Seminar| Progress and the Scale of History

2 do
2 december 2021
Rotterdam en online

The Center for Historical Culture (Erasmus University Rotterdam) invites you to attend the hybrid seminar
Progress and the Scale of History
with Dr. Tyson Retz (Stavanger University)

The seminar is hosted by the Center for Historical Culture and History@Erasmus at the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC) at Erasmus Universit Rotterdam (the Netherlands). Dr. Retz is a specialist in intellectual history, the philosophy of history and history didactics and will be visiting ESHCC’s History Department as part of the Erasmus+ Staff Exchange programme.
Date: Thursday 2 December 2021
Time: 15:00-16:30h
Venue: You can join in person at Erasmus University Rotterdam, Campus Woudestein or join through Zoom. Please register with dr. Robbert-Jan Adriaansen ( for on-campus attendance or for the Zoom link.

Progress is an idea that applies an understanding of the past to an expectation of the future. So how does the scale on which we conceive history shape how we think about progress? By developing five categories that disaggregate the principles and assumptions underlying the idea of progress, I explore the conceptions of history of ancient cultures who held no notion of progress, modern cultures for whom it served as a master concept, marginalised groups who both emulated and resisted its ideological undercurrents, and present-day movements seeking to redress the excesses of progress’s marriage with growth.

Tyson Retz is Associate Professor at the University of Stavanger, Norway, where he teaches and writes on intellectual history, the philosophy of history and history didactics. He received his PhD in history from the University of Melbourne. He is the author of Empathy and History (Berghahn 2018), a dual exploration of empathy’s intellectual and educational history, including its place in historicist, idealist and hermeneutic traditions as well as in the school subject of history. He has written numerous articles on core issues in historical theory and more recently examined the history of the idea of progress in different conceptions of history.

Masterclass Huizinga Institute
Dr. Retz will also host the 1 ECTS masterclass ‘The Concept of Progress: New Explorations’ at the Huizinga Instituut Netherlands Research School for Cultural History on 3 December. This masterclass is a great opportunity for PhD and RMA students to get acquainted with the topic of progress

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