Modernity and the Discourse of the Social Sciences

Critically engage with the conjoined history of modernity and the social sciences

Perhaps no other idea in the history of human civilizations has been as globally confounding and consequential as​‘modernity,’ be it as a periodizing marker, an ontological condition, or an epistemological outlook. Indeed, there is nothing in our concrete social existence today that modernity has not made and remade in its own image, for its own propagation, for its intrinsic drive towards totality over the past five hundred years or so. In fact, the various disciplines that today comprise the social sciences first emerged as a response to and then as a handmaiden of the epochal changes that announced the world as modern in economic, political, social, cultural, temporal and geographic terms. This final course in the core curriculum invites students to critically engage with this conjoined history of modernity and the social sciences, and look at how they have shaped each other. discourse that these debates have brought forth and looks at both the possibilities and limits of interdisciplinarity. The course will end with a collective reflection on the possibilities of a critically sharp, ethically responsible, socially empathetic, and methodologically imaginative way of doing the social sciences, located as we are in the third decade of the 21 st century, looking ahead.