The notion of the Anthropocene and the recognition of aplanetary-scale human agency rapidly diffused in the human and social sciences. Historical responses to the Anthropocene and the planetary predicament tend to boil down to two distinct approaches with opposing tendencies. Responses in the first group attempt to bring existing modes of historical knowledge to today’s planetary crises by historicizing the Anthropocene. They represent the status quo of disciplinary self-understanding. Responses in the second group question whether the first approach is sufficient (without denying its merits), and attempt to explore the ways in which the current planetary predicament challenges historical thinking. Belonging to the second group, the lecture will make the case for the necessity of new forms of historical knowledge that could adequately approach the planetary crises of the day.
Prof. Dr. Zoltán Boldizsár Simon is historian / historical theorist at Bielefeld University. He has been assistant professor at Leiden University and visiting fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science. Dr. Z. B. Simon works at the intersections of historical theory, history of ideas, science and technology studies, and Anthropocene research. He published the books History in Time of Unprecedented Change: A Theory for the 21st Century (Bloomsbury, 2019), The Epochal Event: Transformations in the Entangled Human, Technological, and Natural Worlds (Palgrave, 2020), Historical Understanding: Past, Present, and Future (Bloomsbury, 2022, co-edited with Lars Deile), and the Cambridge Elements entitled The Fabric of Historical Time (Cambridge, 2023, co-authored with Marek Tamm).
October 2nd, 2023 | 5 p.m.
University of Vilnius, Faculty of History, Room 211
Moderation: Doc. Dr. Aurimas Švedas
The lecture will be held in English language without translation into Lithuanian.