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History and Methods

The History and Method area takes a deep dive into the evolution of European thought as it emerged through what has been called the “Enlightenment”, “Renaissance” and “Reformation” eras. It offers a collection of courses that explore the key ideas that gave rise to our contemporary mainstream understanding of the nature and place of history, historical process and the method of knowing the world through historical master narratives. Ranging from the origins of the Aryan Race theory to the emergence of Anti-Semitism, Protestant Christianity and its interactions with Enlightenment, the rise of German identity and interest in Sanskrit, the emergence of German Indology, the European split between Science and Religion, the evolution of contemporary ideas of rationality, morality, intellectual progress, the relationship between the individual and the state, liberty, secularism and religious tolerance, these courses enable the student to trace the arc of development of contemporary mainstream western thought. Focusing on the ways in which European (now western) thought creates fundamental polarization and conflict between religion and science, reason and revelation, religious and secular, tradition and modernity, progressivism and regressivism, private and public, white and non-white and so on – these courses allow students to reflect on how these foundational sets of ideas have “set the table” of contemporary debate, well into our 21st century. By reviewing specific Philosophers and Thinkers and the critical writings that set this table, students will be enabled to inquire into the role and purpose of the field of contemporary Humanities as a special stream of study for self-cultivation, aesthetic appreciation and the development of a wider intellectual horizon and explore to what extent the promise of the humanities and the modern university have been thwarted by special and entrenched interests, leading to fundamental disconnects between the university and the wider public. Ultimately, this area of study, aims to enable students to engage with contemporary social and political debates, from a place of thoughtful and critical reflection and adequate historical context. 

Hunamities

The Humanities and the University – II

Inspired by neo-humanism, the research university was to facilitate self-cultivation, aesthetic appreciation (especially through knowledge of classical antiquity), and a Read More
Philosophical Foundations of Orientalism

Philosophical Foundations of Orientalism

Orientalism employs a technique termed “deconstruction.” In order to effectively and critically examine a colonial and postcolonial discourse, it is Read More
Historicism and Its Crisis

Historicism and Its Crisis

The intellectual movement known as historicism dominated the nineteenth century. At its simplest, it is the view that history is Read More
Textual Criticism

Textual Criticism

This course teaches the fundamentals of textual criticism. Alongside a historical survey of scribal and editorial practices, we shall explore Read More
The Humanities and the University - I

The Humanities and the University – I

Inspired by neo-humanism, the research university was to facilitate self-cultivation, aesthetic appreciation (especially through a knowledge of classical antiquity), and Read More
The Philosophy of History

The Philosophy of History

Building on “Historical Methods and Sources,” this course introduces students to the philosophy of history, i.e., the philosophical inquiry into Read More
Historical Methods and Sources

Historical Methods and Sources

As a mode of knowing, history has acquired unparalleled prestige. We now think that to know when, where and under Read More
The Enlightenment

The Enlightenment

The Age of Enlightenment or, simply, the Enlightenment extended from the late seventeenth to the eighteenth century. This epoch had Read More
German Indology

German Indology

German Indology, a field of inquiry that emerged in nineteenth-century Germany calls itself the “science of Indian antiquity” and “the Read More
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