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HCTS Lecture by David Armitage

May 19, 2014

The Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies (HCTS) presented a lecture by Prof. David Armitage (Harvard) on futures of the past. The event took place in room 212 at the Karl Jaspers Centre on Monday, May 19, 2014.

In his lecture "Horizons of History: Space, Time and the Future of the Past", Prof. David Armitage talked about the future of history. Many historians are stretching space, to create international, transnational and global histories. Others are expanding time, to pursue Big History, Deep History and the history of the Anthropocene. What explains this broadening of horizons? The lecture made a case for history as a discipline of social and political transformation amid crises of global governance, rising inequality and anthropogenic climate change. The event was part of the HCTS lecture series.

Prof. David Armitage is Llyod C. Blankfein Professor of History and Chair of the Department of History at Harvard University, where he teaches intellectual history and international history. He is also an Affiliated Faculty Member at Harvard Law School and an Honorary Professor of History at the University of Sydney. Furthermore, he is the author or editor of thirteen books, among them “The Ideological Origins of the British Empire” (2000), which won the Longman/History Today Book of the Year Award, and “The Declaration of Independence: A Global History” (2007), which was chosen as a Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year, and “Foundations of Modern International Thought” (2013).

Founded in April 2013, the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies (HCTS) is a central institute of Heidelberg University situated at the Karl Jaspers Centre. Building on the structures established by the Cluster of Excellence "Asia and Europe in a Global Context", it assembles outstanding scholars from all over the world and from any discipline to engage in an interdisciplinary dialogue with a focus on the dynamics of transcultural processes.


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  • David Armitage

  • J. J. Grandville's Une Autre Monde (1844)

  • Axel Michaels introducing the speaker