Intellectual History

Intellectual history is a diverse and thriving field of inquiry that emphasizes the transformation of ideas, ideologies, intellectuals, and scholarly institutions over time. To get a better idea of what intellectual history is, we recommend you read Peter Gordon's helpful introduction to the subject

Harvard’s department of history is home to a great many intellectual historians. For sheer number, there are perhaps more of us here than at any other single department in Europe or North America, joined by affiliated faculty in Harvard's department of philosophy, in the department of government, and history of science. We work on topics spanning the centuries and crossing the globe, from Asia to the Americas and from Ancient Greece to Modern Europe. 

(Courses offered by History Department faculty automatically count for the History concentration)

Fall 2020:

  • FS 40J: Advice to Young Leaders
  • FS 72G: The American Democratic Tradition: Past, Present and Future
  • GENED 1034: Texts in Transition
  • HIST 1323: German Social Thought, Nietzsche to Habermas

Spring 2021:

  • HIST 97B: “What is Intellectual History”
  • HIST 1004: Modern Europe, 1789 to the Present
  • HIST 1144: The Renaissance in Florence
  • HIST 1324: French Social Thought, Durkheim to Foucault
  • HIST 2300: Methods in Intellectual History: Proseminar
  • HIST 2111: Humanism and the Classical Tradition in the Italian renaissance: Seminar
  • HIST 2341B: Religion and Public Life in America: Seminar (new Warren Center Seminar)

Past Course Offerings on Intellectual History:

  • HIST 14A: The Medieval Mediterranean: Conflict and Unity, Tradition and Innovation
  • HIST 14C: Tell Old Pharoah: Histories of “Contraband Camps” and Self-Emancipation in the Civil War Era
  • HIST 14D: From the Belle Epoque to the Third Reich: Culture and Aesthetics in France and Germany, 1880–1945
  • HIST 14F: Cities and Urban Life in Latin American History
  • HIST 14G: Race and Nation in Latin America
  • HIST 14U: The Political Thought of Christendom
  • HIST 14V: Walter Benjamin
  • HIST 97B: What is Intellectual History?
  • HIST 1038: Debating Capitalism: The History of American Economic Thought
  • HIST 1046: Islamicate Societies to 1500
  • HIST 1050: Slavery and the Slave Trade in the Atlantic World
  • HIST 1155: Early Modern Europe, 1450–1789
  • HIST 1300: Western Intellectual History: Greco-Roman Antiquity
  • HIST 1330: Social Thought in Modern America
  • HIST 1333: Hegel and Marx
  • HIST 1318: History of the Book and of Reading
  • HIST 1900: Feminisms and Pornography, c. 1975–­1995
  • HIST 1911: Pacific History
  • HIST 1917: Are You Now or Have You Ever Been an Android?: The New Materialism
  • HIST 1946: Syria: History, Politics, and Religion
  • HIST 2300: Methods in Intellectual History: Graduate Proseminar
  • HIST 2400: readings in Colonial and Revolutionary America: Graduate Proseminar
  • HIST 2955A: History of Global Capitalism: Seminar
  • SOCWORLD 12: CHINA: Past, Present, Future

*Please be sure to check the Courses section of the History Website for more information on which of these courses count towards the History concentration and secondary field. Also, while we endeavor to keep this list current, it may not reflect all courses actually offered.*