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Rethinking Modernity: Europe and the World from the Renaissance to the Crisis of the 21st Century

February 17, 2017 @ 4:30 pm - February 18, 2017 @ 1:00 pm

Most narratives of Western history have long argued that Europeans and Americans achieved unprecedented human progress by creating the key institutions and values of modernity: global trading systems, democratic national states, advanced science and technology, religious tolerance, and the legal equality of citizens. These themes shaped the meaning of “modernization” after 1945, yet recent events suggest that modern people are unhappy and that modern institutions are now mired in a transitional crisis. Professors John Jeffries Martin and Lloyd Kramer will offer historical analysis of how European people and cultures interacted with the wider world, created the identities and systems of modernity, and then responded to anxieties about Europe’s declining global influence in the twentieth century. Do the transitions in Europe’s global power suggest similar or different trajectories for modern America? We’ll draw upon European and global events to address this much-debated historical question.


European Expansion in an Age of Cultural Anxieties, 1450-1650
John Jeffries Martin, Professor and Chair of History, Duke University

Science, Enlightenment and the New Belief in Progress, 1650-1800
Professor Martin

Factories, Nation-States, and Empires, 1800-1914
Lloyd Kramer, Professor of History and Faculty Director, Program in the Humanities

Crises, Conflicts, and the Search for Global Order, 1914-2000
Professor Kramer

Postmodern Reflections on the Crisis of Modernity
A panel discussion with our speakers

4:30 p.m. Friday, February 17 through 12:45 p.m. Saturday, February 18, 2017.The tuition is $125 ($110 by January 20). Tuition for teachers is $62.50 ($55 by January 20). Teachers can also receive a $75 stipend after attending (click here for more information) and 10 contact hours for 1 unit of renewal credit. The optional dinner Friday evening is $20.00.

For information about lodging click here.

Co-Sponsored by the General Alumni Association.

For information about GAA discounts and other scholarships available to Humanities Program participants, click here.

Register for this seminar.


February 17, 2017 @ 4:30 pm
February 18, 2017 @ 1:00 pm
Event Category:


Chapel Hill Campus
Please Contact Carolina Public Humanities for exact location