Introduction to the cultural history of ancient and medieval Asia incorporating examples of art, literature, philosophy, and religion, providing a survey of China, India, and several other distinct cultures of the areas surrounding them, especially Japan. (GE Area: C3)
[View map of Asia.]
THIS SECTION does NOT attempt to survey all of ancient and medieval Asian art, literature, philosophy and religion. Rather the course will be inquiry-centered, with investigation of Asian culture motivated by your own broad questions about the nature of culture generally. To stimulate this inquiry, I will return repeatedly to three broad, interrelated questions which have guided my own selection of reading materials and assignments:
- What exactly is culture?
- What drives its evolution?
- And what elements of culture are most important in this evolution?
These questions help to understand not only Asian culture, but also our place in the culture in which we participate and to which we contribute. To find out more about how we will approach this focus, read the introductory essay, "Essential Elements of Culture."
IMPORTANT NOTE: like most offerings in this department, "Arts & Ideas of Asia" is **READING INTENSIVE,** assuming that you will dedicate 5-7 hours per week for reading and assignments outside of class time. Team-based learning will be the primary mode of engaging with primary sources (see www.teambasedlearning.org), facilitated by testing and inter-class communication through SacCT, the university's on-line instructional system.
Course Policies (PDF download)