21/1 – Crisis and Progress

Module Leader:
Emese Bálint
2021-2022 Summer
Arts and Humanities

Progress and crisis are central concepts of modernity. One of the dreams of Enlightenment reason was that humankind would embark on a path of perpetual progress. Crisis is antonymous to stability, security and continuity on the level of individual actors, on the level of collective political action and on the level of institutions. The root causes for crises vary from ecological to man-made, (geo)political, and socio-economic ones, and their consequences often appear as more or less unpredictable. The module will concentrate on the historical and societal changes that precede, concur with, and result from crises, while simultaneously exploring the relevance of the historical continuity that comes to play both in and after crises.
We will address several concepts in the historian’s toolkit: continuity and change, cause and effect, perspectives, evidence, significance, contestability, and empathy. Students will be engaged to take on roles of different historical actors and discuss some crises based on real historical circumstances. By doing so, they will come to understand why certain outcomes occurred the way they did.

Related Content