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BHUM 12A04 - Travel Writers Along the Silk Road

Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Autumn and Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 48

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

The reading conferences are part of the global yearly syllabus on the Silk Road. The purpose is to read, analyse and explain texts, from travel logs, letters, to treaties, novels and poetry, written by travelers during their peregrinations East and West or about places and people along the Silk Road. These documents will enable us to capture the spirit of traders, warriors, pilgrims, adventurers and also to figure out the reality and myths that developped about the fabulous Silk Road countries.



Pedagogical format

The classes will be based on readings and oral texts analysis but also on debating about historical issues at stake. Students will be required to share their reading experience, to present contexts and hypothesis, to write texts commentaries and even some creative personal writing. The idea is to make the journey lively and to find links with visual arts and music.

Course validation

The grading process will include text analysis, written exercices, quizzes, book reviews and class participation.

Required reading

Journey to the West, Wu Cheng'en, Volumes I, II, III, translation by Anthony C. Yu, University of Chicago Press, 1983, (2012 edition)

Additional required reading

  • Gulestan, Saadi, (En français, édition Robert Laffont 1983)
  • Rubáiyát, Omar Khayyám, translation by Edward Fitzgerald, Wordswoorth Classics, 1996
  • Panchatrantra, Visnu Sarma, Penguin classics, 2005
  • Arabian Nights, Volume I, II, II, Translation by Robert Irwin and Malcolm Lyons, Penguin classics, 2010