History, Culture and Thought

University of Alcala

Visit Website

The proposed program part of the interdisciplinary composition of the Department of History and Philosophy, resulting from the merger of the Departments of History I and Philosophy and History II. Its main objective is to specifically train students in the different specialties that characterize the study of history, completed with the diachronic perspective introduced by the History of thought, the social history of written culture and the history of art.

As a result of this the present title is able to provide a series of scientific knowledge articulated around four lines of research:

1) Prehistory and Archeology. It deals with the social, cultural, economic, religious and artistic aspects of different cultures, from the first hominids to the first written manifestations. Consideration is also given to aspects that refer both to the recovery and study of material remains from different periods, as well as the representation and assessment that each epoch makes of the oldest historical periods.

2) Ancient and medieval history of societies. It deals with the political, social, cultural, economic and religious aspects of the different cultures that have developed in the ancient and medieval ages. Other aspects that refer both to research methods and to the study of sources from those times and to the representation and valuation that each epoch makes of the historical periods mentioned are also taken into consideration.

3) Thought and written culture. This line of research aims to study ideas of a philosophical and scientific nature, on the one hand, and popular ideas and the majority of populations, on the other. The analysis of philosophical and scientific ideas pays special attention to the authors, schools and movements most representative of the History of thought, putting them in relation with the historical, linguistic, political and cultural contexts within which these ideas have emerged and influenced. From a broader plane regarding the number of individuals, the written culture studies the role played by writing in the long term, paying particular attention to the function and social diffusion of writing from the late Middle Ages to the Contemporary Age. It is intended to know the problems of access to writing at all times and the effective practices resulting from the unequal literacy, as well as the different policies of written memory.

4) Historical identity and artistic legacy in modern and contemporary Spain. This line of research studies the social, cultural, economic and religious manifestations of the modern and contemporary eras, without neglecting the relations and interactions with Europe and America, and including the aesthetic manifestations throughout history, paying particular attention to how much it has to do with the creation, expression and diffusion of any artistic object in its corresponding context and determining the practices, techniques and materials that have been used at all times, as well as how it affects the creators or users of the work of art.

The integration of these lines reinforces the understanding of the relationships established between historical events, writing as an important support of human memory, the work of art and philosophical creation.

This Doctoral Program is a continuation of the existing ones in the Departments of History I and Philosophy and History II. As such, it responds to the existence of a demand that has been occurring for more than two decades in the different areas of knowledge in the field of History and Humanities studies at the University of Alcalá. These Areas are those indicated above, all of them with deep-rooted tradition in Spanish and European universities, so the offer of a doctoral program that includes them seems more than justified. To this justification based on the history of the teachings, the teaching of the same in the Degrees in History and Humanities must be added, which also comes to suppose an additional justification of an offer that, in the academic plane, allows the culmination of the university education of those students who wish it. On the social level, on the other hand, there is the circumstance that this Doctorate has been nourished by students from the University of Alcalá, as has been said, but it is also a program that attracts students (many of them teachers) of colleges and institutes) that, having studied at other universities, currently work in the geographical area that most identifies with our University (the Henares County, most of the province of Guadalajara), and tend to seek their doctorate in Alcalá. I

In the scientific field, it is a Program that has among its merits the diversity of specialization possibilities offered to students. In this sense, if its scientific interdisciplinarity has been satisfying those needs up to now, it is not risky to want to reaffirm its continuity. This, in addition, comes to reinforce and give channel through training to the research task developed by teachers, and that would run the risk of closing for society if it were not possible to transmit to doctoral students.