History is not just so many dead presidents, and in this course we will be exploring different ways of imagining, writing, filming, commemorating, and even escaping history. This seminar begins with canonical works in the philosophy of history, surveys developments in theory and criticism from structuralism to structuralism, and concludes with recent debates about history and memory in museum and pop culture. We will be discussing the history of theory and the theories of history to learn how each tale we tell about our past depends on a theory of history, however simple or abstract. Different theories of history create different senses of what the world is like and what we should do about it. Theory and history, we will learn, shape the ways we imagine ourselves and live our daily lives.