life on earth

life on earth

2014 CHASS National Forum: A Planet Changing Species - Prof David Christian FAHA

1d ago
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In the last 200 years our species has become a planet-changing species. This is remarkable because it is the first time in the 4 billion year history of life on earth that a single species has played such a role. What is it about us? The Humanities surely have a crucial role to play in explaining and interpreting the remarkable role of human beings in the Anthropocene Epoch. Professor David Christian FAHA: David is by training a historian of Russia and the Soviet Union, but since the 1980s, has become interested in history at very large scales. He taught at Macquarie University, Sydney (1975-2000) before taking up a position at San Diego State University in 2001. In 2009 he returned to Macquarie University. He has written on the social and material history of 19th century Russian peasantry and a text book history of modern Russia, as well as a synoptic history of Inner Eurasia. In 1989, he began teaching courses on 'Big History', and in 2004, he published the first text on 'Big History', Maps of Time. He is the Director of the Macquarie University Big History Institute, which was founded in 2012. He is a member of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and the Koninklijke Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen [Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities]. He is a member of the editorial boards of Journal of Global History and Cambridge History of the World. In 2008, he was appointed as a James Marsh Professor-at-Large, University of Vermont, and also accepted appointments as a Research Fellow, Ewha Women's University, Seoul and as a Professor of History, Macquarie University. Over the next few years he will also be working with the support of Bill Gates to create an online course in Big History for high school students. in 2010, he became the inaugural president of the newly created International Big History Association.