Lecture Notes

Below are lecture outlines for each of the class sessions.

1 Big Questions: World Systems and Civilizations

The Pivotal Role of Central Eurasia
2 Corpses and Chariots: Mummies, Horses and the Rise of Nomadism (PDF)
3 The Rise of the Silk Route Trade

Han, Xiongnu, and Roman Empires
4 Religions along the Silk Routes: Islam, Christianity, Manicheanism, Judaism, Buddhism (PDF)
5 Cave Paintings and Sculpture: Dunhuang and Others (PDF)
6 Caravans and Conquest: Marco Polo, Rabban Sauma, and Kublai Khan (PDF)
7 Ming China and the Rise of Muscovy (PDF)
8 Manchu Conquest of Central Asia, Russian and Mongolian Negotiations (PDF)
9 There will be a film shown in the first session of this week, during class time. It is NOT optional. You will have to write a 1-2 page commentary on it.
10 Tibet and Xinjiang's Role in Central Asian Politics
11 Nineteenth Century Great Game: Britain, Russia, and China (PDF)
12 Twentieth Century Explorers and Looters: Aurel Stein, et. al (PDF)
13 Soviet Rule in Central Asia: From Revolution to Environmental Catastrophe (PDF)
14 Post-Soviet Developments in Central Asia and Xinjiang (PDF)
15 Intercultural Contacts from Amsterdam to Japan: Yo-yo Ma and the Silk Road Project

The Dalai Lama in the Modern World

Richard Feynman "goes" to Tuva (PDF)