UvA Elective Big History Course
Would you like to know how everything around you has become the way it is today? How the histories of the cosmos, life, Earth and human societies have influenced each other and have jointly shaped important aspects of the world you live in now? And would you like to use that knowledge to develop a better understanding of the challenges our societies are currently facing? If you do, then the big history course is right for you.
In this course, a variety of renowned experts, ranging from astrophysicists to social scientists and historians, will take you on a journey that covers all of history, from the Big Bang until today. During the first part of each seminar, they will briefly discuss their research and explain some of the major processes underlying big history. During the second part of the seminar there will be room for discussion based on questions you come up with. State-of-the-art reading will moreover explain what drove this history. A final project (of your choice) will encourage you to apply the knowledge you gained during the course to an aspect of our current world and think about this in a creative and interdisciplinary way. And finally, you will get to present your final project to your peers and guest moderators during a student symposium.
September to December 2022
Thursdays from 15:00-17:00
Dates and times may be subject to change due to Corona measures
RegistrationUvA students must register through SIS. The registration period starts on 13 June and ends one week prior to the start of the course. The required study guide number is 5512BIHI6Y. Contract students and students from other institutions can enroll through Datanose. High school students are also welcome (click here for more information)
Preliminary Program Fall 2022
What is big history?
How did our universe originate?
How have stars and galaxies developed?
How do planetary systems form?
How did the Earth develop?
How did life on Earth originate?
How did life on Earth develop?
How did we become human?
How has climate change influenced history?
Why did we start to farm?
Why do we live in states?
How did the world get connected?
How did we initiate the Anthropocene?