Allan Megill's Homepage

Professor of History at the University of Virginia

This web site contains a curriculum vitae, a guide for prospective graduate students, and various syllabi.

AN ADDITION OF NOTE: As of May 2003, the Dictionary of the History of Ideas, first published by Scribner's in 1973-74 but long out of print, is available in a Web-based version. Click here for access to it:

In some ways the digitized Dictionary of the History of Ideas is easier and more pleasant to use than the original book version. I draw your attention in particular to the complex search function, which outperforms the original index volume of the work. Digitization of the DHI was made possible by a grant from the Journal of the History of Ideas, and by additional material and technical support from the Electronic Text Center of the University of Virginia's Alderman Library.

If you did not enter my site here via the University of Virginia history department link, do access the brief statement that I include there. That link is to be found at the bottom of this web page. Note that my material under the UVa history department is usually out of date. I have no way of directly accessing and updating my page there.

The general UVa site is useful. It allows you to cruise around in such places as the Registrar's Office (under "Administrative Offices"), where you can check out UVa's Course Offerings. "HIEU," under Quick Search, will allow you to view all courses in European history in current or adjacent semesters; in addition, "HIST" will show whether I am offering Philosophy of History--because it is relevant to all fields of history, it appears under the general history "mnemonic." The best way of looking at UVa's course offerings generally (in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences) is by choosing the "text only" option. Avoid bells and whistles. The UVa libraries site is excellent, although outsiders will not be able to access all the fancy options that insiders can use. Alderman, the main research library, has become technically much improved in the last several years, and it has also become a quite pleasant place in which to work.

If you want to see what I am currently interested in, look at the more recent publications in the "publications" section of my curriculum vitae, and at my more recent activities further down in the cv. My specialties are both modern European intellectual history and philosophy of history, but convention forbids the writing of a dissertation in philosophy of history in a history department, and so anyone writing a dissertation with me has to do it on a first-order historical subject.

You will find the syllabi for a variety of courses here on my personal site. In general, you should click on the more recent version if I happen to have left more than one version of a course in the Syllabi directories (of which there are two: an older one and a more recent one). The courses include the following:

  • HIEU 381: Marxism: What Can Be Learned From It? (lecture course). This is available in several versions: syllabus, description, and other material for the most recent (spring 2003) version all have filenames beginning 38103.
  • HIEU 378: Origins of Modern Thought (lecture course). This course attempts to survey main themes in European theory from Montaigne to Sartre. It is an impossible span, but I do what I can.
  • HIST 506: Philosophy of History (colloquium). In this course I attempt to offer a kind of combination of a reflective history of modern European historiography with theorizing about the enterprise of understanding the past. I am also working seriously in this field. Customarily, every semester that I teach this course I have an article or two in the works, and I talk through these article drafts in class. I last taught this course in spring 2003. (Note also that in the Spring 2001 and after directory there is a large file that offers an annotated bibliography in the philosophy of history. It appears in both an HTML and a PDF version. It is admittedly far from complete and ends around 1990, but perhaps some will find it interesting. The HTML version is searchable using your browser search function; the PDF version prints out much more neatly.
  • HIEU 380: Origins of Contemporary Thought (lecture course). I last taught this course in fall 2002.
  • HIEU 507 Modern Theory: Marx, Sartre, Arendt, Foucault [the selection of theorists sometimes changes] (colloquium). I last taught this course in fall semester 2001.
  • HIEU 508 Modernity and History (colloquium). I taught this course in spring 2002. It is a variant of HIST 506 Philosophy of History.
  • Prospective Graduate Students: Anyone who is thinking of working with me should print out and read the "Guide to Graduate Study in Intellectual History," at link #2 below. I hope that this document will also be useful to people interested in applying to study the subject at other places with other professors.

    Allan Megill,, or


    Four links internal to this Web site, and one to the UVa history department's Web site, follow.

    1. Curriculum Vitae

    2. Guide to Graduate Study in Intellectual History

    3. Syllabi (Before Spring 2001)

    4. Syllabi (Spring 2001 and after)

    5. History Department at the University of Virginia

    6. Phillip Honenberger and Allan Megill, On Heidegger, Technology, and Modernity [with music samples from Olivier Messiaen].