HISTORY 390 - Topics Mini-Course
Fall 2021, Section 001 - China and the Middle East: Commodities, Ecology, Infrastructure
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is   Hybrid (see other Sections below)
Subject: History (HISTORY)
Department: LSA History
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
May be elected three times for credit.
Primary Instructor:


How did cellulose fiber paper become a globally circulated technology after its invention in Han China? How did Islam spread out from the Middle East to Central and East Asia? What role does infrastructure play in the contemporary rejuvenation of the Silk Road? This course will lead students to a new perspective of transnational history and examine China and the Middle East as interconnected and mutually constituted entities. The course moves chronologically from the Ancient Silk Road (2BCE-18CE) to the contemporary Belt and Road Initiative (2013- ), and depicts a grand picture of long-durée communications between two geographical areas. We shall focus on the contours of material exchanges, technology transfers, long-distance traveling, and the spread of ideas and religious beliefs. This course will motivate students to think critically about the relationships between material and culture, institution and politics, environment and human practice in a global framework.

Course Objectives The thematical objective of this course is to promote students’ dedication to cultural diversity in the contemporary context of globalization. History serves to keep records of past events, yet more crucially, to illuminate people’s thoughts and shape their behaviors. A necessary step of cultural diversity is to know, acknowledge, and appreciate people and things beyond the realm of our life and take them as a critical reflection of the self. In this course, students can expect to learn how communications and exchanges were established between China and the Middle East, as well as how they were influenced by various global or regional factors.


HISTORY 390 - Topics Mini-Course
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
002 (SEM)
 In Person
Th 2:00PM - 4:00PM

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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CourseProfile (Atlas)

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CourseProfile (Atlas)