Dr. Jonathan Markley

Contact Information

Voice: 657-278-2257
Fax: 657-278-2101
Dept: 657-278-3474


Jonathan Markley, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of History


Jonathan Markley is a New Zealander by birth, and earned his bachelor's and master's degrees at the University of Auckland. After that, he taught history for four years in Hong Kong, before moving to Sydney, Australia, where he earned his Ph.D. at Macquarie University in ancient Chinese history. His first book (published by Brepols) is called “Peace and Peril. Sima Qian’s Portrayal of Han-Xiongnu Relations.” He moved from Australia to California to take up his position in the History Department at CSUF in 2006. He was granted tenure and promotion to associate professor in 2011. He has been involved with the Big History movement since his time at Macquarie, and he featured in many of the episodes of the History Channel’s 2013 series “Big History.” Other TV appearances include an episode of “America’s Secret Slang” (Lower the Boom), “Ten Things you didn’t know” (Caligula), and “History of the World in Two Hours.” He was appointed to the board of the International Big History Association (IBHA) in 2014, and he currently manages the IBHA’s Facebook page. He is working on a book about the Big History of Grass, a species of plant that includes wheat, barley, rice, corn, sugar cane, and bamboo.

Research Areas

Chinese historiography, Chinese foreign relations, Han Dynasty China, Big History