Fall 2019

Public Intellectuals

Listed in: History, as HIST-203


Adi Gordon (Section 01)


[EU/TC] This course explores the intellectual history of the “Age of Extremes” by focusing on its feuding political ideas and their chief advocates: the public intellectuals. Liberalism, Conservatism, Communism, and Fascism were all created by intellectuals, and all relied on intellectuals for their ideological struggle. The course will investigate the many – glorious and inglorious – careers of intellectuals of very different agendas, polities, legacies and fates (Arendt, Gramsci, De Beauvoir, Sartre, Orwell, Schmitt, to name a few). The course thus has two goals: first, it is an introduction to twentieth-century political ideas in their historical contexts; second, it is an examination of public intellectuals, their history, role, responsibility and even accountability. Course materials will include historical analysis and works of fiction; works of propaganda and works of art; manifestos and political trial confessions. Two class meetings per week.

Fall semester. Professor A. Gordon.


Attention to Issues of Class, Attention to Research, Transnational or World Cultures Taught in English


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019