Big Questions in History

Big Questions in History offers an overview of human history placed within the context of the much longer history of life, the Earth, the solar system and the universe as a whole. This approach to human history is known as Big History.

Special attention will be paid to the last 10.000 years of human history, when culture took over as the main adaptive mechanism. This period witnessed the worldwide emergence of agriculture as well as the rise of state societies, while during the past five hundred years, globalisation, science, industrialisation, urbanisation and democratisation have all contributed to deeply transform human societies. During the human history lectures of Big Questions in History, they systematically focus on how humans have been transforming their natural environment. 

Our claim is that by looking at human history from a big history perspective, it becomes possible to understand both yourself and the world around you better in a way no other approach to history offers. Furthermore, by contemplating the grand sweep of history, simple general theoretical principles emerge which would otherwise have remained unnoticed. These guiding principles will help students to better understand how everything has become the way it is now, as well as what the future may bring.

Published by  Amsterdam University College

14 February 2018