Yuval Yairi, Agnon's Library, 2006


This Spring 2016 HOID will offer TWO Core Seminars:

  • COML/HOI 103a Crime and Punishment: Justice and Criminality from Plato to Serial to be co-taught by Eugene Sheppard and David Sherman   Tues. & Thurs. 2:00 -- 3:20PM and
  • NEJS 154a World Without God: Theories of Secularization to be taught by Eugene Sheppard Mon. & Wed. 2:00 -- 3:20PM


Look at whose essay got included on the "what we're reading this week" list published on the Journal of the History of Ideas blog.  Hint: Eugene R. Sheppard, “On Old Stones, a Black Cat, and a New Zion” (Jewish Review of Books)

New UDRs: Morgan Brill '17 and Ariel Kagedan '16 were elected UDRs for 2015-2016!

Safier-Jolles Prize: Benjamin Steele '15 was awarded the 2015 Safier-Jolles Prize for Best Senior Thesis in the History of Ideas. His thesis was titled,"Habermas: Looking Backwards and Forwards" (advisor: Patrick Gamsby, History of Ideas).

March 25
The History of Ideas Program and the Sociology Department co-sponsored an event hosted by the Philosophy Department's Environmental Ethics Course:
Michael Löwy, École des hautes études en sciences sociales and Centre national de la recherche scientifique
"The Ethics of Ecosocialism: From Marx to the Present"

Click here for the video of Michael Löwy's March 25th Talk


One Dimensional Man Cake to celebrate a successful two day conference

One Dimensional Man Cake! to celebrate a very successful two day conference:

October 1-2, 2014
The Many Dimensions of Herbert Marcuse -- a two day conference that  explored the critical theory of Herbert Marcuse. Video recording available here!

The conference coincided with the 50th anniversary of the publication of Marcuse's most famous book, "One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society," and our recent discovery of an early draft of this book that was given to Brandeis by Marcuse himself. 


Examining the Origin, Development and Impact of Ideas

The history of ideas program offers students the opportunity to construct an independent course of study in the history of ideas. Santayana put it well in saying: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." To understand and evaluate our beliefs and commitments – even to understand the significance of the questions and problems that beset us – we need to trace their sources and their history.

Because ideas are expressed in social and political institutions as well as in philosophical, scientific, religious and literary works, the HOID program is distinguished by its multidisciplinary approach. Since political structures and institutions are themselves articulated in vigorous intellectual debates, we need to understand the ideas that have formed and continue to form them.

HOID proposes to provide students with the historical background of the issues and values that have shaped their interests. It is intended to provide students with the skills and the knowledge, the guidance and the freedom to construct a focused and rigorous course of study, one that explores the historical transformations of a set of ideas and institutions across several traditional disciplines.