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David Christian  

David Christian teaches an ambitious world history course that tells the tale of the entire universe -- from the Big Bang 13 billion years ago to present day.

DAVID CHRISTIAN is leading figure in one of the most exciting developments in contemporary intellectual exploration, the study of Big History. Supported and funded by Bill Gates, he is creating online courses and presentations to promulgate this breakthrough notion that the contemporary world and the issues we confront are best understood, and best addressed, by coming to terms with the long view of Big History.

Christian is by training a historian of Russia and the Soviet Union, but since the 1980s he has become interested in World History on very large scales. He taught at Macquarie University in Sydney from 1975 to 2000 before taking up a position at San Diego State University in 2001. In January 2009 he returned to Macquarie University. He has written on the social and material history of the 19th century Russian peasantry, in particular on aspects of diet and the role of alcohol. He has also written a text book history of modern Russia, and a synoptic history of Inner Eurasia (Russia, Central Asia and Mongolia). In 1989, he began teaching courses on 'Big History', surveying the past on the largest possible scales, including those of biology and astronomy; and in 2004, he published the first text on 'Big History'. At San Diego State University, he taught courses on World History, 'Big History', World Environmental History, Russian History, and the History of Inner Eurasia.

In 2009 David Christian received an ARC grant to support research on the second volume of his history of Inner Eurasia, which will cover the history of Russia, Central Asia and Mongolia from the Mongol Empire to the present day. Over the next few years he will also be working with the support of Bill Gates to create an online course in Big History for High School students.

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