Courses meet each day (Monday through Friday): in-person classroom discussions led by Stanford faculty in the morning, and discussion sections led by graduate student teaching assistants in the afternoon.
“Revolutions are the locomotives of history,” wrote Karl Marx. As the ongoing turmoil of the Middle East reminds us, revolutions have the power to reshape the political order of the world more than any other social, economic, or cultural forces. Most states today were born out of a revolution. But what exactly is a revolution?
In this course we will study aspects of this historical phenomenon: read many of its most famous texts, reflect on how the Romans thought of themselves and others, trace the history of one of its texts, considered most dangerous by some, follow its rise and fall as an empire, and remark throughout on how different it is from Western societies today, even though the latter are profoundly indebted to it.
The American Enlightenment spanned the years roughly 1770 to 1820, some of the most exciting and tumultuous in American and European history. During this half century, such world-changing events as the American, Haitian, and French Revolutions, and the transatlantic Enlightenment stretched people's thinking into many new and unexpected directions.
In this course, we consider what philosophers, psychologists, anthropologists, neuroscientists, writers, and artists have to say about happiness and reflect on its relationship to love, belonging, community, fame, fortune, freedom, spirituality, and mortality. We move between Asian and Western sources and interrogate deeply held assumptions through the lens of cross-cultural inquiry.
From Sally Hemings to Barack Obama, this course explores the ways that racial identity has been experienced, represented, and contested throughout American history. Engaging historical, legal, and literary texts and films, we will examine the major historical transformations that have shaped our understandings of racial identity.
Through readings from the foundational works in the ancient Greek philosophical tradition, as well as modern and contemporary philosophy, this course explores questions concerning knowledge, love, identity, and death.
The colonial era saw widespread extraction of cultural treasures by European powers across the globe. Greece, Egypt, and other countries have maintained that these objects belong at home rather than in the museums of London, Paris, and New York. This class invites you to consider the role of African art in debates about ownership, access, and aesthetics. Stanford University, for example, has a large collection of African objects in the Cantor Museum, while in nearby San Francisco, the renowned De Young Museum has a significant selection in its Africa gallery.
We offer more humanities courses through Stanford Pre-Collegiate Summer Institutes. These courses are highlighted below. Please note: Stanford Pre-Collegiate Summer Institutes is another program that requires a different application from Stanford Summer Humanities Institute. You can use the same application account to begin and submit applications for both programs.
The deadline to apply for Stanford Pre-Collegiate Summer Institutes courses is March 29, 2024.