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, will take you on a journey that covers all of history, from the Big Bang until today. State-of-the-art reading will explain what drove this history. In online assignments you will be stimulated to reflect on the often-unexplored connections between the various astrophysical, geological, biological and cultural aspects that shaped our world. And in a final research assignment, you will be encouraged to apply this knowledge to an important societal challenge and think about this in a creative and interdisciplinary way. While doing so, you will also reflect on what big history might mean for your future.
February to May 2020
Tuesdays from 15:00 to 16:45
UvA students must register through SIS. The registration period starts on 3 December 2019 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.
Preliminary Program Spring 2020
What is big history?
How did the universe originate?
How do stars create the elements?
How do planetary systems form?
How did the Earth from and 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 invent agriculture?
Why do we live in states?
How did the world get connected?
How is industry and information technology changing the world?
What can big history tell us about the future?