Examines special topics in history.
"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
Class assignments and grading
Two papers (one 5-6 pages, and one 10-12 pages)
Papers plus participation in weekly meetings