Search | Directories | Reference Tools
UW Home > Discover UW > Student Guide > Course Catalog 

Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Jordanna Bailkin
HIST 490
Seattle Campus

Topics in History

Examines special topics in history.

Class description

"Things Fall Apart: The Ends of Empires from the Ancients to the Moderns"

Are empires destined to fail? What happens when they collapse? This course takes a different perspective on imperial history. Instead of looking at moments of expansion and success, we will look at the history of imperial decline and fall from the ancient Romans to more recent incarnations of empire in the late 20th century. We will focus on the collapse of the European empires - and the consequences of this collapse for the rulers and the ruled - but will look at examples from multiple sites and eras. Authors will range from Virgil to M.K. Gandhi and Frantz Fanon; we will also watch films about the process of decolonization, such as Gillo Pontecorvo's "Battle of Algiers."

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Seminar discussions

Recommended preparation

No prerequisites

Class assignments and grading

Two papers (one 5-6 pages, and one 10-12 pages)

Papers plus participation in weekly meetings


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Jordanna Bailkin
Date: 04/20/2011