2019-2020 Catalog 
    Aug 11, 2022  
2019-2020 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

CMLT 201 1 - Literature of the Silk Road


This course will examine the literature of the Silk Road from ancient times to present. The Silk Road is a modern term for both land and sea trade routes that connected Asia to Europe. Civilizations that became part of the Silk Road include Chinese, Indian, Persian, Arabian, and European. Commodities such as silk (the reason for the name) as well as food, art, porcelain, technology, religion, literature, and philosophy were transported between the “East” and “West.” In many ways, the Silk Road was an early form of globalization. Now the Silk Road is a popular travel destination, as well as the name of cellist Yo Yo Ma’s music ensemble. We will read both fiction and non-fiction. We will start in Asia with the famous fairytale of the Chinese empress who brought the secret of making silk outside of China to Europe. We will also study from the Chinese perspective, the adventure tale Journey to the West and from the Japanese perspective, The Silk Weavers of Kyoto and Samurai and the Silk. From the European perspective, we will read The Adventures of Marco Polo. In addition, we will read the memoirs and tales of explorers who travelled the Silk Road: Gertrude Bell, Freya Stark, Aurel Stein, and Paul Pelliot to name a few. Finally, we will look at some modern novels that center on the Silk Road such as Gail Tsukiyama’s Women of the Silk as well as other ways in which the Silk Road is represented in current cultural formats. Students not in the Honors program need to get permission of the instructor before they can register. This course counts for Category II of East Asian Studies, Diversity, Writing, and Honors Seminar. No prerequisites. Open to first or second year honors students only. Group III Humanities