Summer Session I course 2016 - The Islamic World and China
One of the most significant geopolitical shifts of recent years has been China's increased interest and involvement in the Islamic world, from Afghanistan to Africa. However, although such connections are not new, scholars have rarely examined the long history of contacts between the Sinic and the Islamic worlds comprehensively and systematically. Assembling a wide array of primary and secondary sources on different forms of Sino-Islamic encounters, this course introduces the major events, issues, and peoples that are involved in the complex interactions between them. In-depth discussions of these topics will not only provide students with new perspectives on the histories of the Islamic world and China respectively, but also historical insights to gain a deeper understanding of the newly revived Sino-Islamic connections, China’s One Belt and One Road Initiative, and the emerging China-US-Middle East triangular relationship in the twenty-first century.
This course welcomes all students interested in the histories of the Islamic world and China. No special background is required, though of course some knowledge of the history of China and/or the Islamic world will be a plus. Although it is a seminar course (we meet twice weekly for three hours per session), a fifteen-minute mini-lecture in each class will provide students with some basic background knowledge. We will then devote the rest of the class time to discussions of the assigned readings and peer-critique of students’ research projects. The course will also include a cultural component of site visit to the Niu Jie (牛街) Mosque where Chinese Muslims in Beijing live today.