It is both awful and awe-inspiring that we are living through the years when we are defining a new geological epoch of our own making. To declare humanity a geological force on a planetary scale and to name an epoch ‘the Anthropocene’ is to see humans as a species among other species across deep time. Such a leap of science and the imagination requires new cultural histories that give meaning to that perspective – narratives of the Earth, of life and extinction, and of humans among other living organisms. What do such ‘big histories’ look like, and what emotions do they generate and call upon? How do the humanities reach across such gulfs of time? And what kinds of intimate social and ecological histories of place and belonging might we need now more than ever?