Middlebury
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FYSE1255

Collapse of Complex Societies

Facing the Apocalypse: How Complex Societies Fade and Collapse
In this seminar we will examine how and why historically complex societies have failed. We will explore the roles of population pressure, environmental degradation, warfare, and other factors in the collapse of such ancient urban societies as the Classic Maya, Chaco, and the Roman Empire. Likewise, we will explore how societies seemingly well-adapted to their geographic environments, such as the Vikings in Greenland, ultimately succumbed to extinction. Reviewing academic and popular explanations for societal collapse worldwide, we will ultimately engage the modern era and investigate the fragility of contemporary societies.
Subject:
First Year Seminar
Department:
First-Year Seminar Program
Division:
Interdisciplinary
Requirements Fulfilled:
CW HIS SOC

Sections

Fall 2013

FYSE1255A-F13 Seminar (Fitzsimmons)

Fall 2008

FYSE1255A-F08 Seminar (Fitzsimmons)