Accueil > Silk road: the Asian roots of globalization

BHUM 12A02 - Silk road: the Asian roots of globalization

Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Autumn and Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

This course examines how contemporary globalization movements can be linked to developments in the early history of Asia. If globalization is understood as a movement of international integration arising from the movement of people, goods and ideas, its roots go far deeper than the 19th century. This course proposes to show how a series of historiographic biases have blurred our understanding of the origins of globalization. They include Eurocentric histories, nationalistic histories, ethnic or religious essentialism and an almost exclusive focus on literate sedentary societies. This course will introduce the students to the new perspectives brought by archaeology, research on nomadic societies and connected histories. At the end of the course, the student is expected to : 1°) Know how to spot biases in the historical or literary sources of sedentary societies 2°) Know how to spot biases in silk road historiography 3°) Connect Asian History to Western History Each class will include a lecture followed by a debate session based on preassigned readings. Students will also hand out a 1 page summary of the preceding lecture at the beginning of each class. Each group of 2 students will write a research paper (10 pages) and present it in class during the final colloquium session.


WORMSER, Paul (PhD. Teacher-INALCO)

Course validation

To validate the course, the student is expected to pass the following assignments (at least three grades): 1°) One course summary grade 2°) One debate grade 3°) One research paper grade

Required reading

Boivin, Nicole & Fuller, Dorian “Crops, cattle and commensals across the Indian Ocean: Current and Potential Archaeobiological Evidence” in Etudes Ocean Indien 42-43, 2009, p.13-35

Additional required reading

  • Anthony, David, The Horse, the Wheel and Language, Princeton, Princeton University Press. 2007, p.459-466
  • Wisseman Christie, Jan, “State formation in early maritime Southeast Asia; A consideration of the theories and the data”, in Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 151-2, 1995, p.269-280
  • Beckwith, Christopher, Empires of the Silk Road, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2009, p.12-28
  • Flood, Finbarr, Objects of Translation: Material Culture and Medieval Hindu-Muslim Encounter, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2009, p.261-265.