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. 

Sampling of recent courses offered in intellectual history

Note: This course list is for information purposes only and is not regularly updated. Consult my.harvard.edu for the most up-to-date information about course offerings.

Fall 2017:

HIST 1038: Debating Capitalism: The History of American Economic Thought

HIST 1050: Slavery and the Slave Trade in the Atlantic World

HIST 1318: History of the Book and of Reading

SOCWORLD 12: CHINA: Past, Present, Future

HIST 14A: The Medieval Mediterranean: Conflict and Unity, Tradition and Innovation

HIST 14F: Cities and Urban Life in Latin American History

HIST 14G: Race and Nation in Latin America

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 2300: Methods in Intellectual History: Graduate Proseminar

HIST 2400: readings in Colonial and Revolutionary America: Graduate Proseminar

 

Spring 2018:

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 97b: What is Intellectual History?

HIST 1046: Islamicate Societies to 1500

HIST 1155: Early Modern Europe, 1450–1789

HIST 1946: Syria: History, Politics, and Religion

 

Past Courses:

CULTBLF 20 | Reason and Faith in the West (Ann Blair) 

HIST 13k | Understanding Beethoven (Peter Gordon/Alexander Rehding)

HIST 97b | What is Intellectual History? (David Armitage)

HIST 83A | Markets and States: The History of Economic Thought Since 1750 (Emma Rothschild)

HIST 84f | Science and Religion in America (Andrew Jewett)

HIST 1323 | German Social Thought, Nietzsche to Habermas (Peter Gordon)

HIST 1324 | French Social Thought, Durkheim to Foucault (Peter Gordon)

HIST 1330 | Social Thought in Modern America (James Kloppenberg)

ETHRSON 12 | Political Justice and Political Trials (Charles Maier)