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Events Details

Date: August 1, 2021 - August 5, 2021
Time: All Day
Sponsor: Villanova University
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Changing the World: Community, Science, Engagement and Big History

The International Big History Association’s Fifth Global Conference, in collaboration with Symbiosis International University, will be held in the summer of 2021 in India. Its theme focuses on Changing the World: Community, Science and Engagement with Big History. The IBHA has held conferences on meaning, teaching and research, and so now will address issues of community and change around our planet. In other words: How can big history help us in its application to world issues?

India is a powerhouse of innovative development, with cultural and intellectual traditions reaching back thousands of years. Symbiosis is an embodiment of this heritage and enterprise, a truly modern synthesis. Situated along the Mula-Mutha River, its six campuses in the city of Pune lie on the Deccan Plateau, 600 meters above the Arabian Sea.

Founded in 1971, Symbiosis International University was begun with the intent of providing a “home away from home” for African and Asian students studying in India. Its students come from more than 85 countries, so, appropriately, their Sanskrit motto is वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम् – Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – “The World is One Family.” A not-for-profit university, Symbiosis serves almost 30,000 students.

First Big History class at SSLA, Spring 2018.

Our conference will be co-sponsored by and held at the Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts (SSLA), one of the university’s most innovative programmes.

Launched in 2011, SSLA was the first liberal arts school in an Indian university and remains the only four-year degree and honours programme. SSLA is home to the India Association for Big History, which formed in 2016. Two years later, the first course in Big History in South Asia began at SSLA, growing out of its Anthropology Department.

Today, the course is co-taught as ‘Humanity and Big History: Our Challenge for Survival’ by an historian and a physicist. This is required for all third-year students. In March 2018, SSLA sponsored the First Annual Conference of Interdisciplinarity and Big History in co-operation with the Asian Big History Association, J.F. Oberlin University (Tokyo), and the IBHA.

Other sponsors of the conference include the Asian Big History Association, the India Association for Big History, and the Eurasian Center for Megahistory & System Forecasting. We will also be hosting a digital component of the conference for those who cannot attend in person.

The conference will take place during the first week of August 2021.

Discussion at the Fireflies Intercultural Centre, Dinnepalya, Karnataka, June 2018.

Our Ecology Committee will make an energy audit and design projects to mitigate conference impacts. These activities will include plantation of indigenous flora and waterway enhancement; they will continue as community-service projects. There also will be child care at the conference, with activities related to big history and community.

To register for the conference, please go to 2021 Big History Conference Registration.

We look forward to seeing you on AIRMeet!

Warm wishes,
Barry, Richa, Vedanti & Sulakshana
Organizers of 2021 Conference

Barry Rodrigue, Ph.D.
SSLA Professor, Anthropology
IBHA International Coordinator
[email protected]
Richa Minocha, Ph.D.
SSLA Associate Professor
Gender Studies & Ecology
[email protected]
Vedanti Poddar
SSLA Student Coordinator
Media Studies / Business
[email protected]
Sulakshana Sen, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
International Relations,
Political Science, Public
Policy & Performing Arts
[email protected]

Anita Patankar, Ph.D., Director
Shweta Sinha Deshpande, Ph.D., Dep. Director

Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, Symbiosis International [Deemed University] | Pune, Maharashtra, India |

Event Posted by: Lowell Gustafson