|William Mullen has been writing about quantavolution and historical catastrophism since the early 1970's, when he was scholarly assistant to Immanuel Velikovsky in Princeton and at Alfred deGrazia's experimental school in the Valais canton in Switzerland, L'Université du Nouveau Monde. This early work fructified in several Velikovksian publications—on the Egyptian Pyramid Texts, on Mesoamerica, and on interdisciplinary synthesis— in Pensée's ten issue series "Immanuel Velikovsky Reconsidered", of which he served as a member of the editorial board. In 1988 he became acquainted with Gunnar Heinsohn's revision of Mesopotamian and related chronologies, and at the 1995 symposium in New York celebrating the centennial of Velikovsky's birth he presented "Worlds in Collision after Heinsohn" (later published in the S. I. S. Review, Spring 1998), which argues that if Heinsohn's revised chronology is correct the scenario of Worlds in Collision is no longer tenable with the dates and agents proposed there.|
Mullen's later work has set aside adherence to a specific Velikovskian scenario and taken into account the important later astronomical theories of de Grazia and Milton, Clube and Napier, and most recently Anthony Peratt. Setting aside the question of the precise dating and astronomical phenomena in the most decisive catastrophes in human memory, he has chosen to pursue instead the simultaneous reconfiguration of civilized thought across Eurasia in the period just after the last Bronze Age and Iron Age catastrophes, often referred to as "The Axial Age". At the groundbreaking 1998 conference "Natural Catastrophes during Bronze Age Civilisations" in Cambridge, England, he presented the opening sections of his projected work Catastrophism and the Pre-Socratics, consisting of studies of proto-science among 7th-4th century BCE Greek thinkers. The monograph he then published in the conference's proceedings, The Agenda of the Milesian School (Archaeopress, Oxford, 1998), covers the inaugural figures in that Greek development, Thales, Anaximenes, Anaximander, and Xenophanes. He is currently working on
Heraclitus, about whom he presented a paper in honor of Alfred deGrazia, "Q-Lightning", at The Center for Quantavolution Conference June 8-10, 2008 at the Université Pierre-et-Marie-Curie in Paris. Both the Milesian School and Heraclitus essays will form part of the opening volume of a projected Axial Age series, Catastrophism and the Axial Age.
Mullen received his B.A. in Classics from Harvard College in 1968 and his Ph.D. from the University of Texas in 1972. He was a Professor or post-doctoral Fellow at Berkeley, Princeton, Boston University, Harvard's Center for Hellenic Studies, and St. John's College, before settling in the Classics Department at Bard College in 1985. In 1999 he began to teach his course "Catastrophe/Apocalypse" there, whose "inside.bard.edu" website is listed below. His other Greek teaching and publication at Bard has included specializations in ancient Greek poetry, philosophy, rhetoric, athletics and cultural geography; in the latter category should be included his expeditions and publications exploring the validity of Felice Vinci's thesis in The Baltic Origins of Homer's Epic Tales (subject of the "vteam06" website below). In addition to ancient Greece he has taught courses and published on Roman influences on the American Founding Fathers; and the revisionist Hellenism of Nietzsche; and on East-West comparative studies (courses on "Confucius and Socrates", "Aristotle and Xunzi", "India and Greece").
Since 1982 he has initiated and led Joint Seminars between the U.S. Military academies— first between the Naval Academy and St. John's College at Annapolis, then between West Point and Bard College— and in the last few years has broadened the West Point relation into the Academy-Bard Exchange Program. He has also taught public speaking in prisons, and has worked with therapists of combat trauma and trainers of guards of juvenile delinquents. He was a regular contributor of book reviews and op-ed pieces to The New York Sun during its years of publication between 2002 and 2008.
Over the last forty years he has also published, in a wide range of magazines, his own poetry and his translations of Greek, Egyptian and Chinese poetic texts. His poem "Enchanted Rock" was chosen for inclusion in Best American Poems of 1998.