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The Decline of Great Empires

June 30, 2018 @ 9:15 am - 5:30 pm

*This event is sold out. To be added to the event waitlist, please email us at human@unc.edu 

Every great empire in world history has entered into periods of declining power and social conflicts. Human societies are always in transition, but why do all great empires decline? How is the history of these once-great imperial powers important for Americans as the United States faces the rising influence of other nations today?

Our speakers will describe problems that developed in past empires and will analyze the political, social, and cultural conflicts that weakened each imperial system. We’ll also discuss how modern America’s global power resembles or differs from past imperial powers as we place contemporary issues within a broad historical debate about why all great empires have lost power.


Did the Roman Empire Decline and Fall?
Richard Talbert, William Rand Kenan, Jr. Professor of History

The Conflicts and Declining Power of the British Empire
Susan Thorne, Associate Professor of History, Duke University

Collapse of the Ottoman and Russian Empires: Nation, Religion, and Class
Eren Tasar, Assistant Professor of History

Characteristics, Challenges, and Transitions of the American Empire
Nancy Mitchell, Professor of History, North Carolina State University

Does the Decline of Great Empires Offer Lessons for Contemporary America?
A panel discussion with our speakers

9:15am-5:30pm Saturday, June 30. The tuition is $125 ($115 until May 1st). Tuition for teachers is $62.50 ($57.50 until May 1st). Teachers can also receive a $75 stipend after attending (click here for more information) and 10 contact hours for 1 unit of renewal credit. The optional lunch on Saturday is $15.00.

Discounts are available for UNC students, faculty, & staff. See our UNC Student, Staff, & Faculty Discounted Registration Policy here.

Co-Sponsored by the General Alumni Association.

For information about GAA discounts and other scholarships available to Humanities Program participants, click here.

Register here or call us at 919.962.1544. 

Registrants will receive a packet containing background readings, a map to the seminar location, and more about 3-4 weeks before the program date. 


June 30, 2018
9:15 am - 5:30 pm
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