History of Ideas History of Ideas History of Ideas History of Ideas History of Ideas

Interdisciplinary Programs

History of Ideas

Questions?

Brian Hoffert

5619

bhoffert@noctrl.edu

Imagine full class debates over the relative merits of the paganism and Christianity in Beowulf, or the implications and appropriateness of the punishments in Dante's Inferno. What would you have to say?

The History of Ideas is an interdisciplinary minor that invites faculty from many different areas, such as philosophy and religious studies, history, English, modern and classical languages, even psychology, to teach courses that engage our students in discussion of the major ideas and intellectual problems from antiquity to modernity, through the close study of primary texts. Favorite among History of Ideas students are Homer's Odyssey, Dante's Inferno and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

The History of Ideas program offers the challenge (and the satisfaction!) of trying to understand these texts within the context of traditions such as religion, philosophy, literature and the social sciences as well as considering topics such as art, gender or race.

Although these are honors courses, anyone can enroll in them and complete the minor. Think seminar-type courses sound a little dry? Not in History of Ideas! These courses are designed to encourage lively discussion of intellectually engaging issues.

History of Ideas Minor

For additional information on this program, see History of Ideas.

Minor Requirements

  • HOI 100 - Authority and Freedom

    HOI 100 - Authority and Freedom

    3.00 credit hours

    The introductory course to the History of Ideas program, designed to introduce some of the most important intellectual traditions in the ancient world in the period from 1000 BCE to 500 CE. The "texts" are global, representing traditions from East Asia, South Asia, the West, South America and Africa. The course engages fundamental questions about ways in which societies establish social order by balancing institutional authority and individual freedom. Honors course.

    Prerequisite(s)


    College Scholar or instructor consent.

    Core

    Humanities.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • HOI 210 - Cultures in Contact

    HOI 210 - Cultures in Contact

    3.00 credit hours

    Explores the expanding networks of cultural, commercial and religious exchange that mark the millennium between 500 and 1500, a period in which major events and trends confronted people with the problem of negotiating cultural difference and led to the development of new social and cultural forms. This course will examine how such encounters were experienced and interpreted during some of this era's major historical turning points. Honors course.

    Prerequisite(s)


    HOI 100; College Scholar or instructor consent.

    Core

    Humanities.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • HOI 220 - Power and Statecraft

    HOI 220 - Power and Statecraft

    3.00 credit hours

    Examines the rise of the West as the dominant culture and the rise of empire, in the period from 1500 to 1800. It will examine both influential accounts and critiques of the relationship between power and statecraft in multiple cultural traditions, both Western and non-Western. Honors course.

    Prerequisite(s)


    HOI 100; College Scholar or instructor consent.

    Core

    Humanities.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • HOI 230 - Revolutions

    HOI 230 - Revolutions

    3.00 credit hours

    A focus on the concept of revolution, broadly defined. It will consider different ways of defining "revolution" and how the term can be used. It will consider political revolutions, intellectual revolutions, artistic revolutions and technological revolutions, among others between 1800 and 2000. In the process, we will explore dramatic shifts in perception, including science, gender and empire. We will question whether revolution is specific to the "modern" era, and what "modernity" can mean. Lastly, as we think about revolutions, we will analyze how power works in different contexts, such as in gender relations, class relations and race relations. Honors course.

    Prerequisite(s)


    HOI 100; College Scholar or instructor consent.

    Core

    Humanities.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • HOI 360 - Advanced Seminar

    HOI 360 - Advanced Seminar

    3.00 credit hours

    Advanced level close reading of texts of pertaining to one major theme, which, or by one major figure, who has been studied in one of the previous four courses in the program or who addresses ideas and issues treated in one of the previous courses.. Course provides the opportunity for more indepth study of a narrower range of material. Topics for the seminar will be themes, thinkers, writers or artists who are recognized and established as major contributors to intellectual history, have had an important influence, or who are widely considered to be currently making a contribution of lasting significance to contemporary thought. Honors course.

    Prerequisite(s)


    College Scholar or instructor consent.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • HOI 395 - Capstone Seminar

    HOI 395 - Capstone Seminar

    3.00 credit hours

    Capstone course for Program. Provides opportunity for students to reflect on contemporary perspectives on the ideas met in the History of Ideas program. The seminar draws from multiple cultural traditions, both Western and non-Western, and includes perspectives on gender, sexuality, race, critiques of modernity. Honors course.

    Prerequisite(s)


    HOI 100; HOI 210; HOI 220; HOI 230; College Scholar or instructor consent.

    Schedule Of Classes

NOTE: This page contains all of the regular course descriptions for this discipline or program. Academic credit for each course is noted in parenthesis after the course title. Prerequisites (if any) and the general education requirements, both Core and All-College Requirements (ACRs), which each course fulfills (if any) are noted following each course description. Not all courses are offered every year. Check Merlin, our searchable course schedule, to see which courses are being offered in upcoming terms.

HOI 100 Authority and Freedom: 1000 BCE-5000 CE (3.00)
This is the introductory course to the History of Ideas program, designed to introduce some of the most important intellectual traditions in the ancient world. The texts are global, representing traditions from East Asia, South Asia, the West, South America and Africa. The course engages fundamental questions about ways in which societies establish social order by balancing institutional authority and individual freedom. Honors course. College Scholar or instructor consent. Core: Humanities; ACR: Religion & Ethics.

HOI 210 Cultures in Contact: 500-1500 (3.00)
This course explores the expanding networks of cultural, commercial, and religious exchange that mark the millennium between 500 and 1500, a period in which major events and trends confronted people with the problem of negotiating cultural differences and led to the development of new social and cultural forms. This course will examine how such encounters were experienced and interpreted during some of this era's major historical turning points. Honors course. College Scholar or instructor consent. Core: Humanities.

HOI 220 Power and Statecraft 1500-1800 (3.00)
This course examines the rise of the West as the dominant culture and the rise of empire. It will examine both influential accounts and critiques of the relationship between power and statecraft in mulitple cultural traditional, both Western and non-Western. Honors course. College Scholar or instructor consent. Core: Humanities.

HOI 230 Revolutions: 1800-2000 (3.00)
This course will focus on the concept of revolution, broadly defined. It will consider different ways of defining revolution and how the term can be used. It will consider political revolutions, intellectual revolutions, artistic revolutions, and technological revolution, among others. In the process, we will explore dramatic shifts in perception, including science, gender, and empire. We will questions whether revolution is specific to the modern era, and what modernity can mean. Lastly, as we think about revolutions, we will analyze how power works in different contexts, such as in gender relations, class relations, and race relations. Honors course. College Scholar or instructor consent. Core: Humanities.

HOI 360 Advanced Seminar (3.00)
Advanced level close reading of texts of pertaining to one major theme, which, or by one major figure, who has been studied in one of the previous four courses in the program or who addresses ideas and issues treated in one of the previous courses. Course provides the opportunity for more in-depth study of a narrower range of material. Topics for the seminar will be themes, thinkers, writers, or artists who are recognized and established as major contributors to intellectual history, have had an important influence, or who are widely considered to be currently making a contribution of lasting significance to contemporary thought. Same As: HON 360 Honors course. College Scholar or instructor consent.

HOI 395 Capstone Seminar (3.00)
Capstone course for Program. Provides opportunity for students to reflect on contemporary perspectives on the ideas met in the History of Ideas program. The seminar draws from multiple cultural traditions, both Western and non-Western, and includes perspectives on gender, sexuality, race, critiques of modernity. Same As: HON 395, IDS 395. Honors course. College Scholar or instructor consent. ACR: Intercultural.

Brian Hoffert

Associate Professor of Religious Studies and History; Coordinator of History of Ideas
REL,HST
5619
Michael de Brauw

Associate Professor of Modern and Classical Languages
MCL
630-637-5123
Luke Franks

Associate Professor of History; Coordinator of East Asian Studies
HST
630-637-5561
Shereen Ilahi

Associate Professor of History
HST
5616
Robert Lehe

Professor of Philosophy
PHL
630-637-5338
Wioleta Polinska

Professor of Religious Studies; Chairperson, Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy
REL
630-637-5317
Sohinee Roy

Associate Professor of English
ENG
5292

Extra-curricular and professional activities that will enrich your history of ideas education.

Students who have earned a minor in the History of Ideas have pursued an enormous number of careers and disciplines. Recent graduates have enrolled in doctoral programs in medicine, biology, mathematics, history and law. Others have moved into business, pursuing careers in computer firms, Ford Motor Company or starting their own businesses. Still others have pursued positions in government and non-profit organizations such as the Peace Corps. The History of Ideas prepares students to pursue the careers of their choice.


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