History and Culture

  • Explores Varying Interpretations of Historic Events
  • Identifies Patterns and Trends
  • Provides Lively Discussion and Debate

To understand the present, we first must know the past. These courses focus on the origins of civilization, explore the causes and effects of world events, and debate conflicting interpretations of past events. From the world stage to New York City’s five boroughs, examine how history impacts our lives today.

This semester, study in-person or from anywhere in the world from the safety and comfort of your home through online or remote instruction.

Central Europe 1848-1948: From Empires and Revolutions to the Dawn of the Cold War

Register for this Fall 2022 course on the new NYU SPS Academy of Lifelong Learning website. This course will analyze the geopolitical...

2022 Fall
1 section

Racial and Social Justice Offline and Online

Learn how to conduct successful social and racial justice campaigns.

2022 Fall
1 section

The Supreme Court and Issues of Church and State

Explore the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment and the Supreme Court’s decisions about religion in recent years.

2022 Fall
1 section

Antique Skyscrapers and the Tycoons Who Built Them

Tour landmark skyscrapers across America and learn about the Gilded Age barons who funded their construction.

2022 Fall
1 section

Inspired by Real Life: Reading and Writing Exofiction in French

Register for this Fall 2022 course on the new NYU SPS Academy of Lifelong Learning website. Explore French exofiction—a new literary...

2022 Fall
1 section

America in the World: Confronting the Scourge of Political Polarization

Explore how studying other democracies can shed light on the troubled present—and possible future—of American politics and government.

2022 Fall
1 section

Digital Identities: From Social Networks to Deepfakes

Explore how digital identities are created and manipulated.

2022 Fall
1 section

The Battle Against Online Misinformation

Learn how to identify and combat fake news and misinformation campaigns on the internet

2022 Fall
1 section

Exploring the Two CRTs: Critical Race Theory and Culturally Responsive Teaching

Understand what CRT really means and explore the debate around Critical Race Theory and Culturally Responsive Teaching.

2022 Fall
1 section

Georgian England: Cities of Elegance and Art

Explore England’s historic cities and discover the splendors of the Georgian era.


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International Relations

Gain an in-depth understanding of the post-Cold War world order and the Cold War’s impact on current geopolitical and economic landscapes.

2022 Fall
1 section

The United States Supreme Court in the 21st Century

Explore the United States Supreme Court’s major decisions during the last 20 years.

2022 Fall
1 section

Spies at War: Fact vs. Fiction

Register for this Fall 2022 course on the new NYU SPS Academy of Lifelong Learning website. World War II was a critical challenge...

2022 Fall
1 section

Behind the Scenes in New York: Preserving a City of Historic Neighborhoods

Gain a community-based view of how neighborhoods use the New York City Landmarks Law to determine the future of their communities.

2022 Fall
1 section

"Remember the Ladies": First Ladies and Power-Sharing in the Executive Mansion

Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in the 1840s: "to what the singular prosperity and growing strength of [the American ] people ought mainly to...

Aztec Culture and the Spanish Invasion of Mexico

In this course, we will explore the rich culture and history of Aztec civilization through the period of Spanish invasion and colonization. The...

Changing City: From Greenwich Village to Grand Central

In four illustrated lectures, see how New York City neighborhoods change with the times, and how the look of the City itself changes.

Symphonies in Stone: The Medieval Cathedrals of England and Scotland

Follow the path from England’s awe-inspiring Canterbury Cathedral to the dramatic ruins of St. Andrew’s, overlooking the North Sea...

The American Southwest: A New History for an Ancient Land

Explore the art, history, and cultures of the Southwest, from ancient Native American homeland to contemporary multicultural mosaic.

The Changing City: From Midtown to the Upper East and West Sides

In four illustrated lectures, see how New York City neighborhoods change with the times, and how the look of the City itself changes.

The Immigration Act of 1924 (Almost) 100 Years Later

The Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Oscar Handlin famously wrote, “Once I thought to write a history of the immigrants in America. Then I...

The Italians: Shapers of Western Civilization

Explore Italians’ cultural heritage, which stretches from ancient Rome to present day and from science and architecture to art and writing.

The Nazi Regime: Tracing the Historical Path to Incomparable Horror

Trace the ascent and collapse of the Nazi regime, including the role of ordinary Germans in the atrocities perpetrated under Nazi rule.

The Nixon Presidency

Richard Nixon emerged victorious in the turbulent election of 1968 after serving as Vice-President throughout most of the 1950s and nearly...

The Politics of Containment: What It Was, and Why It Still Matters

Learn the about the US Cold War policy of containment and its ripple effects that can still be seen and felt today.

Italian I

This course focuses on the pronunciation, vocabulary, useful expressions, and grammatical structures that allow for effective communication in...

Johann Sebastian Bach and His Musical Sons: A Family Portrait in Sound

Explore Baroque and Classical music through the work of Johann Sebastian Bach and his four musical sons

A History of New York City

Gain an understanding of the history of New York City, including politics, finance, architecture, and arts, from its Native American roots to today.

An Introduction to Intersectionality: Positioning and Situating Identities

Learn how our different identities relate to social norms and how we can become better allies for every member of our society.

An Introduction to Islamic History

Explore Islamic history during the first six centuries of its existence.

Ancient Near East Culture and the Birth of Judeo-Christian Religious Traditions

Explore the history and culture of the ancient Near East, including its cultural legacy as birthplace of the Judeo-Christian religious traditions.

Becoming a Better Ally: How to Collaborate with Marginalized Groups

Learn to develop meaningful relationships with allies in order to be an effective...

Medieval Splendors: The Great Cathedrals of Northern Europe from Bruges to Scandinavia

Uncover the rich heritage of northern Europe’s medieval cathedrals, including the spectacular Belgian cathedrals at Ghent, Bruges (the...

Understanding Race in a Global Context

Learn to understand and discuss race in a global context.

A Holistic Look at Iran: Economics, Religion, Politics, and More

Take a holistic look at the various aspects of Iran: environment, ethnolinguistic composition, religious proclivities, economics, and politics.

Microaggressions and Racial Stress: Reducing Harmful Interactions

Learn to identify and reduce microaggressions and to communicate effectively with people of color.

The US-Latin America Relationship: Past, Present, and Future

The United States’ relationship with Latin America has been and continues to be one of the most important and controversial relationships...