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Why History Matters


The ambition of this reading group is to examine the place of history in a contemporary world. Such consideration is particularly resonant with the current changes in the academy, resulting in the growing neglect of the humanities in favour of the applied sciences. The allegedly larger social relevance of the latter is usually given as the justification of the above-stated shift. Taking into account this state of affairs, we wish to emphasise that history is an indispensable tool for understanding the present. In fact, it is history that enables the exposure of the otherwise hidden social and cultural transactions that have led to the development of the present world.Without history, we cannot commence any productive inquiry into the forces that drive societies and their internal mechanics. As such, historical knowledge gives us considerable leverage and a much-needed critical stance on all modern-day issues. By studying the texts of several key thinkers, including Hegel, Nietzsche, Adorno, Ginzburg and Kracauer among others, we aim to bring history into conversation with the larger political, social, scientific and moral issues of the present.

Liste de lecture

Contacts: tomasz [dot] grusiecki [at] mail [dot] mgcgill [dot] ca (Tomasz Grusiecki), Danijela Zutic
Rencontres: mardis, 10h-12h: 17, 24 septembre; 8, 15, 22, 29 ocotbre; 5, 19 novembre
3610 rue McTavish, salle 21-6