Big History is a history of the universe from its origins to the present and beyond. Its aim is to provide a wide, contextual understanding of human existence by integrating knowledge from the natural and social sciences with the humanities. The result is a more realistic understanding of how humans fit into the vast expanse of the universe, instead of the old-fashioned way of orienting the universe around humans.
Big History also considers the challenges of modern globalization, with an important theme being the quest to develop sustainable and ethical lifestyles. The overall focus of the course is on what such knowledge might mean in our everyday lives and how we as responsible individuals and a responsible species should conduct ourselves in this world...and off of it, as we venture further into space. It is, in short, a movement towards "global enlightenment."
"Big History is the attempt to understand, in a unified and interdisciplinary way, the history of the Cosmos, Earth, Life and Humanity." -International Big History Association, 2010.
UPDATED Barry Rodrigue and Daniel Stasko,“A Big History Directory, 2010: An Introduction,”
NEW Big History: "A Working Bibliography of References, Films and Internet Sites", Assembled by Barry Rodrigue, Fred Spier & Daniel Stasko
Bill Gates about ‘Big History’ course This is a YouTube broadcast, 22 April 2009. Bill Gates (Microsoft) and Charlie Rose (Public Broadcasting Service) (older version of the directory) Barry Rodrigue and Daniel Stasko, “A Big History Directory, 2009: An Introduction,”
*World History Connected* 6, 3 (October 2009)
Big History Video Tour
John West, “Zooming In and Out of History,”
History Department, California State University San Marcos, Fall 2009