Yuval Yairi, Agnon's Library, 2006

Upcoming Events

October 30
Howard Eiland of MIT will be speaking on Walter Benjamin as Flâneur, "Reality as Palimpsest"
in the Mandel Center Reading Room at 2:00PM

November 20
The History Dept.'s Ray Ginger Lecture featuring:
Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen University of Wisconsin-Madison,
"Words of Wisdom: The Market for Aphorism in American Culture, 1970-present"

5 - 6:30pm Olin-Sang 207
Co-sponsored by History of Ideas and the Mandel Center for the Humanities


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.

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.