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School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry

Examining the past and the present to comprehend our shared future
We engage with a multiplicity of subject areas from Ancient Greek to explorations of gender and the posthuman. What ignites our work is a fascination with the study of humanity.

We bring together experts in archaeology, classics and ancient history, gender and cultural studies, history, and philosophy. Our archaeologists span not only the globe but also time, exploring the pre-history of Australia and the extraordinary ruins of medieval Angkor, the Middle East and the archaeology of the Silk Road.

Our classicists and historians are internationally respected researchers in ancient languages, literature and history – from Ancient Rome and Greece to Europe in the Middle Ages, current politics, and the history of ‘sex and scandal’.

Our researchers in gender and cultural studies have expertise in a wide variety of contemporary themes including sexuality, ethnicity, youth cultures, film and television, the environment and animal-human relations.

Our philosophers will make you think about everything from the great philosophers of the past to the latest developments in ethics, logic, epistemology, metaphysics and aesthetics.

Study areas

Research expertise

Our people


For information on the wide variety of events hosted by the Departments, Centres and programs in SOPHI please check our Events pages.

2020 Sydney Research Webinar in Higher Education: History of University Life

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University Education is a Pathway to Employment

What would it take to have a university-led recovery in the post-Covid world? To examine this question and others about the relationship between university education and employment, join our first 2020 History of University Life online seminar with panellists Susan Goodwin, professor of Policy Studies at the University of Sydney, and Ariadne Vromen, professor and political sociologist at the Crawford School of Public Policy (ANU).

Chaired by Julia Horne, University Historian at the University of Sydney and co-convenor of History of University Life.

Wednesday 26 June 2020
4-5pm on Zoom
Click here for more information and to register

Learn more about the University’s advice regarding COVID-19 here.

SOPHI talks

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SOPHI brings together experts in archaeology, classics and ancient history, gender and cultural studies, history, and philosophy. This new SOPHI talks initiative aims to bring their ideas to wider audience. Find out more about the research happening in our School.

  • SOPHI talks research
    With our research talks you’ll hear from experts in their field in conversation
  • SOPHI talks HSC
    Our HSC talks address key issues in the NSW HSC syllabus, and contain content for all senior students
  • SOPHI talks seminars and lectures
    SOPHI has a lively research seminar culture, and with our research centres run a wide range of public lectures.

Head of School

Keith Dobney

School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry


Looking to enrol?

Visit the enrolment page on our student site
Click here

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