Szelényi teaches Social Theory
Yale’s Open Courses projects has some very interesting offerings, including Shelley Kagan’s famous course on Death, and Chris Hayes’ Introduction to the Old Testament. Right now they’re featuring Foundations of Modern Social Theory taught by the terrific Iván Szelényi, seen here in full flow and looking rather like a dapper, more genial and engaging version of a statue to some cold-war communist party leader. The course really does take a “Foundations” approach, starting with Hobbes and spending quite a bit of time on Locke, Montesquieu, Rousseau, and Smith—not so common in sociology these days. Marx, Weber, and Durkheim get multiple lectures to themselves, while Mill, Nietzsche, and Freud get air time as well. Great stuff.