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Professor and Chair, Anthropology and Sociology; Program Chair, Master of Public Health
David Baronov

Ph.D., SUNY-Binghamton

My research over the past 15 years has concerned a variety of themes and topics pertaining to the historical social sciences in general and world-systems analysis in particular. Such topics have included African pluralistic medicine, AIDS in Puerto Rico, slavery in Brazil, and urban education systems. This research has resulted in three books and a number of journal articles and book chapters. My principle contention is that there remains a stubborn division within the historical social sciences between those who emphasize political economy and those who favor cultural analysis, with many partial efforts to cross the abyss. I argue that this division is akin to that between the role of social structures versus the freedom of the subject within one’s analysis. Commonly, this is framed as a fundamental duality between the global and the local or the universal and the particular. For this reason, my current research considers the continuing influence of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit and Logic on the historical social sciences. It is my aim to demonstrate—via close attention to Hegel’s interpretation of freedom and necessity—that bridging the gulf between political economy and cultural analysis is not only possible but that this is a necessary advance for a more complete understanding of the historical social sciences.