• Current Courses

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        General Admission Contact
        The New School for Social Research
        Office of Admission

        79 Fifth Avenue, 5th floor
        New York, NY 10003
        212.229.5600 or 800.523.5411

        Admissions Liaison
        Çagla Orpen

        Committee on Historical Studies
        80 Fifth Avenue, 5th floor
        New York, NY 10011
        Tel: 212.229.5100 x3385
        Fax: 212.229.5929

        Oz Frankel

        Senior Secretary
        Annie Huaraca

        Student Advisor
        Çagla Orpen

        Historical Studies Student Handbook (PDF)


    • Courses in the Department of Historical Studies explore what happened in the past to understand what's happening now. Students study the most important theories of the discipline and learn to rethink accepted foundations through a modern lens. Ideas are explored through research, reading, writing, and discussion.

      Courses from the curriculum include:

      • GHIS 5192 The New School @ 100
        Julia Foulkes
        In 1919, The New School for Social Research opened with courses in the social sciences, social work, and public affairs. The school did not seek to be a university; it did not offer formal degrees. The founders — several of them "new historians" — sought to make education relevant to the issues of the day, to remain ever new. Soon the New School expanded its course offerings into the arts and psychology. A few years later, it became an unprecedented haven for refugee scholars from Europe and home to the Dramatic Workshop. In this course, we look at what ideas defined learning here, and we conduct research in the university’s archives with an eye to the school's centenary in 2019. Students may explore the history of the school in a number of ways, including delving into the funding of the school; examining other important events of 1919, including what was happening at Mannes and Parsons, much later to join The New School; creating a historical guide or tour of the school; connecting the school’s history to the 400 Years of Inequality project (400yearsofinequality.org); and updating the website thenewschoolhistory.org.
      • GHIS 5233 Gender, Politics and History
        Elaine Abelson
        This seminar explores aspects of women's history and the history of gender in the United States over the past two centuries. The course stresses the themes of difference among women and between women and men as a means of examining the social construction of gender and the logic of feminist analysis and activity. Students discuss the major themes in gender history, develop critical and analytical skills, and examine current and on-going theoretical (and controversial) debates. The course analyzes such key conceptual and methodological frameworks as gender, class, sexuality, power, and race. Thematically organized, readings include both primary and secondary material.
      • GHIS 5829 Enlightened Exchanges
        Gina Walker
        In this course, we read recently recovered published and private conversations between male and female thinkers that shed new light on women's participation in the Enlightenment. We study the theological correspondence between Anna Maria van Schurman, Gisbertus Voetius, Andre Rivet, Jean Labbadie, and Bathsua Makin; Gabrielle Suchon's affinity for Spinoza; the philosophical interplay of Rene Descartes and Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia; Marie le Jars de Gournay's complex response to Michel de Montaigne; Marie Madeleine Jodin's political education in Diderot's library; and the personal and intellectual communications between Damaris Cudworth and John Locke, Emile du Chatelet and Voltaire, Margaret Cavendish and Frances Bacon, and John Milton and Lucy Hutchinson. We consider women's idiosyncratic use of the Classical tradition in their engagement with canonical ideas and their reactions to one another, the new knowledge they produced, and the volatile public reception to "the equality of the sexes." We review contemporaneous and modern analyses of Poullain de la Barre's Cartesian argument that "the mind has no sex" as a litmus test of the current diffusion of female intellectuals' works and focus on their reputations.
      • GHIS 6133 Historiography and Historical Practice
        Oz Frankel
        This course focuses on U.S. history to explore current permutations of historiographical interests, practices, and methodologies. Over the last few decades, U.S. history has offered particularly fertile ground for rethinking the historical, although many of these topics and themes have shaped the study of other nations and societies. American history has been largely rewritten by a generation of scholars who experienced the 1960s and its aftermath and viewed America's past as a field of inquiry and contestation of great political urgency. Identity politics, the culture wars, and other forms of organization and debate have also endowed U.S. historiography with unprecedented public resonance in a culture that had been notoriously amnesiac. We examine major trends and controversies in American historiography, the history of the historical profession, the emergence of race and gender as cardinal categories of historical analysis, popular culture as history, the impact of memory studies on historical thinking, the recurrent agonizing over American exceptionalism, and the current efforts to break the nation-state mold and to globalize American history. Another focus will be the intersection of analytical strategies borrowed from the social sciences and literary studies with methods of historicization that originated from the historical profession.
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