Rick  Szostak Author of Evaluating Organization Development

Rick Szostak

Professor and Chair
University of Alberta

Rick Szostak has taught at the University of Alberta for 35 years. He is the author of 19 books, 60 journal articles, and dozens of other publications. He has published in over a dozen fields but especially world history, economic history, interdisciplinary studies, and knowledge organization. He has published Making Sense of World History with Routledge in 2020 and will publish Making Sense of the Future with Routledge in 2021.


I began as an economic historian with broad interdisciplinary interests. I became frustrated at how hard it was to find relevant information across disciplines. A presentation to the Association for Interdisciplinary Studies encouraged me to write many books and articles about how to perform interdisciplinary research, teaching, and program administration. One barrier to interdisciplinarity is the way that our libraries and other information repositories organize information in disciplinary silos. I thus entered the field of Knowledge Organization where I found that my interdisciplinary experiences provided an entry into key debates in that field. World history allows me to combine all of these interests. My Making Sense of World History was inspired by an observation I came across that instructors and students in the field struggle to render the courses coherent. I have always believed that we can and should carefully draw lessons from history. The last chapter of my book did so. When I was coincidentally encouraged to investigate the possibility of a Future Studies course at my university, I was inspired to draft Making Sense of the Future, a book that integrates my expertise in history, interdisciplinarity, and knowledge organization.

I have followed my curiosity where it has taken me. Looking back, I see a logical flow to my research that was not always obvious at the time.

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    World history
    Economic history
    Interdisciplinary Studies
    Knowledge organization
    Future studies

Personal Interests

    These days my main interest is travel, sometimes with my adult children.  I curl a bit, though not during the pandemic. I occasionally play poker.  I purposely avoid cluttering my life with too many activities. I increasingly appreciate the little things in life.



Featured Title
 Featured Title - Making Sense of World History - 1st Edition book cover


World History Connected

Innocuous Organizing Devices for World History

Published: Dec 03, 2020 by World History Connected
Authors: Rick Szostak
Subjects: History

The article outlined my early thoughts on how to provide more coherence to the study of World History.