To study cultural history at Duke is to question methodological orthodoxies and engage the challenge of writing history in vibrant and multi-faceted ways. Coursework in method, theory, and interpretation explore the impact of Critical and Social Theory, Cultural Anthropology, and Literary analysis on the making of Cultural History and its methodology. Learning different analytical frameworks and interpretive skills, applying them to different mediums (text, image, film), and historicizing the formation of cultural history constitute crucial vectors in students’ training. The conversation about pressing methodological and interpretive questions continues virtually in all courses offered by the department when students critically explore limits and possibilities of novel and established categories of historical analysis as well as academic discourses on power, knowledge, empire, nation, state, race, citizenship, womanhood, and manhood. The rich corpus of interpretive tools that cultural historians have produced over past few decades thus serves as an effective languages of intellectual exchange and inquiry and brings together an active scholarly community that works across a broad range of geographical areas and thematic subfields, such as gender history, legal history, military history, history of race and ethnicity, labor history, intellectual history, transnational and comparative colonial history.
Department and Affiliated Faculty whose interests and research intersects with the study and practice of Cultural History:
War, military, and society in Europe and the U.S.
U.S., South, legal, race, women, and gender
Cultural theory; Marxism; politics and culture
Social and political theory; the Central European Jewish intelligentsia; diasporas and multiculturalism
Modern Russia; Stalinist and Soviet culture and identity formation; cultural theory; literary analysis; historical methodology and interpretation
Modern United States; African-American; identity and encounter; White Supremacy as a Cultural Form
Mughal and British Empires, visual history, history of cartography
Early modern European political, religious, book and popular culture
Colonial Latin American cultural history, transnational/transcultural sexuality
Seventeenth- to nineteenth-century Britain and British Empire, particularly in India and Africa; history of politics, political thought, and political culture; cartography and geography of empire
History of globalization; economic history; material culture; connected cultures