Splash Biography



PAXTON DECKER, BC Sophomor studying History




Major: History

College/Employer: BC

Year of Graduation: 2024

Picture of Paxton Decker

Brief Biographical Sketch:

I grew up in Denver, Colorado, and am getting used to the ideas of "ocean" and "moisture" here in Mass. I have been a student of History since I can remember what those words meant, and have had an unquenchable desire for documentaries, articles, and lectures on the subjects. My main interests are socio-economic formations, medieval Asia, Empires and bureaucracy, and 20th century Socialism. I'm always happy to talk with anyone interested in these topics!



Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

H2150: Civilizational Collapse: Do Civilizations "end?" in BC_Splash Spring 2022 (Apr. 10, 2022)
From video games, to movies, to books and TV shows, we are collectively obsessed with the ideas of "lost Civilizations." Fantasy, Sci-Fi, or non-fiction, we are enthralled with the ruins of those who came before. In our own history, from the Bronze Age Collapse to the "End of Rome" in the West, this idea of collapse and end fascinates us. In this class, we will examine the very idea of a Civilization collapsing in context of human history, philosophy, and art. We will consider what constitutes a Civilization, why Civilizations strain or collapse, and if Civilizations can truly end. We will end by thinking of our present in the context of these lessons of Civilization.


H2096: Feudalism's Long Death: The life, times, and decline of the Feudal system in BC Splash Fall 2021 (Nov. 14, 2021)
Long after its supposed disappearance, Feudalism retains a ghost-like touch on culture and society. Tales of knights and princesses, from Disney to Star Wars, captivate our minds, while we still refer respectfully to strangers as "sir" and "ma'am", "lord" and "lady." This raises the question: what was Feudalism? How did it actually work? When did Feudalism actually die? Is it truly gone?


H2052: Socialism in the 20th Century: What was it, and what became of it? in BC_Splash BC Splash Spring 2021 (Mar. 28, 2021)
The 20th century saw the world's first established Socialist society, the Soviet Union, emerge from the rubble of Tsarist Russia. 50 years later, the USSR was the second-most world power, and had been joined by dozens of similarly minded countries across Europe, Asia, African, and Latin America that all saw solidarity with the mission to build Socialism and Communism. Today, only five of these countries remain. What happened? How did Socialism work, and what were its effects? What can the ghost of 20th century Socialism teach us today?