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Bright Horizons 19 Speakers

Southeast Asia  • February 3rd – 17th, 2014



Craig Benjamin is an Associate Professor of History in the Meijer Honors College at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. Prior to taking up an academic career, Craig was a professional musician and jazz educator for 25 years in Australia. After earning his Ph.D. from Macquarie University in 2003, Craig and his wife Pamela moved to Grand Rapids, Mich.

In addition to pursuing his academic and musical interests, Craig has also spent much of his life hiking and climbing in many of the great mountain ranges of the world, particularly in Europe, Africa, Australasia, and the Himalayas. At Grand Valley State, Craig teaches Big History, world history, ancient Central Asian history, and world history historiography. He has received several teaching awards at GVSU, including the 2009 Student Senate Award for Faculty Excellence.

Craig is a frequent presenter of lectures at conferences world wide, and the author of numerous published books, chapters and essays on ancient Central Asian history, Big History, and world history. With David Christian and Cynthia Brown, Craig has just completed the first ever Big History textbook — Big History: Between Nothing and Everything — which will be published by McGraw-Hill in August 2013. In addition to his many publications, Craig has recorded several television programs for the History Channel, and a 48-lecture series for The Teaching Company’s Great Courses series titled The Foundations of Eastern Civilization. Craig is currently Vice-President of the World History Association (he will take up the Presidency in January 2014); and has been Treasurer of the International Big History Association since its inception in January 2011.


Sean Carroll is a physicist and author. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1993, and is now on the faculty at the California Institute of Technology. His research focuses on fundamental physics and cosmology, especially issues of dark matter, dark energy, and the origin of the universe. Carroll is the author of The Particle at the End of the Universe; From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time; and Spacetime and Geometry: An Introduction to General Relativity. He has written for Scientific American, New Scientist, and The Wall Street Journal. He frequently consults for film and television, and has been featured on television shows such as The Colbert Report, PBS’s Nova, and Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman.


A native of Indiana, John R. Hale is Director of Liberal Studies at the University of Louisville. Since earning his B.A. at Yale and his Ph.D. at Cambridge University (both in Archaeology), Hale has conducted fieldwork and research at sites in England, Scandinavia, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Jordan, Guatemala, Israel, and the Ohio River Valley. Particular areas of interest include underwater archaeology, classical oracle temples and other sacred sites, and a scientific quest for a method to date ancient concrete and mortar using radiocarbon analysis. Hale’s research has been published in Scientific American, the Journal of Roman Archaeology, Antiquity, and other journals. He has written a book — Lords of the Sea (Viking Press, 2009) — about the Athenian navy and the birth of democracy. As a national lecturer for the Archaeological Institute of America, Hale presents lectures in many cities throughout the United States and Canada, and has also made lecture tours to South Africa, Finland, Australia, and New Zealand. His teaching awards include the Delphi Center Award and the Panhellenic Teaching Award.


John Mattick is the Director of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, Australia. Educated in Sydney and Melbourne, he has worked at Baylor College of Medicine Houston, the CSIRO Division of Molecular Biology in Sydney, and the University of Queensland in Brisbane, where he was Foundation Director of the Australian Genome Research Facility and the Institute for Molecular Bioscience. He has also spent periods as a visiting research fellow at the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford, Cologne, and Strasbourg.

Professor Mattick has published over 250 scientific papers. His many honors and awards include the Biotechnology Medal of the Australian Biochemical Society, Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia, the inaugural Gutenberg Professorship of the University of Strasbourg, the Order of Australia and the Centenary Medal of the Australian Government, the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Medal, Foreign Membership of the European Molecular Biology Organisation, Fellowship of the Australian Academy of Science, and the Human Genome Organization’s Chen Award for Distinguished Achievement in Human Genetic and Genomic Research.


Mark A. Stoler is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Vermont, where he taught from 1970–2007. He received his B.A. from the City College of New York, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin. He has been a visiting professor at the U.S. Naval War College, Fulbright Professor at the University of Haifa in Israel, visiting Professor at the U.S. Military Academy-West Point, the Harold K. Johnson Visiting Professor at the U.S. Army Military History Institute, the Stanley Kaplan Distinguished Visiting Professor of American Foreign Policy at Williams College, and Griffith ’52 visiting professor at Washington and Lee University. His numerous awards include the Distinguished Book Award of the Society for Military History, the University of Vermont’s Kidder Outstanding Faculty Award, University Scholar Award, Dean’s Lecture Award, and the Kroepsch-Maurice Excellence in Teaching Award.

Stoler has served on the Army’s Historical Advisory Committee, the Board of Trustees of the Society for Military History, the Board of Directors of the World War II Studies Association, the National World War II Museum’s Board of Presidential Advisers, the Council of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, and as president of that organization. Recently he completed a second DVD course for the Great Courses Company (The Skeptics Guide to American History, 2012; and previously America in the World: A Diplomatic History of the United States, 2009), as well as volume 6 of the George C. Marshall Papers. As editor of those papers he is presently working on the 7th and final volume as well as a co-authored history of the Anglo-American Combined Chiefs of Staff during World War II.

Stoler is the author of George C. Marshall: Soldier-Statesman of the American Century (Boston: Twayne, 1989); Allies and Adversaries: The Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Grand Alliance, and U.S. Strategy in World War II (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000); Major Problems in the History of World War II ed. with Melanie Gustafson (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2003); Debating Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Foreign Policies, 1933–1945, with Justus Doenecke (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2005); Allies in War: Britain and America Against the Axis Powers, 1940–1945 (London: Hodder-Arnold, 2005); The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, 6: “The Whole World Hangs in the Balance,” January 8, 1947–September 30, 1949 (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013), ed. with Larry I. Bland; and numerous articles and book chapters in U.S. diplomatic and military history.


Andrew R. Wilson is Professor of Strategy and Policy at the United States Naval War College, where he lectures on Asian military history, strategic theory and Sun Tzu’s Art of War. He is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara and received his Ph.D. in History and East Asian Languages from Harvard University. Prior to joining the Naval War College faculty he taught Chinese history at Wellesley College and at Harvard University. In addition to his teaching duties, Wilson is a founding member of the Naval War College’s Asia-Pacific Studies Group and its China Maritime Studies Institute.

Wilson has appeared on The History Channel and has been interviewed on National Public Radio. He has lectured on military history, strategic theory, and international security in nearly two dozen countries and on six continents. In addition, Wilson has contributed to the curriculum of military colleges in Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Ethiopia, and Uganda.

He is the author of numerous articles on Chinese military history, Chinese sea power and Sun Tzu’s Art of War. His books include Ambition and Identity: Chinese Merchant-Elites in Colonial Manila, 1885–1916; The Chinese in the Caribbean; China’s Future Nuclear Submarine Force; and War, Virtual War and Society; as well as the forthcoming The Acme of Skill: Strategic Theory from Antiquity to the Information Age. Most recently he has produced two lecture series for The Great Courses entitled The Art of War and Masters of War: History’s Greatest Strategic Thinkers.

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