IB20 Historiography

TOK History questions

What is history? Is it the study of the past, or the study of records of the past? (Nature of History)

What is the significance of Carlyle’s view that “The history of the world is but the biography of great men”? (Nature of History)

What knowledge might be gained by focusing attention on historical documents & written history? (History and Knowledge claims)

Are value judgments a fault in the writing of history? (History & Values)

Are value judgments a fault in the writing of history? (History & Values)

Are the lives of some groups of people more historically significant than the lives of others? (History & Values)

Can history provide a guide to understanding contemporary affairs? (History & Knowledge claims)

In his 1989 essay The End of History? American thinker Francis Fukuyama suggested that Western liberal democracy was the endpoint of our political evolution, the best and final system to emerge after thousands of years of trial and error. Fukuyama seems to have been wrong: our recent history -- filled with terrorism and war, rising inequity and the mass flight of populations -- suggests that we've failed to create any sort of global formula for lasting peace and social equity. In the 2016 CBC Massey Lectures, Jennifer Welsh explores how pronouncements about the "end of history" may have been premature.

Jennifer Welsh is Professor and Chair in International Relations at the European University Institute in Florence (Italy) and a Fellow of Somerville College, University of Oxford. From 2013 until 2016, she was the Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary General on the Responsibility to Protect. She co-founded the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict, and has taught international relations at the University of Toronto, McGill University, and the Central European University (Prague). Welsh is the author, co-author, and editor of several books and articles on international relations, the changing character of war, and Canadian foreign policy. She was born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan, and is of Metis descent. She now lives in Italy, with her husband and two children.

The Return of History will be released by House of Anansi Press on September 17, 2016.

The 2016 CBC Massey Lectures will be broadcast on IDEAS October 31 - November 4.

Winnipeg, MB - September 21, 7 p.m.

Lecture 1: The Return of History

Vancouver, BC - September 23, 7 p.m.

Lecture 2: The Return of Barbarism

Saskatoon, SK - September 24, 7 p.m.

Lecture 3: The Return of Mass Flight

Halifax, NS - October 5, 7 p.m.

Lecture 4: The Return of the Cold War

Toronto, ON - October 7, 7 p.m.

Lecture 5: The Return of Inequality