The Huizinga Institute Research Network “Theory of History” cordially invites all to a public lecture by Dr. Zoltán Boldizsár Simon (Bielefeld University) on Friday 24 March 2023, 3 to 5 pm. The lecture is entitled “History After the End of the World” (see abstract below) and will take place at Utrecht University, in the Sweelinck room at Drift 21. There will be ample opportunity for discussion and interaction. Please register via firstname.lastname@example.org
“End of history” theories came in many shapes in the last decades of the previous century. Just as many shapes as do the various claims about the revival of history in midst of the political turmoils and human-induced environmental crises in the new century. This talk will argue that neither “end of history” theories nor their counterparts are able to adequately capture the contemporary shapes of historical thought due to the fact that they both consider the idea of “history” in solitary confinement. Based on the contention that ideas can properly be understood only in relation to other ideas, the talk will outline a transformation of historical thought by sketching a change in the relation between the ideas of “the end of history” and the “end of the world.” After highlighting the modern constellation in which claims about the end of history were typically accompanied by the view that the world continues to exist, it will explore the rather curious contemporary constellation in which history is expected to continue even after the world is expected to come to an end. The talk previews the claims of a coming article written for the Bloomsbury History: Theory and Method collection.
Zoltán Boldizsár Simon is research fellow at Bielefeld University. He has been an assistant professor at Leiden University and a visiting fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin. Zoltán’s first book, History in Times of Unprecedented Change: A Theory for the 21st Century, came out in 2019 with Bloomsbury. His second book, The Epochal Event: Transformations in the Entangled Human, Technological, and Natural Worlds, was published by Palgrave in 2020. Together with Marek Tamm, Zoltán is currently editing the series “Historical Futures” in the journal History and Theory.