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History of Ideas Program records

Identifier: 02-MWalB00380A

Scope and Contents

The collection contains information relating to the founding and activities of the Center for the Humanities / History of Ideas Program in the early-to-mid 1980's through the early 1990's. Eugene Goodheart was named Director, with Erica Hearth occasionally serving as Acting Director. The collection contains records of the founding of the Center, internal and external correspondence, as well as information about its mission, goals, activities and accomplishments.


  • 1984-1994

Conditions Governing Access

Access to the collection is in accordance with the policies of the Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department, Brandeis University. Please contact the department for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests to reproduce or publish material from the collection should be directed to the Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department, Brandeis University.

Biographical / Historical

The History of Ideas Program began as a graduate program in 1954. At the beginning, many of its professors were history scholars—including the first chair of its graduate committee, Frank Edward Manuel (12 September 1910-2003)—though a few made their academic homes in the Department of Philosophy and the Department of Near Eastern Judaic Studies.

Over the course of its early existence, the History of Ideas Program was housed within several different departments, including History and Philosophy. In the 1980s and 1990s the program went through a period of reduced activity. By the spring semester of 2010 the History of Ideas Program had made the shift to undergraduate education, marking a change from former focus on graduate students. During that semester, History of Ideas offered two seminars to interested undergraduates—World Without God: Theories of Secularization (offered through the Department of Near Eastern Judaic Studies) and History of Ethics (offered by the Department of Philosophy).

The History of Ideas Program offers both a certificate of study and a minor to qualifying undergraduate students. During the 2016-2017 academic year it offers 25 cross-listed courses with programs and departments including Sociology, African and Afro-American Studies, European Cultural Studies, History, Philosophy, Near Eastern Judaic Studies, and several others.


2.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Other Descriptive Information

The materials in this collection are variously describing the History of Ideas Program and The Center for the Humanities. At this time it is unclear what the relationship between these two programs was, and whether one was under the umbrella of the other. The Center in this collection is not related to the current Mandel Center for the Humanities. It is this latter name that is at the head of the newsletters and annual reports within the collection.    23 August 2013

David Harris. Biog/Hist by Amity Pauley.
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Repository Details

Part of the Brandeis University Repository

415 South St.
Waltham MA

About Us

The Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department at Brandeis University consists of two collecting units, the University Archives and Special Collections. University Archives documents the history and development of Brandeis University and its faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Special Collections features a broad array of unique primary source materials across a wide range of disciplines that support research, teaching and learning at Brandeis. Learn more about our collections