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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?
- What can we as individuals do to shape the cultures around us in positive ways?
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."
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