Writing History in the Age of the Anthropocene: The Past and Future of Big History (2016–2017)

January 2016December 2016
UQ Foundation

Big History has been at the forefront of recent attempts to transcend the division between the humanities and the sciences. This new approach to history synthesizes the human and historical sciences within a grand evolutionary narrative. It promises to provide a universal, scientific framework by which we can address some of the major problems of our time, in particular human-caused climate change. This monograph-length project explores the origins of Big History and evaluates its prospects for success. It aims to show that Big History is the most recent version of a form of history that has been mobilized at moments of social, political, and environmental crisis in the previous two hundred years. This is the first major research project to analyse critically the promises and possibilities of this new forward-looking form of history.

Project members

Photo of Ian Hesketh

Dr Ian Hesketh

ARC Future Fellow
Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities