2018-19 University Course to Examine "Progress"

The Spring 2019 University Course will be convened by Pablo Palomino, assistant professor of Latin American & Caribbean studies and Mellon Faculty Fellow, on the theme of “Progress: An Interdisciplinary Reflection.”

This University Course brings together a wide range of disciplinary perspectives to interrogate to what extent the old concept of “progress” informs our current intellectual and scientific practices. One of the main ideals of modernity, animating political constitutions, scientific paradigms, and philosophical views, including the ideal of the modern university, “progress” morphed during the 20th century into fundamental concepts like “modernization” and “development.” At the turn of the 21st century, however, the confidence on our ever-increasing power to analyze the world, cure diseases, and understand nature, coexists with growing skepticism regarding progress, modernization, and development, as a result of profound global changes. “Progress” became thus a “myth”—a positive one taken for granted in the techno-utopias of Silicon Valley, and a negative one in the somber predictions of socioeconomic inequality and climate change.

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