Undergraduate Fields of Specialization: Cultural and Intellectual History
Cultural and Intellectual History
Students in the intellectual and cultural history track explore the various ways in which ideas, beliefs, symbols, and other cultural markers have influenced human history. Some course offerings center on the role of culture in shaping a particular society, while others interrogate how ideas and cultural concepts have crossed geographic boundaries and shape political disputes. Along the way, students will consider how a focus on culture might complicate or challenge more traditional methods of understanding history, such as political history. The Department’s course offerings in the area of intellectual and cultural history span the globe and range chronologically from late antiquity to the present. Sample course offerings include: a survey of the role of law and culture in shaping late Imperial China; an examination of the place of film, literature, and music in African history; an investigation of how Genghis Khan and the Mongols influenced the culture of Eurasia; an analysis of struggles over the ideas and practices of power and authority in early America/early modern Britain; an exploration of gender and popular culture in modern Britain; and an assessment of the origins and evolution of Islamic Reformism in the modern Middle East.