This event has now finished.
  • Date and time: Sunday 2 June 2024, 2pm to 3pm
  • Location: In-person only
    Tempest Anderson Hall, Museum Gardens (Map)
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required

Event details

Paul Cooper, host of the hit podcast Fall of Civilizations, explores how a range of ancient societies rose to power and sophistication, and how they tipped over into collapse.

Based on his book of the same name, Paul will take you on a journey across the centuries, from the great empires of Mesopotamia to those of Khmer and Vijayanagara in Asia and Songhai in West Africa; from Byzantium to the Maya, Inca and Aztec empires of the Americas; from Roman Britain to Rapa Nui.

Join Paul as he evokes the majesty and jeopardy of these civilizations, and asks what it might have felt like for a person alive at the time as they witnessed the end of their world.

Book sales

You can buy copies of many of our speakers’ books from Fox Lane Books, a local independent bookseller and Festival partner. In some cases, author signed bookplates are available too. 

About the speaker

Paul Cooper writes, produces and hosts the Fall of Civilizations podcast, which has charted in the top ten British podcasts, and gained upwards of 100 million listens since it launched in 2019. He has worked as an archivist, editor and journalist, and has a PhD in the cultural and literary significance of ruins. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, The BBC, The AtlanticNational GeographicNew Scientist and Discover Magazine. His first novel, River of Ink, was published in January 2016, and his second novel, All Our Broken Idols was released in May 2020. His latest work is the nonfiction, Fall of Civilizations: Stories of Greatness and Decline, published in April 2024.


University of York

Venue details

  • Wheelchair accessible