First IBHA Conference: Grand Valley State University, Michigan.  August 2-5 2012

The inaugural conference of the International Big History Association was held at Grand Valley State University August 2-5, 2012. The conference theme was ‘Teaching and Researching Big History: Exploring a New Scholarly Field’.

The opening reception was held at the Grand Rapids Public Museum (and was followed by a special Big History program in the Planetarium); and keynote addresses were given at the Gerald R. Ford Museum, and at the main campus of GVSU in Allendale.

Conference delegates were able to choose between 40 different panels and roundtables, featuring some 130 different big history presentations.  Both the Big History Project and the Microsoft Chronozoom Project were featured in plenary sessions; and Dr Walter Alvarez of the University of California Berkeley gave the principal keynote address titled, ‘Big History: A Bridge between Science and the Humanities’. The conference was a resounding success, and demonstrated the depth and breadth of big history research and teaching at all educational levels.