Department of Culture and Learning


CfU to host acclaimed education scholars giving keynotes at Aalborg University Copenhagen

With their exciting keynote presentations titled "Education and Nation. Educational knowledge in nationalism theories" and "The statistical student: Project Talent or the origins of American longitudinal student records", Daniel Tröhler and Ethan Hutt offer a in-person post-corona glimpse into their intriguing work when they present at Aalborg University Copenhagen on September 30 and October 1 respectively.

Last modified: 16.08.2021

cfu proud to host acclaimed education scholars

For those interested in how nations understand and craft citizens through education and education data, the two visiting professors from University of Vienna and University of North Carolina will be an experience you simply cannot miss.

Professor Daniel Tröhler is an internationally acclaimed scholar within the field of history of education and educational theory and Professor in Foundations of Education at Institut für Bildungswissenschaft, University of Vienna. Tröhler’s research within Comparative History of Education concentrates on the Languages of Education and its relation to forms of governing, and the relation between the rise of the nation states and nationalisms and the crafting of the education systems. Ethan Hutt is a historian and a political scientist specializing in education policy history, and is currently an Assistant Professor at the School of Education, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Hutt’s research focuses on how American schools are defined and evaluated through numbers and how these numbers have come to mean so much for schools, including emphasizing the role law and policy has had on this development.

The two keynotes takes place on Thursday September 30 and Friday October 1 from 16.00-17.00. They are open for all, but due to restricted seating we encourage signing up. 


Daniel Tröhler

Education and Nation. Educational Knowledge in Nationalism Theories

Thursday, September 30, 2021, 16.00-17.00
A.C. Meyers Vænge 15, Aalborg University Copenhagen, Auditorium 1.008


Most of the well-known attempts to understand and explain nation and nationalism revolve around questions of sentiment, loyalty, and identity, i.e. individual attitudes that make a person who is an inhabitant of a political territory a ‘good’ citizen, which means, of course, first and foremost a national citizen. However, questions concerning the transmission of these attitudes are usually dealt with only hesitantly and then only very indifferently. The argument here is that there are indeed educational knowledges inherent in the various, often competing theories of nationalism, but these knowledges, when used to explain the phenomenon of nationalism, are surprisingly selective, fragmented, and causal-instrumental. The paper examines the dominant theories of nationalism with regard to their educational knowledge and draws conclusions about the state of educational sciences, which seem to be largely ignored, at least when it comes to nationalism.


Sign up before september 23 by e-mail to Nanna Ramsing Enemark at


Ethan Hutt

The Statistical Student: “Project Talent” or the Origins of American Longitudinal Student Records


Friday October 1, 2021, 16.00-17.00
A.C. Meyers Vænge 15, Aalborg University Copenhagen, Auditorium 1.008


The emergence of the modern nation-states at the beginning of the nineteenth century depended on strategies to optimize the talents and abilities of the future citizens loyal both to both the nation and to maintaining social stratification. In this respect, the history of the last two hundred years reads like a long effort to perfect strategies and technologies to secure these ends. Amid this long history, a crucial, trail-blazing innovation was the implementation of the, so called, “Project Talent” (1960)—an attempt by the American government to longitudinally track the characteristics, habits, and academic achievements in order to produce a statistical picture of American students and—crucially—what they might become in the future if exposed to the right pedagogies and opportunities. This lecture explores the origins of the debates and data systems that gave rise to this “longitudinal thinking” and their long-term influence on debates about improving not only American school quality. Examining these debates and tracing their legacy contributes to our understanding of the history of social science research on schools and the ways in which large-scale data collection shapes understandings of social processes and debates about the public good.

Sign up before september 24 by e-mail to Nanna Ramsing Enemark at