Major in Global Intellectual History

The major in Global Intellectual History groups together course offerings from History, Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies, and the subfield of Political Theory in Government, within the broad framework of a cosmopolitan history of ideas. Equal emphasis is placed on close reading of key texts and rigorous contextualization of key texts, thinkers, and themes. The major takes the familiar model of History of Ideas as a point of departure, but aims to broaden the scope through deliberate cosmopolitanism and emphasis on non-European traditions and the transculturation of concepts.

Several of the required courses in the core curriculum introduce students to the disciplines involved in the program and thus serve as a foundation for the major: History Focus (HIST 1099) in History; Problem of God (THEO 1000) in Theology and Religious Studies; and Introduction to Philosophical Thought (PHIL 1903) in Philosophy. The second half of the core requirements in both History (i.e., the survey course) and Theology and Religious Studies (i.e., the intermediate elective) also count as courses within the major; the second core requirement in Philosophy does not count in the major, given the dedicated history sequence in Philosophy required in the major. The major thus requires a total of 10 courses, but only eight courses beyond the core requirement.

The major in Global Intellectual History requires ten (10) courses as follows:

History Surveys (2)

Any two of the following history surveys: Intro to Early (1401), Intro to Late (1402), Atlantic World (1106), Pacific World (1107), Africa I (1200), Africa II (1201), South Asia I (1307), South Asia II (1308), Latin America I (1503), Latin America II (1504), Middle East I (1601), or Middle East II (1602).

NB: Because all students are required to take one of the above surveys in order to fulfill the core requirement in History, students majoring in Global Intellectual History are required to take one additional survey, for a total of two.

Theology and Religious Studies (1)

The intermediate elective in the core requirement also serves as the dedicated course in Theology and Religious Studies within the major. In general, course offerings will focus on global or non-Western religious traditions; on pluralisms and interfaith dialogue; and/or on the relationship between religion and politics (as articulated in the Religion, Politics, and the Common Good concentration within the main campus major).

Political Theory (1)

An introduction to the field of political philosophy. This course will be a version of Elements of Political Theory (GOVT 1800) as taught on the main campus, but with the potential to depart slightly from that course and introduce a broader range of texts, thinkers, and traditions.

History of Philosophy (2)

A cosmopolitan Philosophy in the Ancient World course and a Philosophy in the Modern World course. These courses will be comparable to PHIL 3801 and PHIL 3802 in the main campus major in Philosophy, but with a distinctive curriculum that engages with non-Western traditions and, in keeping with the interdisciplinary framework of the major, thinkers not typically covered in the History of Philosophy.

Global Intellectual History Seminars (3)

This tier of courses is for advanced work in the major, with opportunities to work in greater depth on thinkers, topics, periods, or regions of interest to faculty and students. These seminars will be roughly equivalent to 3000+ courses (i.e., department seminars) in Government, 3000+ courses in History, or 4000+ courses in Philosophy and Theology and Religious Studies. They might be similar to or versions of upper-level courses taught within these major programs on the main campus, but there is significant potential for interdisciplinary offerings here, including contributions from other interdisciplinary programs (e.g., African American Studies, Comparative Literature, Women’s and Gender Studies, et al.) when those courses are historical in approach or in dialogue with important philosophical or theological concepts.

Senior Capstone (1)

Emphasis on mentored research, sharing of work in progress, and integration and reflection.