This seminar investigates the ways in which individuals and communities respond to cultural crisis and transformation - that is, those historical moments when traditional and dominant beliefs and practices are called into question and re-evaluated. Students are introduced to the scholarly method through in-depth, interdisciplinary study of two or three historical moments. The writing in the course is a way to discover and explore ideas. This seminar explores the causes and consequences of two decisive turning points in Western culture - the Scientific Revolution of the 16th and 17th Centuries (especially the arguments of Galileo and Newton), and the Romantic movement of the late 18th and early 19th Centuries (especially the French Revolution and British Romanticism). The overarching aim of the course is to understand the complex nature of these cultural upheavals in their political, religious, economic, scientific, and aesthetic dimensions, and to appreciate how their effects have continued to shape Western attitudes and values.