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Meet your guides to the cosmos.  

 

Dominican's Big History faculty is a team of professors from a variety of fields, including biology, humanities, art, religion, history, literature, philosophy, women and gender studies, art history, creative writing, and education, who work in constant collaboration on the development of our First Year Experience curriculum. Between teaching Big History courses, participating in FYE faculty meetings, and organizing and participating in FYE students events, these instructors find the time to continue their own research as well as share what they have learned in this unique program at academic conferences globally.

Just click on portraits below to learn more about your guides to the cosmos!

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Mojgan Behmand

Founding Director

Big History: From Big Bang to Present
Myth and Metaphor through the Lens of Big History

Dr. Behmand is currently Assistant Provost at Dominican University of California. She earned her MA and PhD in English and American Studies at the University of Dusseldorf, Germany with minors in Medieval Studies and Political Science. She has been teaching in Dominican’s department of Literature & Languages since 2007, with an affinity for specialty courses on 19th century women’s literature and Gothic novels. In January of 2010 she was appointed Director of General Education and First Year Experience at Dominican and began ambitiously renovating our first-year programming to center on the Big History narrative. The same year, she was elected by her students as Dominican’s Teacher of the Year. Dr. Behmand has published and presented numerous papers on Big History pedagogy and faculty development at a variety of conferences, including the Association of American Colleges and Universities Conference, First Year Experience Conference, the World History Association Conference, the Professional and Organizational Development Network Conference, the International Big History Association Conference, the Asian Association of World Historians Conference, and the California World History Association Conference, among others.

THOUGHTS ON BIG HISTORY

Big History has deepened my understanding of our physical world and the metaphorical world of knowledge. Through my years of study, undergraduate and graduate, I was fascinated by the learned material but failed to connect the seemingly unrelated fragments of information. A historical perspective manifested itself increasingly in my work—my dissertation spanned seven centuries and studied the development of a literary motif, the controversial queen Eleanor of Aquitaine— yet, that was not enough. Big History changed my world for me. It provided me with a large framework on which to scaffold knowledge and happenings around the world. It is a wonderful and empowering perspective.

Photo credit: Chase Clow

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Cynthia Brown

Resident Big Historian

Big History: From Big Bang to Present

Dr. Brown was professor of history and education at Dominican from 1981 to 2001, and was instrumental in piloting the Big History program at Dominican in 2010. She is the author of the top-selling book Big History: From the Big Bang to the Present and Big History: Between Nothing and Everything, co-authored with David Christian and Craig Benjamin. She also serves as a founding board member of the International Big History Association.

THOUGHTS ON BIG HISTORY

Everything makes more sense when seen from the perspective of cosmic evolution and Big History. It gives the most nearly accurate account we have of how the universe works. I love teaching from this perspective because many students also find the same power of clarification in this story.

Photo credit: Chase Clow

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Neal Wolfe

Program Director

Big History: From Big Bang to Present
Visual Arts through the Lens of Big History

Neal Wolfe, MA, has been teaching in Dominican's first year program since 2003. He earned his Master of Humanities degree with an emphasis in Art History at Dominican, previously earning a BA in English from Pennsylvania State University and completing coursework in Environmental Ethics at Cornell University. For many years he was a professional stained glass artist. His Masters' thesis, Sacred Circles of Light, examines stained glass rose windows in the San Francisco Bay Area in the context of the rose window tradition, which flowered in Europe during the late middle ages. In recent years Neal Wolfe has presented papers titled “Accessing the Unknown: the Common Quest of Science and Religion,” and “Conceptualizing God in a Post-Copernican Universe” at various national conferences.

THOUGHTS ON BIG HISTORY

Big History is valuable in a twenty-first century liberal education because, impossible a task as it is to construct any history truthfully, especially the history of the universe, if the universe began as a point the size of an atom, everything that is was implicit in the very beginning—including us and every other thing. It is the story of who and what we really are.

Photo credit: Chase Clow

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Jaime Castner

Program Coordinator for General Education

Ms. Castner earned her BA in English from Dominican and is currently studying in the Masters in Humanities Program. She worked for several years as a humane educator for the Marin Humane Society, and previously assisted the Chair of Dominican’s Literature and Languages department. Since the Big History program’s inception in 2010, Ms. Castner has co-orchestrated various related events, workshops, and seminars with Dr. Behmand. She currently serves as a teaching assistant, in addition to providing faculty support, developing curricular material, and producing promotional literature for the Big History program.

THOUGHTS ON BIG HISTORY

I never thought I would find a field in which to interconnect my diverse passions—literature, performing arts, and animal advocacy—until I happened upon Big History. Only in the context of this sweeping epic can each of us locate and unite all the seemingly unrelated cogs, wheels, and random springs that make us tick. At such a time when the future of all living things is threatened by surmountable obstacles, we do best to put the full force of our combined passions into spurring positive change.

Photo credit: Chase Clow

Mojgan Behmand
Founding Director
Cynthia Brown
Resident Big Historian
Neal Wolfe
Program Director
Jaime Castner
Program Coordinator
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Jennifer Lucko

Assessment Director

Director, Wabash Big History Scholar Program
Wabash Big History Scholar Internship

Dr. Lucko earned her PhD and MA in Anthropology from UC Berkeley and holds an MA in Education from San Francisco State University. She has served on the faculty of Dominican’s School of Education since 2007 and teaches a range of courses for education majors, honors students, and graduate scholars. Her own research focuses on academic performance and ethnic identity of Latino students in Spain. Dr. Lucko’s post as Director of the Wabash Big History Scholar Program supports assessment of the First Year Experience content and student satisfaction while providing internships for former Big History students who serve as focus group leaders in evaluating the program.

THOUGHTS ON BIG HISTORY

Studying Big History with my fellow faculty members at the Big History Summer Institute was an encounter with the sublime. My hope is that as First Year Students at Dominican contemplate the enormity of the universe they too will be awed by the conditions of possibility that allow for human existence. By entering into conversations with students during focus groups, Wabash Big History Scholars encourage students to reflect on their own understandings of the curriculum and define the implications of the Big History narrative in their own lives. In this way, Dominican faculty learn from students as we continually reflect on current pedagogy and refine our teaching practice to better guide students grappling with the Big Questions of Big History.

Photo credit: Chase Clow

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J. Daniel May

Thresholds Editor

Big History: From Big Bang to Present
Myth and Metaphor through the Lens of Big History

J. Daniel May has been teaching English as a Second Language, Linguistics, Writing, and Literature at Dominican since 1996. He earned his BA in Film and Screenwriting and his MA in English with an ESL emphasis, both from San Francisco State University.

THOUGHTS ON BIG HISTORY

No matter what subject I've taught, I've always seen the importance in making connections to other topics, bringing in bits of history, archaeology, hard science—whatever I thought could put the course into a larger context. Big History is as large a context as I could wish for, the ultimate opportunity to connect-the-dots and see the whole picture.

Photo credit: Chase Clow

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Phil Novak

Big History: From Big Bang to Present

A former Dean of the School of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at Dominican, Dr. Novak (B.A. Notre Dame; M.A. and Ph.D. Syracuse) proposed and successfully championed the idea of Big History as the foundational course in a new general education program. A philosopher of religion and popular teacher for over thirty years, Novak joins Dominican’s Big History team as a professor, curriculum consultant, and faculty developer. He is the author of over forty articles and reviews and such books as The World’s Wisdom: Sacred Texts from the World’s Religions, The Vision of Nietzsche, and Buddhism: A Concise Introduction.

THOUGHTS ON BIG HISTORY

By virtue of recent stunning advances across the sciences, human beings of all times and places now have a single origin story—recognized and accepted wherever scientific evidence and rationality are valued. It changes everything, placing all our cultures, our arts, our religions, and indeed all human activity in a new light. Big History is nothing less than the careful telling of this new story, and teaching it is nothing less than participating in the cultural re-coding of our species. It is hard to imagine a more crucial element of the general education of the world’s current and future generations than this.

Photo credit: Chase Clow

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Cynthia Taylor

Big History: From Big Bang to Present
Cultures and Political Systems through the Lens of Big History
Human Cultures through the Lens of Big History

American historian Cynthia Taylor earned her PhD at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA with a dissertation on civil rights activist A. Philip Randolph. She has been teaching in the Big History program at Dominican since it launched in 2010. With specific interest in topics ranging from liberation theologies and American religious history, to Native American spirituality and feminist theory, Dr. Taylor applies her strong background in human history to our sweeping study of the Universe.

THOUGHTS ON BIG HISTORY

I find teaching Big History liberating! Traditional history courses never teach or speculate about the future—only about the past. That is what I was always taught to do as an American history teacher; but, teaching Big History encourages me to teach history on such large scales of time and space that my students and I are encouraged to ponder the near, distant and remote futures and the important role we play now in caring for this wonderful planet Earth—a very special place in our Universe. The more I know about the Universe, the more liberated I become.

Photo credit: Chase Clow

Jennifer Lucko
Assessment Director
J. Daniel May
Thresholds Editor
Phil NovakCynthia Taylor
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Harlan Stelmach

Big History: From Big Bang to Present
Religion through the Lens of Big History

Dr. Stelmach earned his MTS from The Divinity School at Harvard University and his PhD from the Graduate Theological Union and San Francisco Theological Seminary in Berkeley, California. He is the former Chair of the Dominican Humanities department, and teaches courses on Ethics, Philosophy, Theology, and Social Theory, among others, with a particular interest in the intersections between Big History and faith. He created the course Religion through the Lens of Big History, an in-depth study of how humans have responded through time to the challenges of defining their place in the Universe.

THOUGHTS ON BIG HISTORY

Big History forces me to struggle with all the goals of liberal education: bodies of knowledge, formation, responsibility and community. I am humbled by the scope of the material, the challenge to my identity, the overwhelming sense of responsibility for our planet and the wonder of my interdependence with all of life. Therefore, I am a co-learner with my students, not an expert. I join them in the journey to seek meaning in the story of the universe.

Photo credit: Chase Clow

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Lynn Sondag

Visualizing Big History

Lynn Sondag is an accomplished watercolorist and currently serves as Chair of the Department of Art, Art History, and Design at Dominican. She teaches FYE 1900, which revisits our Universe Story through diverse modes of creative expression, including painting, illustration, photography, and mixed media collage, which accommodate the narrative and sequential content of Big History. With a passion for increasing access to art and art education through service-learning pedagogy and community-based art projects, Lynn Sondag infuses her FYE course with forward-thinking attention to the power of art-making and education in the twenty-first century.

THOUGHTS ON BIG HISTORY

For the creative practitioner, the Big History story encompasses a wealth of fascinating content that completely nourishes our curiosity and imagination. Ultimately, the exploration expands upon the power of collective learning, and helps us discover ways we can connect, communicate, and design for the future.

Photo credit: Chase Clow

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Richard Simon

Big History: From Big Bang to Present

Fiction writer, essayist, and journalist Richard Simon received his BA in English and Environmental Studies from Colgate University, and his MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. He has written for Rolling Stone, MTV, and VH1.com, as well as Juxtapoz and the Jewish Bulletin of Northern California. He is currently a contributing editor at Relix magazine. With passion for topics ranging from environmental advocacy and improvisational rock music, to art-based social activism and illustration, Richard Simon offers a wealth of knowledge and experience to his first-year Big History students.

THOUGHTS ON BIG HISTORY

As a species, we have a whole host of existential problems that many of us are entirely unprepared to understand, let alone to solve. Among them are global warming due to greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels; the drastic changes in our climate system that increased global heat retention causes, and which have already begun to unfold; acidification of oceans; mass extinctions; shortages of water, soil, food, and energy resources; and an ever-expanding global population. Big History is a beginning, a means of providing some foundational knowledge of how the actual world actually works, and a sense of the recurring patterns in the vast sweep of existence, from the cosmic to the atomic. With this understanding at the root of their education, our students will be well-prepared to not only lead in finding solutions, but also prosper from that leadership.

Photo credit: Chase Clow

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Judy Halebsky

Writing Big History

Dr. Halebsky holds a PhD in Performance Studies from the University of California, Davis, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College. On a fellowship from the Japanese Ministry of Education she researched Noh theatre at Hosei University in Tokyo for three years. A Pacific Rim Research Project Grant from the University of California supported her training in Noh in Japan and California. Her collection of poems, Sky=Empty, won the New Issues Poetry Prize and was a finalist for the California Book Award. With a collective of Tokyo poets, she currently edits and translates the bilingual poetry journal Eki Mae. Dr. Halebsky teaches the creative writing component of Dominican’s FYE Big History program, helping students put words to the story of time and the ever-changing world around us.

THOUGHTS ON BIG HISTORY

With Big History the world around us is new again. As I look at Ocean Beach, I can imagine how the coastline has changed over hundreds of thousands of years. It’s a wonderful study that connects our lives in 2012 with natural and human history. It is also great material for creative writing.

Photo credit: Chase Clow

Harlan StelmachLynn Sondag Richard Simon Judy Halebsky
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Thomas Burke

Big History: From Big Bang to Present
Myth and Metaphor through the Lens of Big History

Thomas Burke has taught in the Humanities & Cultural Studies and Literature & Languages departments at Dominican since 1999, with specialization in gender studies, fiction writing, and the humanities. He earned his BA at Tulane University, MA at Universite de Paris and MFA in Writing from the University of San Francisco. In the last two years, Thomas Burke has presented on Dominican’s Big History program at numerous national conferences, including the American Association of Colleges & Universities and the Annual Conference on the First Year Experience. Also an accomplished short fiction author and poet, Thomas Burke’s work has appeared recently in the literary magazine Guy Writers and the anthology Bless Me Father. His most recent book is Where Is Home.

THOUGHTS ON BIG HISTORY

By studying and teaching Big History I have gained a new lens through which to experience the world. The lens, quite simply, is Big History. While I may have previously known many of the facts and sequences associated with Big History, I did not see the universe and our human existence as one continuum. Now anything I read—a news story, a novel, a food label—I view as part of this continuum. As someone who had been immersed in the Humanities I had skirted science, left it to the experts. No more! The French scientist and philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin reminds us that, “Science (c’est-à-dire toutes formes d’activité humaine) et Religion n’ont jamais fait, à mes yeux, qu’une même chose.” The Humanities and Science are one; we are wise to remember that.

Photo credit: Chase Clow

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Heidi Chretien

Visual Art through the Lens of Big History

Dr. Chretien is a scholar of history and art history with expertise in fields ranging from the Italian Renaissance to gender imaging in art of the Ancient World. She has taught and studied abroad in Florence and Siena, and served as an on-site educator for Dominican students at the annual seminar in Fanjeaux, France. Dr. Chretien teaches Visual Art through the Lens of Big History, which reexamines the Universe Story through the discipline of art history, engaging students in a discussion of unique intersections between culture, custom, and creative expression.

THOUGHTS ON BIG HISTORY

When I begin my course on Italian Renaissance Art by talking about the formation of the galaxy, I know that I have been profoundly transformed by BIG HISTORY!

Photo credit: Chase Clow

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Lindsey Dean

Philosophy through the Lens of Big History

Lindsey Dean is currently earning her PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies at the Graduate Theological Union, with an emphasis in ethics and evolutionary theories in the study of religion. She received both her BA and MA in Humanities at Dominican, and stayed on as a teaching assistant after graduation, before commencing her PhD studies. Lindsey Dean also teaches Introductory Ethics and Philosophy at Dominican, in addition to a colloquium course on the Philosophy of Non-violence, as well as many others. She recently participated in the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute on Dynamics of Cultural Unity and Diversity in Southeast Asia, Summer 2011. With her, Lindsey Dean brings a keen understanding of the ethical and philosophical realms that pose intriguing questions about Big History, engaging students in an in-depth dialogue about the implications of Big History on the past, present, and future of humanity.

THOUGHTS ON BIG HISTORY

As a modern creation story, Big History situates us to engage in humanity's perennial attempt to understand our place in the cosmos by looking at the Big Questions through a new lens: What does it mean to be human, not only in relation to our biological past, but within the context of a vast, expanding, and accelerating universe? What can we learn about the capacity to flourish by exploring our evolutionary heritage? How can we utilize our cognitive and cultural resources as we assume responsibility for the direction of our species' future? Might the narrative of Big History serve as a foundation for a transcultural and transgenerational ethics? Being in dialogue with students and faculty about the questions that arise while studying the 13.7 billion years that led to the emergence of our universe is as fascinating as the history that grounds the First Year Experience at Dominican is Big.

Photo credit: Chase Clow

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Jim Cunningham

Big History: From Big Bang to Present

Ornithologist, biologist, ecologist, and zoologist Dr. James Cunningham holds a PhD in zoology from the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. He has performed extensive research on native birds of New Zealand and authored numerous publications on the subject. Since 1991, Dr. Cunningham has taught courses on human anatomy and physiology, marine biology, natural history of California, freshwater and terrestrial ecology, environmental ecology, animal behavior, and genetics at Dominican. An asset to the program, Dr. Cunningham offers his expertise in evolutionary biology, ecology, and environmental science to our sweeping study of the Universe story.

THOUGHTS ON BIG HISTORY

The teaching of Big History has been very rewarding to me personally. Because Big History is interdisciplinary it requires from those of us who teach it to explore topics outside our areas of expertise. For example, I’m a biologist and have learned to teach history and writing. This has been both challenging and exciting for me. Much of the excitement I have felt comes from the in-depth collaboration I have had with my History and English colleagues who have helped me learn how to teach those subjects. Through the Big History course we model for our students two important skills: lifelong learning as well as collaboration.

Photo credit: Chase Clow

Thomas BurkeHeidi ChretienLindsey DeanJames Cunningham
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Martin Anderson

Big History: From Big Bang to Present
Trade through the Lens of Big History

Dr. Anderson earned his PhD in modern British history from Stanford University and currently serves as Associate Dean of the School of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at Dominican. In addition to Big History, he also teaches classes on topics ranging from women and gender studies to historical fiction. With a particular interest in the history of tourism, Dr. Anderson expertly guides his students on a journey through time in his Big History courses, taking special note of the trade systems, political structures, and economic trends that have characterized human civilizations to this day.

THOUGHTS ON BIG HISTORY

I believe Big History is valuable for students receiving liberal education because it emphasizes looking at questions in a broad perspective and it encourages interdisciplinary thinking. The assignments ask students to connect objects in their every day lives to the creation of basic elements and life in the universe to the creation of the object by humans and its use and its impact on the future. This encourages students to think of things they use everyday in a larger context. Assignments also encourage students to think of such things through several disciplines like science, history, art, and literature.

Photo credit: Chase Clow

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Annie Reid

FYE Library Liaison

Librarian, Archivist, and performer Annie Reid received her BS in Physics from the University of Oregon, and her MLIS in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University. She is the FYE Library Liaison and has worked closely with Big History faculty since the program launched in 2010 to embed information and research literacy into the program goals and course content. Her love of teaching and promoting intellectual discovery comes in handy while working with the first-year students.

THOUGHTS ON BIG HISTORY

The Big History narrative is an exciting way to explore the interconnectedness of the sciences, social sciences, and humanities in a way that incorporates self-discovery. Set before the backdrop of the First Year Experience the program is a great foundation for college level scholarship.

Photo credit: Chase Clow

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Debbie Daunt

Health & Healing through the Lens of Big History

Debbie J. Daunt received her first baccalaureate in Cell and Molecular Biology from San Francisco State University. Nursing came as a second career after success in the garment industry. Debbie received her Baccalaureate in Nursing at the University of Missouri - Columbia and went on to earn a Masters in Nursing as a Nurse Educator. At the University of Missouri - Columbia Debbie Daunt completed her coursework for a PhD in Nursing with a PhD Minor in College Education. Her collateral area of study was Women's Health and her research focused on lymphedema as a complication of breast cancer treatment specifically methods of diagnosis of upper limb lymphedema in breast cancer survivors. Ms. Daunt's teaching career began in 2002 in Missouri and she was an appointed to the position of Assistant Professor at Central Methodist University. After two years at CMU she came home to California to accept an appointment at Dominican University of California. She served as the professor responsible for both the didactic and clinical aspects of the beginning medial surgical nursing course for the last seven years. Debbie Daunt is currently focusing her teaching on beginning med/surg students in the clinical environment and expanding her role by writing a course for Dominican University’s Big History Program. She hopes to complete her doctoral studies in the near future.

THOUGHTS ON BIG HISTORY

What a rare privilege it is to guide and encourage students to explore the basic questions of the universe. As a practicing nurse I am often confronted with the questions of ethics, morality, morbidity and mortality. Now, as part of the Big History faculty, I get to explore these questions in a cosmic arena. I look forward to changing lives, not only at bedside, but by expanding minds of college freshman through Big History.

 

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Kiowa Bower

Big History: From Big Bang to Present

Dr. Kiowa Bower holds a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics from The California Institute of Technology. He joined the department in 2009 and teaches courses in Cell Biology, Genetics, and Biochemistry. His research interest and experience encompasses the interface between biochemistry and neuroscience, with an emphasis on the structure and function of neuroreceptors. His current research examines expression of receptors in stem cells as they differentiate into neurons and also seeks a better understanding of the role that these receptors play in differentiation process.

THOUGHTS ON BIG HISTORY

My experience of Big History has been truly inspiring, as I’ve always had a deep curiosity about the universe and have sought a comprehensive understanding of the world around me. Big History provides a framework that unifies diverse disciplines into one narrative, full of meaning and grounded in evidence. Its themes of emergence and complexity point to the significance of human cultural evolution and the responsibility we hold as our power and influence on the planet continue to grow. Humanity faces many challenges in the near future; however, there is a real opportunity for our species to both prosper and be in harmony with the biosphere. I believe that human consciousness, combined with our capacity for collective learning, gives us the ability to effectively address the issues confronting us.

Photo credit: Chase Clow

Martin AndersonAnnie ReidDebbie DauntKiowa Bower
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Craig Singleton

Music through the Lens of Big History

Dr. Singleton earned his DMA in Musical Arts from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky and completed post-doctoral work at Holy Names College in Oakland, California. In addition to directing A Cappella and Jazz Ensemble groups, Dr. Singleton has taught studio voice, conducting, music theory, and music technology, among many other courses, at Dominican since 1997. He is former Chair of the Department of Music and Performing Art and Director of the Graduate Humanities Program. Dr. Singleton has extensive experience directing church choirs and conducting classical orchestra and joins the Big History faculty with a unique course of his own creation: Music through the Lens of Big History.

THOUGHTS ON BIG HISTORY

Big History... from the very beginning till now... in two semesters. Quite an undertaking don't you think? My part is viewing (and listening and experiencing) with you the music of Big History... also quite an undertaking. But we will give our best effort to dealing with the science, the beginnings, the development, and the meaning of music in the context of Big History. The Big History program at Dominican is stimulating, thought provoking, and challenging. The journey we will take together is good and necessary, and will influence us long beyond our experiences in our study together. Can't wait.

Photo credit: Chase Clow

     
Craig Singleton   

 

Big History Presentations and Publications

International Big History Association Conference (IBHA), Grand Rapids, MI, August 2-5, 2012.
Anderson, “Pedagogical Consideration in Teaching Threshold 7: The Agrarian Revolution”
Behmand, “First Year Experience ‘Big History’ as the Cornerstone of 21st Century Liberal Education”
Behmand, “Iranians Are the New Victorians!”
Brown, “A Country Girl Finds Big History”
Brown, “Constructing a Survey Big History Course”
Castner, “Reflective Writing in the Big History Classroom”
Cunningham, “Complexity and the Teaching of the 5th Threshold: The Origin and Evolution of Life”
Dean, “Big History, Big Questions: The Role of the Modern Creation Myth in Forming a Global Ethics”
Novak, “Placing Homo Religiosus in Big History”
Simon, “On Power: George Lucas, Jerry Garcia, and Barack Obama’s Big Black Helicopters”
Simon, “Visualizing Complexity: Teaching Industrialization with Charlie Chaplin”
Sinclair, “Religion in Big History Courses”
Sondag, “Visualizing and Creating: Teaching Big History Through Creative Disciplines”
Taylor, “Pedagogical Issues and the Teaching of Threshold 6: The Paleolithic Era”
Wolfe, “The Case for Awe in Teaching Big History”

University Curriculum Reform Conference, Hong Kong, China, 12 – 14 June 2012,
Behmand, “Big History: Foundational General Education for the Twenty-First Century”

The Asian Association of World Historians (AAWH), Seoul, South Korea, April 26-29, 2012. Panel: “Thinking for the 21st Century: Big History as a First Year Experience.”
Behmand (chair), “Envisioning and Creating an Inclusive Big History-Based First Year Experience.”
Brown, “Constructing the Core Big History Course.”
Burke, “Big History: A Tool for Critical and Creative Engagement in Pedagogy.”
Halebsky and Sondag, “Visualizing and Writing Big History: Teaching Creative Disciplines through Big History.”

American Association of Colleges and Universities-General Education (AAC&U-GE), New Orleans, LA, February 23- 25, 2012.
Behmand (with M. Reder and M. Brau), Pre-Conference workshop “Advancing Academic Partnerships to Improve Student Success.”
Behmand, “Big History: From a History Course to a First Year Contextualization of the Whole Person.”

First Year Experience Conference (FYE), San Antonio, TX, February 17-21, 2012.
Behmand, “First Year Experience Big History: An Innovative First-Year Sequence for the Twenty-First Century.”
Behmand (chair), Novak, Burke, Wolfe, Simon, “Thinking Big (History): Creating a First Year Experience around Transdisciplinary Content.”

California World History Association (CWHA), San Diego, CA, October 21-22, 2011.
Panel Title: “Big History as a Revolutionary Approach to Teaching California History to First and Second Year College Students.” Panel chair: Ross Dunn.
Behmand, “Pioneering the Big History First Year Experience at Dominican University.”
Taylor, “California Natural History and the First Californians.”
Cunningham, “Plate Tectonics and Its Impact on California History.”

World History Association (WHA) in Beijing, China, July 7-10, 2011.
Behmand and Brown: “Big History as a Required One-Year Freshman Sequence.” 

Association of American Colleges and Universities on General Education (AAC&U-GE), Chicago, Illinois, March 3-5, 2011.
Behmand and Burke, “Big History: A New Approach to the Freshman Seminar.” 

Professional and Organizational Development Network (POD), St. Louis, MO, November 2010.
Behmand, “Big History: Faculty Development for an Innovative Freshman Seminar.”

International Conference on Interdisciplinary Social Sciences (ICISS), Cambridge, UK, August 2-5, 2010.
Behmand and Scott, "Big History: The Whole Story for First-Year Students.” 


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