The 'Hidden Causes' of History: Integrating the Social and the Economic (HA or LA)

Subject associations
FRE 328 / COM 463 / HUM 301 / ECS 335
Fall 2022
Celia L. Abele
Registrar description

Our aim is to examine how the "social" and the "economic" become intertwined. From Enlightenment narratives about the origins of civilization, whether philosophical, ethnographic, or fictional, by Swift, Rousseau, or Graffigny, we also consider history-writing by Voltaire and Gibbon. We read early economic and sociological thought by Malthus, Saint-Simon, Balzac, and Smith, and delve into the crystallization of broadly Marxist approaches to society and culture in Engels, Benjamin, and, of course, Marx. While the category of "literature" will be an important lens for our thinking, archival and historical approaches will also be stressed.