Fall 2010 - Graduate Course Descriptions

Farmer, J Michael
Discipline and Number
HIST 6350 Section 501
M Time 7:00 PM - 9:45 PM
Course Title
The Silk Roads

Description of Course:

In this course we will read and discuss recent scholarship on the Silk Roads, beginning with Frances Wood’s general history, and continuing with a number of monographs on a variety of related issues. We will also read and discuss excerpts from the body of primary documents used by the authors of the featured monographs. It is the objective of this historiography seminar that students will see how professional scholars approach the historical problems of the Silk Roads, and gain a greater understanding of the history and impact of these overland trade routes on world history. Then, students should be able to take the scholarly models (i.e., secondary scholarship reviewed in the seminar) and apply them to their own research paper topics.

Required Texts:

Wood, Frances. The Silk Roads: Two Thousand Years in the Heart of Asia. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004. [ISBN: 0520243404].

Barber, Elizabeth Wayland. The Mummies of Urumchi. New York: W.W. Norton, 1999. [ISBN: 0393320197].

Di Cosmo, Nicola. Ancient China And Its Enemies: The Rise Of Nomadic Power In East Asian History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. [ISBN: 0521543827]

Foltz, Richard. Religions of the Silk Road. Palgrave, 2000. [ISBN: 0312233388].

Kieschnick, John. The Impact of Buddhism on Chinese Material Culture. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003. [ISBN: 0691096767].

Wriggins, Sally Hovey. The Silk Road Journey with Xuanzang. Boulder: Westview, 2004. [ISBN: 0813365996].

Whitfield, Susan. Life Along the Silk Road. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000. [ISBN: 0520232143].

Schafer, Edward. The Golden Peaches of Samarkand: A Study of T’ang Exotics. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985. [ISBN: 0520054628].

Whitfield, Roderick, Susan Whitfield, and Neville Agnew. Cave Temples of Mogao: Art and
History on the Silk Road. Los Angeles: Getty Trust Publications, 2001. [ISBN: 0892365854].

Ning, Qiang. Art, Religion, & Politics in Medieval China: The Dunhuang Cave of the Zhai Family. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2004. [ISBN: 0824827031].

Hopkirk, Peter. Foreign Devils on the Silk Road: The Search for the Lost Cities and Treasures of Chinese Central Asia. University of Massachusetts Press, 1984. [ISBN: 0870234358].

Liu Xinru and Lynda Norene Shaffer. Connections Across Eurasia: Transportation, Communication, and Cultural Exchange on the Silk Roads. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2007. [ISBN: 0072843519].

Bentley, Jerry H. Old World Encounters. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993. [ISBN: 0195076400]

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

Weekly book reviews
Active participation in class discussion
Final paper

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