In this seminar course, we will consider some of the pros and cons of “empire,” with brief looks at the great empires of the West, from Rome to the empires of the modern era including Spain, Portugal, France, and England. We will begin by asking the fundamental question: What is an empire? What, for example, did Spain and England want from North America when they colonized it? How does an “empire” differ from a “nation” or a “state”? Today, when “empires” are considered evil by some—and when America and Israel are sometimes accused of evil deeds in the name of empire—we consider whether America has indeed acted like an empire, and whether its behavior today warrants classifying it with the other empires of the ancient and modern worlds.
Dr. Harry Ballan
The Tikvah Fund
Dr. Harry Ballan is Senior Director of the Tikvah Fund and Dean of the Tikvah Online Academy. He is also the academic director of several new educational initiatives, including Tikvah’s classical education efforts. Harry holds a BA, MA, MPhil, and PhD from Yale University and a JD from Columbia Law School. He clerked for Chief Judge Wilfred Feinberg of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and was for many years a Partner at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, a leading international law firm where he is currently Senior Counsel. He has taught at several leading universities on subjects ranging from law and intellectual history to neuroscience, and was Dean of Touro Law School before joining Tikvah.
Meet the Instructor
Tikvah aims to make all of our courses available to as many qualified students as possible. In the event that Tikvah needs to add additional sections, this course may be taught by a different faculty member with a similarly high level of expertise.