“The Story of Big History”

CITATION:
Ian Hesketh. 2014. History of the Present, Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 171-202.
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ABSTRACT:
Currently, a group of historians is claiming that it might be history that provides the framework for a scientific and evolutionary account of everything. Big History, so named by its foremost practitioner, David Christian, seeks to Continue reading
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Big History, Deep History, and the Problem of Scale

What does it mean to talk about the anthropocene historically? Thinking about this has forced me to take a closer look at a couple areas of scholarship that I’ve watched grow over the past few years: big history and deep history. These two interdisciplinary projects have recently gained Continue reading

“The onset of the Anthropocene”

CITATION:
Bruce D. Smith and Melinda A. Zeder. 2013. Anthropocene, Vol. 4, pp. 8-13.
ON-LINE AVAILABILITY:
ABSTRACT:
A number of different starting dates for the Anthropocene epoch have been proposed, reflecting different Continue reading

Earth, Life, and Time: What is Natural?

Life on Earth has always altered its environment.1 “Deep” time records major shifts in atmospheric composition, for example, as life evolved photosynthesis, leading to a massive transfer of CO2 from the atmosphere to the biosphere. Given this, is the large-scale injection into the atmosphere of anthropogenically released carbon a completely natural consequence of biotic activity?

Atmospheric levels of CO2 have always changed, attributable in part to life — and well before the influence of humans. On geologic time scales such fluctuation results from Continue reading

“Some Reflections on Heritage and Archaeology in the Anthropocene”

CITATION:
Solli, B., M. Burström, E. Domanska, M. Edgeworth, A. González-Ruibal, C. Holtorf, G. Lucas, T. Oestigaard, L. Smith and C. Witmore. 2011. Norwegian Archaeological Review. Vol. 44, No. 1, pp. 40-88.
ON-LINE AVAILABILITY:
ABSTRACT:
Are we now living in a new geological epoch called the Anthropocene? Geo-scientists discuss whether there is Continue reading