variety of Europeans from before contact until the present. Examines a variety of primary and secondary materials to see patterns in the ways that Native Americans have been affected by the process of conquest, the ways in which Anglo-Europeans have responded to Native Americans, and in the ways in which American Indians have become a part of and remained apart from 'mainstream' American culture. As a broader goal, we also look at the way 'history' is made, understood, and used by very different cultural traditions. May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

This course explores the ways the state, church, and the people dealt with crime and viewed justice in Renaissance, early modern, and modern Europe. Attention to topics such as heresy, the witch craze, and treason and to what ordinary and great trials reveal about changing attitudes toward criminal justice. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

A survey of American history from the perspective of the environment, beginning with the biological and cultural invasion of the New World in 1492 and ending with current environmental problems and their historical roots. Topics include Native American vs. Euro-American views of nature, the impact of changing economic systems on the environment, and the impact of the landscape on various American cultures.

Read More

Athenian Democracy. The Greeks with Near Eastern and Indo-European background. Panhellenic epic and religion, the polis, philosophy, history, tragedy and comedy. Attention throughout to Greek and Latin literary forms, but no knowledge of ancient languages required. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

Focus on the development of Rome, from a small city ruled by kings, to a regional power ruled under a Republic. The course will trace Rome's expansion through Italy, its conflict with Carthage and will closely examine the end of the Republic. Individuals discussed will include the Gracchi, generals Marius, Sulla, Pompey, Caesar, and Rome's greatest politician (and author) Cicero. (Also listed as Classics 216.) (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

The process of conquering the American continent from 1492 to the present. An examination of the variety of forms that Euro-American conquest took (exploration, religion, economic development, settlement, and military encounter), the impact of conquest on native peoples, the social and economic development of the frontiers, and the lives that people led and lead in places considered frontiers.

Read More

This two-block course will survey the history of the Eurasian region from Eastern Europe to the Central Asian and Pacific areas of Eurasia, with an important theme being the rise and fall of the Russian Empire, and the rise and fall of the Soviet bloc. The focus throughout will be on the ways in which religious, cultural, and ethnic identities were shaped by, accommodated to, and resisted the construction of national boundaries and identities. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

The Russian Empire, the Soviet Union, and the Soviet successor states in the 20th century. Topics including the collapse of the Empire during the First World War, the attempted ‘building of socialism’ in the Soviet period, the crisis of the Soviet system, and how Soviet conceptions of the relation between ethnicity and nationality shaped political and cultural identities before and after 1991. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

Focus on the development of the Roman state in the late first century B.C. under the emperor Augustus. The city, its monuments, its art, its literature, bureaucracy and territorial expansion, the role of women, and various social and minority groups will all be discussed. In particular, the course will emphasize important and influential literary figures, such as Horace, Ovid, Propertius, Virgil and Augustus himself.

Read More

Traditional African states, Portugal and Africa, the slave trade, European conquest, occupation and administration. The African response to the European presence in terms of social change, the origins of a 'Europeanized' African elite and the beginnings of modern African politics. - Blasenheim,. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

Africa and the Berlin Conference, primary and secondary resistance to European colonialism, political independence, conflicts between traditional and modern cultural patterns and ideologies, one-party rule and economic dependence. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

Examines the origins of Chinese civilization, from the divination rituals of the theocratic Bronze Age Shang Dynasty to the mighty Han. Considers the great religious and philosophical traditions of China's axial age: Confucianism, Daoism, and others vying for influence in China's bloody 'Warring States' period. Students will understand the political, economic, cultural and spiritual patterns that gave shape to classical Chinese civilization. May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

Mass culture, according to its many critics, consists of shallow forms of entertainment that commodify and erase “authentic” modes of cultural expression. Whether members of the avant-garde or the counterculture, whether on the right or on the left, critics of mass culture have ignored its creative, world-making capacities, seeking instead to build authentic, unmediated lives outside of the pop sensibilities of their times. Analyzing a variety of pop cultural artifacts alongside the political, artistic, and academic critiques of mass culture produced by both the left and the right, this course explores mass culture and its multifaceted discontents over the course of the long twentieth century. While focused mainly on twentieth-century Europe, the course will make occasional forays into global history. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

This course will follow the turbulent history and politics of China from the Boxer Rebellion of 1900 through the post-Mao reforms. Using primary documents, personal accounts, and scholarly studies, students will assess China's political and cultural changes and continuities in historical context. May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement.

Read More

This course will trace the social, political, and cultural developments in Japan from the first Parliamentary elections in 1890 to the current fiscal crisis in the 1990s. Using a wide range of sources, students will explore major themes in Japan's empire, World War, economic miracle, and troubled role as Asian leader. Major themes will include cross-cultural contact, world systems, and women's history. May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement.

Read More

Focus on how conservative Roman republican ideals were reconciled with an increasingly Hellenized empire dominated by an imperial dynasty. Following a brief survey of prior Roman history, the course will examine the development of the Roman state in the first century AD under the Julio-Claudian emperors. The course will proceed to consider the Empire’s evolution and management under subsequent Flavian and Antonine dynasties. The city, its monuments, its art, its literature, bureaucracy and territorial expansion, the role of women, various social and minority groups, and the growth of Christianity will all be discussed.

Read More

The English colonies in America, their founding and development within the British Empire. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement.

Read More

The movement for independence and the corollary movement to restructure politics internally, from the end of the Seven Years’ War through the Revolution and Confederation to the adoption of the U. S. Constitution. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

Initial development of the United States under the Constitution through the Virginia dynasty and Jacksonian democracy. Party formation; conflicts in political economy; diplomacy; expansion; social and cultural growth. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

The causes, strategies, and impact of the Civil War on the United Sates. Slavery, sectional controversy, political crises; civilian and military life during the war; the successes and failures of Reconstruction; the problems of race. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

Cultural expression, and race relations in the aftermath of WWI; changing sexual and racial relations and the anti-modernist response in the 1920s; the Harlem Renaissance; the causes and consequences of the Great Depression and FDR and the New Deal; the coming of WWII. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

Domestic politics and political realignments from Truman to Nixon; McCarthyism and the beginnings of the Cold War; covert action and direct intervention in U.S. foreign policy; Civil Rights; Black Power; feminism; and controversies regarding the American family. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

American foreign policy from the 'Vietnam Syndrome' to the end of the Cold War to the invasion of Iraq; Americans and the Islamic world; transformations of the Republican and Democratic Parties and the Office of the President; negotiating race in the post-Civil Rights era; the 'New World Order' and the new immigration; religion, families, and gender and their roles in partisan politics. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

Political independence in the 1810s in La Plata and Chile. The impact of immigration, urbanization, modernization, populism, nationalism, militarism and redemocratization. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

Portuguese colonization, political independence in a neo-colonial economy, the Brazilian Empire, the Republic. The emergence of modern Brazil: populism, corporation and militarism. The institution of slavery and its legacy. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

Spanish conquest and administration in New Spain and Peru, the Catholic Church, internal and external colonial economies, the Bourbon reforms and political independence in the 1820s; class, caste and gender during the colonial period. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

The Aztec and other Indian peoples’ influence in Mexican history and thought; Spanish colonial legacy; Enlightenment, Liberal, and Conservative political philosophies; Mexico’s relationship to the United States; roles of the Church and of violence from European encounter through Revolution (1910-1921) and into Mexico’s current precarious social and political situation. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

Emphasizes the intellectual precursors and historical development of the federal union of 1787 and of early American foreign policy. Considers America before the Civil War as a system of states and explores through debates over the American union and early foreign policy a range of theoretical issues in international relations. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

African cultural backgrounds, African slavery in colonial British America and the U. S. to 1860; free Black people from 1790 to 1860 and antislavery movements. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement.

Read More

S. since the Civil War. Black Reconstruction; Black urban settlement; literary and artistic movements in the 1920s; civil rights struggles; recent social and political expressions. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement.

Read More

A thematic survey of Korean history from the earliest times to the present covering social, cultural and political developments from the Three Kingdoms period through the Silla unification, Koryo and Choson dynasties to the modern era. Special emphasis on the twentieth century. May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

This course treats gender roles and family life throughout the European past, with comparative attention to families of other historical cultures and to relationships within non-human primate communities. It emphasizes the historical agency of women and children generally elided from traditional master narratives of Western Civilization, demonstrating how feminist and ethnohistorical approaches can reveal their experience. Course materials will include historiographical and anthropological literature as well as primary documents, literary works and visual sources. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement.

Read More

How have science and religion come to be seen as such different enterprises? What role has the charge of 'magic' played in setting boundaries between communities as they sought to understand both the workings of the natural world and spiritual revelation? This course examines the intertwined histories of what we now call magic, science, and religion, through Babylonian, Hebrew, Greek, Arabic, and Latin sources, from the ancient through the early modern periods. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

This is an introductory level course that explores the historical processes that have formed South Asia. Topics include British colonialism; nationalism and anti-colonialism; social and religious reform movements; independence and Partition; and the economic, political, and social issues facing the postcolonial nation-states of South Asia.

Read More

This course explores changes in gender and sexual relations across social communities and through time in South Asia. Key topics covered in this course include the impact of colonialism, nationalism, and socio-religious reform movements; law and the postcolonial state; the cultural politics of sexuality; masculinities; and local and transnational feminisms.

Read More

The course examines the interaction between Europeans and the natural world from the Renaissance to the present. It looks at how nature shaped the ways Europeans lived and worked and how, in turn, they thought about and behaved toward nature. In particular, it explores the impact of the Scientific Revolution, industrialization, and mass culture on the changing interplay between nature, society, and culture. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

Educational institutions and their relationship to society from the Renaissance to the present. The rise of mass education and its impact on the structure and purpose of the educational system. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

Development of an Islamic world through formation of key institutions of Islamic urban life, the changing relationships of tribal and agrarian societies to urban society, and the differentiation of public and private space. May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

Analysis of the variety of lived experiences and questions of freedom and authority in everyday life in the Middle East. Attention to the impact of modernity on gender roles and social order in the Middle East. May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

The pre-contact history of Anasazi and Athabascan peoples from anthropological and mythological perspectives; the causes and consequences of the Spanish entrada and attempts at missionization of the Indian peoples of New Mexico and the California coast; development of mestizo society; the arrival of the Anglo-Americans and the Mexican-American War. May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

The adaptation of Native American and Hispanic peoples to Anglo-American culture and politics; the causes and consequences of the loss of Hispanic lands; the evolution of family life and religious practices; indigenous views of modernity. Films, artistic expression, and works of fiction as well as historical sources. May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

Explores key themes in Southern history from colonial settlement through the American Civil War. Examines the distinctiveness of the American South, and how Southern life was shaped by slavery, particularly in the ways the plantation economy informed Southern political culture, gender and race relations. Other important issues include: Anglo-American encounters with Native Americans, the Great Awakening, the American Revolution, Jeffersonian republicanism, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, and the rise of Southern nationalism. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

This course provides an overview of the history of human rights. We examine different genealogies of human rights, chart the shifting meanings of “human” and “rights” over time, and explore debates in the application of rights. Key topics include the philosophical foundations of rights; capitalism, imperialism, and rights; universalism vs. cultural relativism; and the complementary discourse of humanitarianism. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

Exploration of Europeans’ expressions of identity and community from the close of Mediterranean antiquity to the Black Death of the fourteenth century. Consideration of literary texts, social organization, and ritual practices, with emphasis on Christian Europe as continually self-defining against its pagan and Muslim frontiers.

Read More

Scientific, religious and artistic achievements of the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries.

Read More

The birth of the modern state and the creation of modern society. From the end of the sixteenth-century Reformation and the religious wars through the crisis of the seventeenth century, as well as the making of the constitutional order in England and the absolutist state in France. Political, social, and cultural perspectives. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

Causes and the social and political effects of the French Revolution, the Revolutions of 1848, and the Industrial Revolution. Particular attention to the process of revolutionary change and to political movements including liberalism, Marxism, and nationalism. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

The course analyzes the origins of 'modernity' in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Beginning with the Scientific Revolution, it then looks at the social and political environment that made the 'Republic of Letters' possible. A wide variety of primary-source texts, including social and political criticism, novels and poetry, painting and sculpture, will be examined. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

Changes in European thought from the early modern to the modern periods examined through the works of representative writers, philosophers, political theorists, scientists and artists (including Locke, Galileo, Hegel, Marx, Darwin, Nietzsche, Freud, Sartre, Foucault, and others). The relationships between these changes and social developments. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

The “revolt against reason.” The effects of World War I and the Great Depression on society and politics. Analysis of the appeal of Bolshevism and Fascism. Particular attention to Mussolini and Hitler’s successful challenge to liberal governments and to the Spanish Civil War. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

World War II and Its Aftermath in Europe, 1939-2000. The outbreak, course, and the effects of the War, including the advent of Communism in eastern Europe, European integration, and the 'economic miracle' in western Europe. The emergence of consumer society, the spread of popular culture, and the development of mass education. Attention to the challenges of decolonization and immigration Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

Herodotus, sometimes called the 'father of lies,' and Thucydides, sometimes called the first political scientist, treated as the first historians. Study of the ways of conceiving history and its relation to the peoples and periods explored. No Greek or Latin required.

Read More

Critical issues in the philosophy of history and historical methodology as seen from the standpoint of the historian and the philosopher. (Offered by individual arrangement.) (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

Selected topics in the history of one or more world regions. Thematic concentration determined by the instructor.

Read More

Analysis of sexual roles and sexual practices in the world before the concept of ‘sexual identity’ emerged in the late nineteenth century. Examination of how different religious traditions such as Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, and Buddhism have viewed sex, and exploration of a wide variety of topics including pornography, prostitution, and same-sex sexual behavior throughout the pre-modern world. May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement.

Read More

After examination of the birth of ‘sexuality’ in late nineteenth-century Europe, exploration of the acceptance of and resistance to this new conceptual model throughout the world. Attention to heterosexuality and homosexuality, intersexuality, and ‘perversion,’ concluding with analysis of the contemporary cultural wars over sexuality in Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement.

Read More

Social, intellectual, and spiritual ferment between the Investiture Contest of the 1170s and the death of Francis of Assisi in 1226, with special attention to ideology of expansionism in the eastern Mediterranean and diversity of belief within Latin Christendom. Readings in primary sources for military action in the Middle East, pogroms in the Rhineland, saints’ lives, and persecution of heretical groups, as well as major recent works of historical criticism. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

Examines the representation of history in film. It compares a series of films to major themes and issues in the historiographical literature and raises questions about the ways films should adhere to the academic standards of the historical discipline. Students will read significant debates among cinematic and academic historians and explore the possibilities and limitations of cinematic presentations of history. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

An examination of the relationships, both similarities and differences, of history and literature. Using selected theoretical texts from Aristotle to the present, traditional narrative historical texts, experimental histories, fictions based on imagined thoughts and actions of historical figures, and comparisons of historical/biographical texts and historical novels, the course explores the different and/or similar purposes and functions of historical writing and literary writing, and the truth claims of each as forms of narrative and knowledge. In addition, we will read history literally and literature historically in order to interrogate the uses and limitations of both forms of writing. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

We live in a haunted landscape, an environment that, to quote Vladimir Nabokov, is filled with objects and places “through which the past shines.” Although some of these vectors of the past – monuments, for example, or even museums – can serve to strengthen structures of domination in the present, this is not always true. Indeed, old houses, city streets, and discarded objects can retain traces of their original contexts; haunted palimpsests of layered time that, according to some theorists at least, can open the way to different futures. Analyzing a diverse array of texts from a range of disciplines this course explores how our visions of the past (and our conceptions of the future) are, to a large extent, mediated by the built environment. As a 300-level course, the class will culminate in a 15-page research paper.

Read More

A junior seminar organized around comparative analysis of a common theme or topic, employing both historical and political science approaches to analysis and research. Designed principally for History/Political Science majors, but others may be admitted with consent of instructors.

Read More

An examination of the effect of total war, extremism, and economic crisis on politics and society, with special attention to fascism, the resistance, post World War II revival, and to cultural movements such as the avant-garde, futurism, and existentialism. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

This 300-level, co-taught course brings together historical and philosophical methodologies to explore a rotating theme, such as: “African History and Philosophy,” “History and Philosophy of Science,” or “The Philosophy of History.” Although conceived as a cornerstone course for the History-Philosophy Major, all are welcome. Students may take the course more than once, if taught on a different topic. With approval from the student’s advisors, it may be used to satisfy the 300-level History-Philosophy course requirements listed under “Thematic Coursework.”

Read More

Chinese ways of life and thought and the interaction of local social patterns with government and elite ideals. Focuses on the last great dynasty, the Qing. With Emphasis on Writing. May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

Formation of the new nation that Hitler said in 1933 the world would not recognize. Germany’s catalysis of European and world transformations, as well as its institution of dictatorship and genocide at home. Political, economic, social/cultural, intellectual, and military aspects of German experience. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

An examination of traditional and new methods of studying the past and an exploration of the debate over the nature and the meaning of history. Designed primarily for history majors, but others may be admitted with the consent of the department.

Read More

Students learn how to develop a research topic, advanced library and primary document research, and historical research design and organization. Students meet regularly to discuss their work in progress. Usually, a central text is also discussed throughout the semester. (Semester-long extended format course.) (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

Students learn how to develop a research topic, advanced library and primary document research, and historical research design and organization. Students meet regularly to discuss their work in progress. Usually, a central text is also discussed throughout the semester. (Semester-long extended format course.) (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

An advanced seminar on selected topics and themes in historical study.

Read More

Independent, primary source research. Particular content and emphasis of the paper to be determined in consultation with supervising professor. To be taken in the block immediately following HY 410.

Read More

An interdisciplinary, primary source-based thesis on a subject of interest to the student. Independent study format with regular consultation between the student and the faculty supervisors.

Read More

An interdisciplinary, primary-source based thesis on a subject of interest to the student and approved by two faculty supervisors, one in Philosophy and one in History. Independent study format with regular consultation between the student and the faculty supervisors.

Read More

An interdisciplinary, primary-source based thesis on a subject of interest to the student and approved by two faculty supervisors, one in Philosophy and one in History. Independent study format with regular consultation between the student and the faculty supervisors.

Read More

Directed reading and preparation of a thesis.

Read More

Philosophy

An examination of the origins of Western philosophy as it arose in ancient Greece. The course begins with the Pre-Socratic philosophers, centers on the philosophies of Plato and Aristotle, and closes with the important Hellenistic traditions of Stoicism, Skepticism, Epicureanism, Cynicism, and Neoplatonism.

Read More

Aegean and Greek archaeological, historical, literary and philosophical texts, with emphasis on ideas formative of Western culture. The development and transformations of these ideas as reflected in selected texts from the early Christian era, the Enlightenment, and the Modern Age. We concentrate on concepts of what it means to be human, and the relation of individuals to community, nature, and the divine in such authors as Homer, Sophocles, Aeschylus, Euripides, Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Dante, Descartes, Goethe, Nietzsche, and Heidegger (Also listed as History 116 and Philosophy 116.) (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

An introduction to critical thinking and conceptual argument, this course will cover basic principles of logic as they pertain to philosophical writing and thinking. Students will master essential skills for reading and evaluating arguments, engage with a variety of methods and styles of philosophical inquiry, and learn techniques of composition that enhance the clarity and elegance of their written work.

Read More

An exploration of the questions of what constitutes a good human life, what it means to be a moral human being, and whether reasoning about ethical and moral values can be objective. Texts may include works by Plato, Aristotle, Kant, and Nietzsche, among others.

Read More

Through a study of the literary style of certain philosophical texts and the philosophical significance of selected literary works of art, this course will study the comparative ability of different modes of writing to address traditional philosophical questions and to illuminate particular features of human experience. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

A study of the development of European philosophical 'modernity' and of the 'modern' concept of the subject or self. While the course focuses on major ethical, epistemological, and metaphysical developments from the beginning of the 17th century to the end of the 19th century, it begins by situating these issues in the history of medieval philosophy. Philosophers covered may include Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Descartes, Spinoza, Hume, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Kierkegaard, Mill, and Nietzsche, among others. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

Experimental and occasional courses taught by either visiting professors or permanent staff. Courses offered under this rubric will vary from year to year.

Read More

An exploration of the philosophical thought of American philosophers, focusing on those associated with transcendentalism and pragmatism, with an emphasis on their conceptions of nature, the construction of truth, and their theories of individualism. Thinkers to be read can include Emerson, Thoreau, Pierce, James, Dewey, Whitehead, Mead, Santayana, Rorty, and Cavell.

Read More

An exploration of the development of French philosophy from the interwar period to the present. Using the city of Paris as its context, the course examines how dramatic social and political challenges influenced the paths of French philosophical reflection, moving thinkers to question the foundations of knowledge, morals, and politics, leading ultimately to what might be called a “decentered” cosmopolitanism. Taught in Paris. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

A thematically or historically organized course dealing with a single topic or set of related topics in philosophy, to be taught as an extended format course over one semester or part of a semester. Topics will vary from year to year. .25 unit (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

A thematically or historically organized course dealing with a single topic or set of related topics in philosophy, to be taught either during half-block or as a one-semester extended format course. Topics will vary from year to year.

Read More

Surveys the development of philosophy from its beginnings in classical Greece through the early modern period in Europe, culminating in Kant’s philosophical revolution. This two-block course introduces major figures in the history of Western philosophy, selected areas of philosophical inquiry, and central questions that remain pertinent today. The course may incorporate some amount of non-Western thought, to provide comparative perspectives. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

An introduction to the formal language of first-order logic, including the rules of syntax and semantics for sentential and predicate calculus, with a special emphasis on modes of quantification. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Quantitative Reasoning requirement.

Read More

In this course we will engage in a critical examination of problems concerning knowledge and belief: how beliefs are acquired and justified, the possible limits to knowledge, and the interplay between reason and experience. Readings will be from historical and contemporary sources. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

This course investigates basic concepts, assumptions, structures, and methods of science, and confronts philosophical ideas about the significance, justification, and production of science. In this course we will examine some historical and contemporary case studies of scientific controversy to illustrate competing views about the nature of science. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

A study of the nature, origins, and significance of language. Discussion of various theories from such thinkers as Cassirer, Piaget, Quine, Wittgenstein, Whorf, Heidegger, Austin, Chomsky and Merleau-Ponty. regarding language's relation to thought, reality, culture, formal systems and non-verbal systems of communication. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

Considers the meanings, problems, and possibilities of contemporary identity politics. Explores different approaches toward identity and politics, including liberal, existential, and traditionalist understandings. Traces the emergence of a new kind of identity politics out of racial, feminist, and queer movements of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Assesses contemporary discussions of identity and politics, in relation to both the history of Western thought and contemporary multicultural societies. Authors discussed may include Locke, Sartre, MacIntyre, Fanon, Young, Taylor, Butler, Elshtein, Appiah, and Nicholson. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement.

Read More

Explores major works of classical idealist philosophy, considered in contexts of Greek, Roman, Biblical, and medieval political orders. Addresses the tensions between philosophical visions of the good and democratic or republican politics. Texts discussed may include works by Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Augustine, or Pizan, as well as Biblical sources.

Read More

Investigates leading modern and contemporary political philosophers, considering contrasts and continuities between classical idealism and modern pragmatism as well as the evolution of modern states and societies. Addresses the questions of whether the contemporary era is best understood as one of moral and intellectual decline, as some insist, or as one of democratic promise as others argue. Philosophers discussed may include Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Bentham, Marx, J.S. Mill, Nietzsche, Bloom, Arendt, and Rorty.

Read More

An analysis of human attitudes toward the rest of the natural world and of the ways in which our beliefs and values influence our relation to the environment. The course will focus on the challenge of finding conceptual resources adequate to the creation of a sustainable way of life and on the difficulty of transforming habits of mind which contribute to the current ecological crisis.

Read More

This course deals with the creation and appreciation of works of the imagination, including such questions as: what is art?, how are we to evaluate works of art?, and how does art enrich our lives? (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

An examination of multiple conceptions of fairness, equity, and justice in relation to climate change, and how calls for justice and fairness are used both to reinforce and to challenge existing power relations, within and among nations. Prerequisites: None. 1 unit. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement.

Read More

What does education mean and what are its purposes and values? Topics examined: education vs. schooling; education for critical consciousness vs. conservation of values; training vs. the search for wisdom; how can students learn to educate themselves, and how can schools, administrators and teachers aid in education? (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

A study of several thinkers in the existential tradition, which has its origin in the 19th century writings of Kierkegaard and Nietzsche and includes such 20th century authors as Heidegger and Camus, among others. Issues to be covered include freedom, authenticity, meaning, the absurd, the predicament of the contingent individual, and the aims of philosophy itself. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

An examination of different ways of understanding the mind, beginning with classic arguments for dualism and materialism and moving on to contemporary views which seek to avoid either separating mind and body or reducing one to the other. Consideration of various functions of the embodied mind and of the difference between mental and physical concepts. 1 unit - Furtak

Read More

Major psychoanalytic perspectives of the late 19th and 20th centuries on the concept of the unconscious in theory, case studies, and fiction. Emphasis on unconscious processes as they relate to the formation of identity. Readings from such authors as Freud, Jung, Klein, Winnicott, Kohut, and Yalom.

Read More

An introductory study of Freud and Kohut and the transformation of their theories in contemporary psychoanalysis. Students will read the works of and meet with distinguished psychoanalysts who will present new approaches to understanding psychoanalytic theory and therapeutic action. We will also explore how psychoanalysis can be used in the interpretation of culture, especially art and theater. 1 unit. Taught in part in Chicago at the Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute.

Read More

An exploration of the work of Sigmund Freud designed to introduce the wide-ranging scope and the dramatic evolution of his thought. Beginning with his collaboration with Josef Breuer in Studies on Hysteria (1895), the course continues with a careful examination of Freud’s approach to dream interpretation, his account of psychosexual development, and his nuanced theory of unconscious processes. On the basis of this review of classical psychoanalytic theory, the course then delves into Freud’s controversial but influential use of psychoanalysis as a tool for cultural criticism, while also turning to Freud’s continual revision of his fundamental theoretical models during the 1920s and 1930s. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

This course explores central issues in philosophy from a cross-cultural, comparative perspective, focusing on Asia and the West. Drawing on classical and contemporary texts, the course covers topics such as ethics, metaphysics, and conceptions of the self from a comparative point of view. The challenge of comparing concepts and traditions across cultures is discussed. Course readings may include classical Confucian, Daoist, or Buddhist writings, as well as historical and contemporary selections in Western philosophy. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

The development of Indian philosophy from its roots in the Vedic tradition of Hinduism. The focus of the course will be both on the ethical, epistemological, and metaphysical systems that grew out of the Hindu tradition and on the challenges to this tradition posed by Buddhism and by 20th century developments. (Meets the Diverse Cultures and Critiques requirement.) (Also listed as Asian Studies 220) 1 unit - Lee Meets the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures requirement.

Read More

An exploration of themes in African, Caribbean, and North American thought, this course looks closely at ways in which philosophers of the African diaspora have responded to colonialism, the process of decolonization, and the postcolonial situation. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

A survey of philosophical writings by Latin-American authors in the social and historical context of the region. Texts studied include Indigenous philosophies of the pre-Hispanic tradition, as well as those of the colonial and postcolonial periods. Particular attention will be devoted to issues that are central to this philosophical tradition, such as identity, consciousness through education, and philosophies of liberation. Our readings draw from Aztec or Maya sources, as well as from Leon-Portilla, Vasconcelos, Paz, Freire, Gutierrez, Dussel. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures requirement.

Read More

An exploration of the many 'feminisms' which pattern the rich and expanding field of feminist theory. Focus will be on feminism's intersection with many of the important theoretical movements of the 20th century, e.g., American Pragmatism, French philosophies, Marxism, Postmodernism, with special emphasis on Post Colonialism, psychoanalysis, Black, Lesbian, and Gay Studies, etc. Possible theorists are: Butler, Kristeva, Irigaray, Lorde, Hooks, Wittig, de Lauretis, Belsey, Minh-ha. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

Race is a social construct that invites a number of philosophical questions, such as those of identity, inter-subjectivity, justice, rationality, and culturally different ways of knowing. The course will examine, among others, philosophical reflections on race by the following thinkers: Douglass, West, Fanon, Vasconcelos, Appiah, Bernsaconi, Outlaw, Levinas, Mendieta. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement.

Read More

History of 20th Century Analytic Philosophy. A study of the Anglo-American tradition that involves careful attention to logic, language, and analysis of concepts. Philosophers covered include Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, Ayer, Carnap, Austin, Quine, and Davidson. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

A study of the existential, phenomenological, hermeneutic, and postmodern traditions that arise in the 20th century in Germany and France. Philosophers covered may include, among others, Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, de Beauvoir, Arendt, Foucault, Deleuze, Derrida, and Steyerl.

Read More

In depth study of an important period, idea, text or philosopher. Courses offered under this rubric will vary from year to year.

Read More

A study of one or more major texts by a single important philosopher. Possible texts for study might include, among others: Plato, Republic; Aristotle, Metaphysics; Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy and The Passions of the Soul; Spinoza, Ethics; Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature; Kant, Critique of Pure Reason; Heidegger, Being and Time; Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations.

Read More

An exploration of the traditional questions of metaphysics, such as those concerning the existence and nature of God, the nature of Being, realism and idealism, identity, causation, freedom and determinism, and the relation of mind and body. Readings from traditional and contemporary philosophers. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

A probing into the question of what it means to live a good human life in a contemporary world dominated by capitalism, abstract individualism, and psychic and social fragmentation. Readings from contemporary philosophy, psychoanalytic theory, and social theory. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

Examines works of influential recent or contemporary political philosophers, with a focus on debates raised initially by the works of prominent liberal theorist John Rawls. The concepts or topics discussed reflect concerns central to contemporary political philosophy: justice and liberalism, discourse and the public, equality and law, representation and diversity, sovereignty, and human rights, and capabilities and globalization. In addition to Rawls, authors discussed may include Dworkin, Habermas, Sandel, Young, and Sen.

Read More

Investigates the radical interdisciplinary social philosophy that German scholars hostile to fascism developed by combining Marxist philosophy with Freudian psychoanalysis, in an effort to understand the promise and dangers of mass societies. The course addresses both the origins of critical theory and the more contemporary modernist and postmodernist variants. Authors discussed may include Horkheimer, Adorno, Marcuse, Althusser, Habermas, Foucault, Lyotard, Castoriadis, Fraser, and Honneth. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

This 300-level, co-taught course brings together historical and philosophical methodologies to explore a rotating theme, such as: “African History and Philosophy,” “History and Philosophy of Science,” or “The Philosophy of History.” Although conceived as a cornerstone course for the History-Philosophy Major, all are welcome. Students may take the course more than once, if taught on a different topic. With approval from the student’s advisors, it may be used to satisfy the 300-level History-Philosophy course requirements listed under “Thematic Coursework.”

Read More

An exploration of what the discovery of unconscious mental functioning means in relation to philosophical problems in ethics, philosophical psychology, social theory, and theory of meaning. The course is grounded in the work of Freud and may include such post-Freudians as Lacan, Cixous, Winnicott, Klein, and Kohut.

Read More

Explores a range of theoretical attempts to explain the emotions and their place in human life. Emotions such as fear, anxiety, hope, love, and regret will be studied both for their own sake and as sources of insight into the nature of meaningful experience. Attention will be paid to the distinction between momentary passions and abiding affective dispositions, and to such questions as how emotions might be justified and what sort of cognition they involve. (Not offered 2021-22).

Read More

An interdisciplinary, primary-source based thesis on a subject of interest to the student and supervised by two faculty supervisors, one in Philosophy and one in History. Independent study format with regular consultation between the student and faculty supervisors.

Read More

An examination of the work of a living philosopher, especially as this contemporary work relates to broader traditions and themes in philosophy. When possible, the philosopher in question will participate in the seminar.

Read More

Independent study for advanced students who wish to do work supplementary to that offered in the Catalog.

Read More

Independent study for advanced students who wish to do work supplementary to that offered in the Catalog.

Read More

Year-long, extended format seminar centering on the work of the philosophy department's colloquium speakers and on the practice of philosophical discourse. In advance of colloquium lectures, students read relevant background papers and engage in seminar discussions. Students also attend all colloquia, interact with speakers during their visits, and write response papers following colloquium talks. Course emphasizes critical engagement with contemporary philosophical research.

Read More

An intensive individual exploration of how a particular philosopher inquires into a particular philosophical problem. Leads to the production of a senior essay. Must be taken prior to Senior Seminar (blocks 105). Arranged by the student and the department. Limited to senior philosophy majors.

Read More

Revision and presentation of senior essays. Students complete final drafts of their essays, respond to others' essays, and develop oral presentations contextualizing their essays in relation to the history of Western philosophy and comparative/critical philosophical perspectives. Pass/Fail Only.

Read More

Report an issue - Last updated: 02/08/2021