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Cynthia Stokes Brown, Ph. D.


Professor Emerita



Dr. Brown earned her BA at Duke University in history (summa cum laude) and her M.A.T. and Ph. D. from Johns Hopkins in the history of education.


After teaching tenth grade world history for two years and living in northeast Brazil for two years with the Peace Corps, Dr. Brown directed the single-subject credential program at Dominican from 1982-1992. She taught full-time in both the history and education departments until 2001, when she retired from full-time teaching to write history from the big bang to the present. Using the term “big history,” coined by David Christian at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, Brown told the whole story from the big bang to the present in simple, non-academic language to convey our common humanity and our connection to every other part of the natural world.


Teaching part-time after 2001, Brown pioneered the teaching of big history at Dominican, where it is now a required course for every incoming freshman.



  • Literacy in 30 Hours: Paulo Freire's Process in Northern Brazil. London: Writers and Readers Publishing Cooperative, 1975
  • Ready From Within: Septima Clark and the Civil Rights Movement. Navarro, CA: Wild Trees Press, 1986 (American Book Award, 1987); re-issued by Africa World Press
  • Like It Was: A Complete Guide to Writing Oral History. New York: Teachers and Writers Collaborative, 1988
  • Connecting with the Past: History Workshop in Middle and High Schools. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 1994 
  • Refusing Racism: White Allies and the Struggle for Civil Rights. Teachers College Press, 2002.
  • Big History: From the Big Bank to the Present. New York: New Press, 2007



  • Since 1992 member of World History Association
  • Founding board member of International Big History Association


Undergraduate Courses Taught

  • HIST 1000 - Eyewitness to History
  • HIST 3008 - World History and Geography
  • CQHI 3510 - Whole Earth History,  (Spring 2005, Spring 2007)
  • FYE 1000 - Big History: From the Big Bang to the Present


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