East Asian Languages and Cultures | Travel Culture in Contemporary China
E300 | 24921 | Shen


Topic: Travel and Travel Culture in Contemporary China
[This class assumes no prior knowledge of China.]


This course seeks to explore the concept of travel in Chinese
tradition, the image of modern China in travel literature written by
foreign travelers and Chinese writers, and the travel and travel
culture in contemporary China.

By focusing on travel, this course will introduce students to the
geographical and cultural background of important travel
destinations, historical and modern cities, urban culture, the
minority cultures, and people’s life and customs in contemporary
China. Students will read traveling writings, view maps, paintings,
photographs, films, theatre, and some types of shows and festivals,
which relate to the discussion topic for each class. The class
sessions will cover Six Historical Cities; famous mountains and
rivers; Confucianism, Buddhism, Daoism and travel culture; Dunhuang
culture; Tibet; Xinjiang; the past and present of the Silk Road, and
various things such as food, clothes, arts, folklore, etc., which
have all been parts of travel culture in modern China. Reading
materials will be chosen from China through the eyes of the West:
from Marco Polo to the last emperor; Recollections of West Hunan;
The Silk Road, past and present, and so on.

Besides the reading assignments, there will be two quizzes,
homework, a short essay, a mid-term exam, and a final project for
this class. Grades will be calculated as follows: 15% for quiz and
homework, 15% for the short essay, 25% for the midterm exam, 35% for
the final project, and 10% for class participation.