What is a “civilization”? This inquiry will initiate the course and spark a discussion about the working definitions of the term, and the critiques and alternatives. Learners will then survey their friends and family to explore the meaning of “civilization” and share their findings through multi-media assignments. This course examines one particular encounter between two civilizations at different stages of their economic and technological development, namely the Spanish conquest of the Aztec and Incan empires in the Americas. Finally, learners will investigate the art, science, technology and politics of a few large civilizations (China, India, Rome) and their unique features, and learners will be invited to discuss and compare two other civilizations of their choice.