Thinking About Evil in History

In this presentation, Dr. Cathryn van Kessel invites history educators to think about an issue that is pervasive in history education, but not often addressed: evil. Dr. van Kessel addresses key issues related to evil and walks participants through identifying the effects of conceptualizing evil on history and history education in a variety of different ways. This video will introduce you to understanding evil in new and complicated ways that will surely transform how you understand history.

Dr. Cathryn van Kessel is an Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta in Secondary Social Studies Education. She holds a PhD in Social Studies and Curriculum Studies from University of Alberta where she focused on Youth Conceptualizations of Evil: Implications for Social Studies Education. While her doctoral work uncovered a variety of conceptualizations of evil held by Grade 11 social studies students in relation to philosophy and political theory, research since then has branched off into in-depth explorations and applications of particular definitions of (and questions about) evil. Because of her passion for the topic and my deeply held belief in the urgent need for less harmful social relations, she is committed to publishing open-access whenever possible. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses regularly, and has also developed two graduate seminars on Evil Education and Existential Education. She is active in professional organizations such as the College and University Faculty Assembly of NCSS and regularly publishes her work in the field.