Did the Silk Road even exist? Coined by a German geographer in the late nineteenth century, the term "Silk Road" has long become a metaphor for global connectivity. Evoking the image of camels and traders, diplomats and warriors, and missionaries and artists roaming across Eurasia from Chinese cities to Mediterranean shores, the so-called Silk Road has captivated the imagination of historians, novelists, and film makers for decades. This course investigates the fact and fiction of the Silk Road. Over the course of the semester, we will encounter people, texts, and objects that weaved a world wide web before the age of internet. We will examine Buddhist monks, Muslim scholars, and Mongol rulers who connected disparate regions of the globe before the age of globalization. And we will discuss whether the concept and history of the Silk Road may offer anything novel for us in the twenty-first century. This class is for first-year, non-transfer students only.
Course Attributes: BU BA; BU IS; AS HUM; AS LCD; FA HUM; AR HUM; EN H