What's the Idea of the History of Ideas?

During the 2013-14 academic year, we meet on Mondays and Thursdays, from 10.00 to 12.00, in room 304 Gilman.

F.R. Leavis (1895-1978)

posted Jan 6, 2014, 2:49 AM by Professor Katz   [ updated Jan 6, 2014, 2:53 AM ]

F.R. Leavis, and with his wife Queenie Dorothy Roth [Q.D. Leavis] (1906-81), and a letter that Leavis wrote (25 January 1954), giving some reading suggestions, probably to a teacher who was trying to help his student get into Cambridge (click to enlarge):


Andrew Dickson White (1832-1918)

posted Nov 12, 2013, 12:48 AM by Professor Katz   [ updated Nov 12, 2013, 12:51 AM ]

Andrew Dickson White in 1885
30 December 1889: the officers of the American Historical Association.  Seated (left to right): William Poole, Justin Winsor, Charles Kendall Adams, George Bancroft, John Jay, and Andrew Dickson White.  Standing (left to right): Herbert B. Adams and C.W. Bowen.

There is a statue of Andrew Dickson White at Cornell University.  (Those are not my children!)

Draper House

posted Nov 12, 2013, 12:34 AM by Professor Katz   [ updated Nov 12, 2013, 12:35 AM ]

The house that Draper lived in, and where he built his observatory and took his first astro-photographs of the moon (1840),
is located in Hastings-on-Hudson, just north of the New York City border.  It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1975.  I've attached the application that was submitted: not a very impressive piece of historical writing, but it did the trick.  It seems that the observatory itself was destroyed at some point, but there is a public park (Draper Park!) outside the house: a very popular place for Walking the Dog.

John William Draper (1811-1882)

posted Nov 12, 2013, 12:21 AM by Professor Katz


Henry Thomas Buckle (1821-1862): Bad Hair Day

posted Nov 2, 2013, 8:28 AM by Professor Katz   [ updated Nov 3, 2013, 1:29 AM ]

Buckle never claimed to have invented sociology, but he might have invented the comb-over.  He should have known that it never fools anybody.  Politicians should learn that it only makes them look untrustworthy....

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