Graduate School of North American Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, June 7-8, 2018
Notions of progress have remained pivotal to North American identities and academia. Discussions range from how “progress” may be evaluated empirically to whether the concept is a useful theoretical tool at all. In practice, visions for social and economic change are generally coupled with the idea of progress. Particularly in North America, competing perceptions of progress remain a driving force behind public and political discourses. Across the political spectrum, current debates often hinge on appropriations or differing interpretations of progress. These debates have intensified against the backdrop of technological innovation, sociopolitical upheavals, and programmatic schisms in progressivist movements.
The 11th Graduate Conference hosted by the Graduate School of North American Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin will explore interdisciplinary ideas of progress and consider their relevance across numerous fields of research. How is progress framed in various academic dialogues? What functions do concepts of progress and progressivism fulfill in North American societies? To what extent have American values promoted or obstructed progress? Which counternarratives exist? What are the contested theories and methods by which progress can be measured, if it can be measured at all?
As an interdisciplinary institute, the Graduate School welcomes abstracts for individual 20-minute papers from political science, history, economics, literature, cultural studies, and sociology, as well as related fields of research. Graduate students (M.A. & Ph.D.) and early career scholars are especially encouraged to apply.
Deadline for proposals: Feb. 01, 2018.