10 Dec 2019 5:00pm - 7:00pm Room SG1, Alison Richard Building, Cambridge, CB3 9DT


In this installment of the gloknos Annual Lecture Series, we are thrilled to hear from Dr Amanda Rees (University of York) about her current research.

Attempts to turn history into a quantitative, predictive science have recently been much in the news – but such approaches depend on treating the past as a reliable guide to the future, and assuming that ‘human nature’ (whatever that means) will remain pretty much unchanged. This approach sits uneasily alongside other claims that the pace and influence of cultural-technical change is now so great that it will fundamentally alter both the scope of society and the shape of humanity. In this talk, we will use science fiction (in particular, the work of HG Wells, Isaac Asimov, Alistair Reynolds and Jodi Taylor) to explore the relationship between these two perspectives, and to consider what lessons, if any, we can learn for the future of history.

Amanda Rees has published widely on the history of the field sciences, on the history and sociology of the relationship between humans and other animals, and on the history of prehistory. Her current research reflects an interest in the history of the idea of the future, with a focus on science fiction and futures in literature. 

Attendance is free but spaces are limited, so please email to reserve your seat. Please be aware that we will take an audio recording of this event, which may include any questions and responses delivered by the audience.

Want to share this event? Download and print a poster here.


gloknos is initially funded for 5 years by the European Research Council through a Consolidator Grant awarded to Dr Inanna Hamati-Ataya for her project ARTEFACT (2017-2022). ARTEFACT is funded by the European Research Council under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (ERC grant agreement no. 724451). For information about gloknos or ARTEFACT please contact the administrator in the first instance.



28 October 2019

Prof Luis Lobo-Guerrero (University of Groningen) – Novelty and the Emergence of the Western Global in the Early Sixteenth Century

10 December 2019

Dr Amanda Rees (University of York) – The Future of History: From Cliodynamics to Degenerative Dystopia, via Science Fiction

7 February 2020

Dr Dag Herbjørnsrud (SGOKI, Oslo) – From Epistemicide to Global Knowledge: Reconstructing a Decolonised Academy

15 April 2020

Dr Sonja Brentjes (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin) – Heavens and Earth: An Empirical Approach to Knowledge Across Cultures

15 May 2020

Prof Sarah de Rijcke (Universiteit Leiden) – Title TBC

15 June 2020

Prof Stéphane Van Damme (European University Institute) – Towards a Global History of Knowledge? Premises, Promises, Concerns

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