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Advocating a global as opposed to a Eurocentric perspective in the college classroom, discusses why and how to teach about China’s Silk Road.
The romance of the Silk Road journey, with its exotic locales and luxury goods, still excites the popular imagination. But study of the trade routes between China and central Asia that flourished from about 200 BCE to the 1500s can also greatly enhance contemporary higher education curricula. Indeed, with people, plants, animals, ideas, and beliefs traversing it, the Silk Road is both a metaphor of globalization and an early example of it.
Teaching the Silk Road highlights the reasons to incorporate this material into a variety of courses and shares resources to facilitate that process. It is intended for those who are not Silk Road or Asian specialists but who wish to embrace a global history and civilizations perspective in teaching, as opposed to the more traditional approach that focuses on cultures in isolation. The book explores both classroom and experiential learning and is intentionally interdisciplinary. Each essay focuses on pedagogical strategies or themes that teachers can use to bring the Silk Road into the classroom.
“Based on years of experience, the authors of Teaching the Silk Road offer sound strategies for both stand-alone courses on aspects of the route and mainstreaming what has been uncovered in three decades of research into existing courses in a variety of disciplines.” — H-Net Reviews (H-Asia)
“This collection of essays and personal reflections allows the reader to listen in on a relaxed conversation on teaching the topic of the Silk Road. It offers a nice blueprint for integrating the Silk Road into new or existing curricula.” — J. Michael Farmer, author of The Talent of Shu: Qiao Zhou and the Intellectual World of Early Medieval Sichuan
Jacqueline M. Moore is Professor of History at Austin College. She is the author of several books, including Cow Boys and Cattle Men: Class and Masculinities on the Texas Frontier, 1865–1900. Rebecca Woodward Wendelken is Associate Professor of History at Methodist University.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Introduction Morris Rossabi
Disciplinary Approaches to the Silk Road
1. Weaving with Silk: Using the Silk Roads to Organize World History Surveys before 1500 Masako N. Racel
2. How to Use the Silk Roads in the European History Survey Course Marybeth Carlson
3. The Silk Road and Chinese Identity, Past and Present Robert W. Foster
4. Silk Road Studies in the Political Science Classroom Rick Parrish
5. Teaching the Silk Road in Comparative Politics Gang Guo
6. Art and the Silk Road Joan O’Mara
Thematic Approaches to the Silk Road
7. Incorporating Nomads into the Curriculum, One Steppe at a Time Ronald K. Frank
8. Philosophical Refl ections on National Identity Tongdong Bai
9. Silk Roads, Service Learning, and Mythmaking Hirsh Diamant
10. Taking Students along China’s Silk Road Marcia J. Frost
11. Mapping the Silk Road Rebecca Woodward Wendelken
12. Using Primary Sources to Teach the Silk Road Jacqueline M. Moore
A Personal Perspective
13. Flashes at the End of the Sky—My Personal Khotan on the Silk Road Zhang He