Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants

Title

The Relationship between Big History and World History

Department

Honors College

College

Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies

Disciplines

Education

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to discuss and explain the relationship between Big History and World History. Big History is not World History 2.0, even though it sometimes tries to pass itself off as a version of World History, only better. It is an important emerging discipline, to be sure, and has a lot to offer, but the subject matter of Big History and World History are very different. Methodologically, however, the two are similar, for Big History is not science either, even though it sometimes tries to pass itself off as some sort of super history on the grounds that it is more empirical and logical than any history that has gone before. Big History is in reality just another version of history, and in order for it to reach its highest potential, it should recognize this fact, and settle into its role as something like the world history of science, which is what it should perhaps strive to be. This presentation will try and achieve a consensus on the similarities and differences between these two important fields, and also define the relationship between them in a way that is useful to practitioners of both fields.

Conference Name

International Big History Association Biennial Conference

Conference Location

Dominican University of California, San Rafael CA

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