Whose Culture? [Curricular] Development inspired by the NEH Institute 2010 “The Silk Roads: Early Globalization and Chinese Cultural Identity” Prepared by Rebecca Bates, Berea College
Working Outline of Course Themes • Introduction to Concepts and Terms • People and Place, People and Space • Mechanisms for Interaction • Commodity Politics and the Social Life of Things • Being Human: Concern, Curiosity and Happiness
Culture making everyday: The Power of Place “Fly Away, Breath” by Wendell Berry Andy Catlett keeps in his mind a map of the country around Port William as he has known it all his life and as he has been told about it all his life from times and lives before his. There are moments, now that he is getting old, when he seems to reside in that country in his mind even as his mind still resides in the country.This country mapped in his mind cannot be presumed to be the actual country, which nobody ever will fully know; it is the country of his own life and history, fragmentary as they necessarily have been; it is his known country. And perhaps it differs also from the actual, momentary country insofar as time is one of its dimensions, as reckonable in thought as length and breadth, as air and light. His thought can travel like a breeze over water back and forth upon the face of it, and also back and forth in time along its streams and roads.
The Story of the Weeping Camel (available via Netflix) Mongolian Bling
Culture and Identity: Local, Relational, and Cosmopolitan Reading Assignments: Ames, “The Confucian Worldview: Uncommon Assumptions, Common Misconceptions,” & selections from Appiah, Cosmopolitanism
Cultural Ecotones Cultural Ecotone I: Pirates and Priests Meetings at Dunhuang and the Malaccan Straits Cultural Ecotones II: Virtual Place and Space Explorations of Internet Chatrooms
Mechanisms for Moving Culture • Travelers and Technologies • Religious and Cultural Enthusiasts • and the Imaginary • Migration, Immigration and the Diasporic Community • Education and State Formation • Imperial and National
POLITICS AND THE SOCIAL LIFE OF THINGS The Silk Roads: Trade on the Eurasian Continent Spicing Up Life, Past and Present • How can commodities be useful for tracing cultural blending? • Is blending really a useful term? • Curry (or Tea) and Marijuana • Tracing the movement of textile designs and porcelain • The Transformer’s Project by Prada in South Korea
Antiquities in the Presenta consideration of current actors forwardingImperial and Nationalist Legacies(collectors, museums, nation-state)Readings by J.C.Y. Watt and James Cuno
Being Human: Concern, Curiosity and Happiness Entertainment and the Arts Narrative Exchanges: From Xiyouji to Disney Art in Context or Art as a Trans-local Phenomenon?