Seminars & Short Courses

Journey to the West: Empire, the Arts, and Modernity

An interdisciplinary seminar-style exploration of East Asian civilizations. This seminar is focused on empire, the arts (literature, art, and religion) and modern influences on Asian culture, politics, and economics. We explore the history of the Mongols, rebellions in China and the weakening of the Qing dynasty, and the Asian perspective on the Korean and Vietnam wars. In addition, we learn about the influence of Buddhism in the region and the use of meditation today, we read the literary classic Journey to the West, and we examine the visual arts in China over the years. Finally, we address urgent matters impacting Japan today and the role of Korean pop culture in shaping Asian society.