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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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