Great Issues Lecture Series

2013-2014 Rose State College Great Issues Lecture Series
Call for Papers

Topic: The Mythos of Indefinite Progress

In 1968, historian Sidney Pollard defined the Victorian ideal of ‘progress’ as, “the assumption that a pattern of change exists in the history of mankind… that it consists of irreversible changes in one direction only, and that this direction is towards improvement.”

The ideal of progress still remains a pervasive element in the Western cultural tradition. What role has this ideal played in patterns of prosperity and disaster throughout human history? Is progress a dangerous and destructive myth blind to its own flaws or is a belief in progress an inseparable corollary to innovation and positive social change?

The Rose State College Great Issues Lecture Series welcomes submissions from faculty members from disciplines ranging from history, classics, religion and philosophy through literary, media and cultural studies to anthropology, psychology, political science, physical science, engineering, biological science, or health sciences. Speakers will be invited to consider how the idea of progress influences their own work, while being given the opportunity to explore how this intersects with scholarship in other disciplines.

The conference committee invites proposals for papers in the form of an abstract of between 250 and 300 words to by July 1st, 2013. Paper format is a 45 minute paper with a 10 minute period for questions and answers.

Possible areas of inquiry will include, but will not be limited to:

  • the relevance of progress as a methodological framework
  • philosophical and cultural understandings of scientific and technological change
  • conceptions of national and cultural progress throughout history
  • relations between human progress and environmental transformation
  • perspectives on the past as a “golden age”
  • progress and identity
  • political and geopolitical evolution and revolution

Archived Great Issues Lectures

Many of our Great Issues Lectures from previous semesters are available for download on the Rose State College iTunes U page (click here).

  • What are They Thinking? Poverty as Cultural Paradigm by Sherry Alexander
  • Affluence Issues in Oklahoma's Native American Culture by Gena Timberland
  • The State of Our Environment: It's Not All Doom and Gloom by Daniel Ratcliff
  • The Federal Stimulus in Oklahoma by Steve Burrage
  • Democratization of Information Defined by Suzanne Thomas
  • Media Representation of Women and Consumption Patterns by John Carl
  • Censorship in the Arts by Kristin Hahn
  • Information Overdose: Democratization of Communication and It's Unintended Consequences by James Hochtritt
  • Truthiness and Wikipedia by Caryl Gibbs
  • Spinning Democracy: How Advertising and the News Use Propaganda and How You Can Detect and Fight It by John Wood
  • Malcolm, Martin, and Bobby: Values Embodied by Leaders of a Short but Large Life by Robert Davis
  • Sharing of Information:  How It Has Evolved and What Its Future Might Be by Sharon Saulmon
  • If the Fence Could Talk by Brad Robison
  • Your Health Records: Who Has Access? by Linda Whaley
  • Masculinity on Display: The Knight's Tale as Public Spectacle by Kevin Caliendo

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