TEXTS -- The Bhagavad-Gita: Krishna's Counsel in Time of War, trans. Barbara S. Miller (Bantam, 1986); Sima Qian, The First Emperor: Selections from the Historical Records, trans. Raymond Dawson (Oxford UP, 2007); Murasaki Shikibu, The Tale of Genji Abridged, trans. Royall Tyler (Penguin, 2006); and William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White, The Elements of Style (Longman, 4e, 2000).


CORE -- Visit this page for the second part of our syllabus (Connecting) and to get started with the crucial attitudes and perspectives for our course.










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INDIA, I: Foundations


MONSOON ASIA -- What is Asia? (Asian Art Museum or Khan Academy). 

INDIA -- The Story of India, 1: Beginnings: sections 1-25 [43 minutes] (BBC: Michael Wood) and Episode summaries of Overview and 1) Beginnings (PBS companion Web resource).  Optional: timeline and transcript of Wood's series (; The Story of India: Pakistan and North India (BBC: Michel Wood); and Indus to Independence: A Journey Through Indian History, segments 1-3 [8 minutes] (Lightworx).

INDUS CIVILIZATION -- Ancient India, segments 1-3 [18 minutes] (Kultur); Indus Valley Civilization (Crash Course World History); and The Indus River Valley in the Third Millennium BCE (Norton iMaps).  Optional: Indus Valley (British Museum) And study the three topics' main entries (maps) and at least one other item for any one topic:



II: Hinduism


HINDUISM -- A beginner's guide to Hindu art and culture: "Roots of Hinduism" study through "Principal deities of Hinduism" and Beliefs Made Visible: Hinduism in South Asia: Shiva, Ganesha, Vishnu, Durga, The Hindu Temple (Kailasanatha at Ellora, Khajuraho, Konark, and Madurai), Worship, and Varanasi [20 minutes] (Khan Academy or Asian Art Museum) Optional: Hinduism and the Practice of Faith and Worship of the Goddess in South Asia (Asian Art Museum); Hinduism in an Indian Village [12 minutes] and The Evolution of Hinduism [11 minutes] (The Open University); Hinduism (Shulman); and Hinduism and Buddhism [56 minutes] (PBS: Huston Smith).

DEITIES -- Three Hindu gods (British Museum/Khan Academy).   And study the red items and at least one other.

TEMPLES -- Hindu Temples: text and video [5 minutes] (Asian Art Museum).  Optional: Temples (Indian Heritage); The Sensuous and the Sacred: Chola Bronzes from South India; Indian Temples (stupa and northern- and southern-styles); Hindu Temple Architecture; Hampi and Mahabalipuram (Archaeological Survey of India); Hindu Temples [25 minutes] (Building Faith: Sacred Architecture); Char Dham Pilgrimage (Smarthistory); Civilisations animated map (BBC); Early Hinduism (British Museum); and Paradise: sections 5-7 [12 minutes] (BBC: Dan Cruickshank’s Adventures in Architecture).  And study at least one temple (most featured in the optional The Lost Temples of India [52 minutes] [Discovery Channel]):




III: Gita, 1


EPICS -- The Story of India, 1: Beginnings: sections 26-30 [11 minutes] (BBC: Michael Wood) and Synopsis of the Hindu Epics (Asian Art Museum). 


GITA -- The Bhagavad Gita [26 minutes] (Learner: Invitation to World Literature) Optional: Synopsis of 94 Episodes of Mahabharat (Intelindia); Mahabharat, Episode 1The Bhagavad Gita of Order, with brief summaries, translation, and illustrations; The Condensed Edition of The Bhagavad-Gita (Squashed Writers); The Bhagavad Gita [45 minutes] (BBC); The Bhagavad-Gita: The Divine Song of God: text, audio, and images; Bhagavad-Gita As It Is; and Rama's' Story from A Little Princess (1995). 


VISHNU -- Vishnu and Krishna [4 minutes] and Dharma and Duty (lesson): study the Overview and two downloads: The Krishna Legend and Krishna's Mature Life (Asian Art Museum).  And study at least one item:



GITA -- Mahabharat: Krishna's theophany [minute 52.00-1.03.12] (India TV, 1988-90) And study these other manifestations of divinity:



GITA --  Mahabharat: Arjuna accepts his duty [minute 1.03.12-1.11.15] (India TV, 1988-90); Peter Brooke's treatment of the Gita [minutes 3.18.50-3.27.26](Mahabharata, 1989); and An Introduction to Yoga: The Art of Transformation (Asian Art Museum).  Optional: The Mahabharata [52 minutes] (Myths of Mankind).




 IV: Buddhism, 1: Words


THE STORY OF INDIA -- The Power of Ideas: sections 1-7 [24 minutes] (BBC: Michael Wood) and Episode summaries of Overview and 1) Beginnings (PBS companion Web resource). 


BUDDHISM -- A beginner's guide to Buddhist art and culture: study through "The Stupa" (Khan Academy) and Beliefs Made Visible: Sarnath & Bodh Gaya, The Great Stupa at Sanchi, Cave Shrines at Ellora & Ajanta, Images of the Buddha, The Bodhisattva, Decline of Buddhism in India, and Legacy of Hindu & Buddhist Arts of India [20 minutes] (Asian Art Museum or Khan Academy) Optional: Buddhism (V&A); An Introduction to Buddhism (Asian Art Museum); Gandhara (MMOA); Buddhism (Shulman); Buddhism: The Indian Foundations and The Noble Eightfold Path (Hoffert); An Introduction to Buddhism (Boeree); Buddhism (BBC); and The Place of Enlightenment [11 minutes] and Becoming a Buddhist monk [14 minutes] (The Open University) and India 1200 BCE-100 CE (Norton Anthology of World Literature).


THE BUDDHA -- Age of Empire: sections 8-9 [8 minutes] (BBC: Andrew Marr's History of the World) and The Buddha [5 minutes] (The School of Life).  Optional: Life of the Buddha: A spiritual journey (BBC); Buddhism (Hoffert); The Buddha (British Museum); The Art of Buddhism (Freer and Sackler Galleries); Life of the Buddha (Knoblock); Deciphering Buddha Images (NOVA); How to Identify a Buddha, Development of the Buddha Image, and What are the main branches of Buddhism? (Asian Art Museum); Visions of Enlightenment: Understanding the Art of Buddhism (Pacific Asia Museum); Buddhism (Smithsonian); Sixteen States in the Time of the Buddha in South Asia (Norton iMaps); The Life of the Buddha [55 minutes] (BBC); and The Buddha [113 minutes] (PBS: David Grubin). 







2: Images


THE LIFE OF THE BUDDHA -- Buddhism and Buddhist Art (MMOA).  Optional: The illustrated life of the Lord Buddha! (What Buddha Said) and The Illustrated History of Buddhism (Saraniya Dhamma).  And study the eleven bold topics and at least one work of religious art:


1) The Conception of the Buddha -- The Illustrated Life of the Buddha (Berkeley: Teaching Comparative Religion through Art and Architecture).  Optional: The Buddha: Birth & Youth (PBS: David Grubin).

2) The Birth of the Buddha at Lumbini (c. 563 BC, Nepal) -- The Illustrated Life of the Buddha (Berkeley); Sacred Destinations; and UNESCO World Heritage Site Optional: Where Buddha was born (BBC); The Buddha: Birth & Youth (PBS: Grubin); and Pilgrimage to the Buddha's Life Sites, pp. 1-5 (Saylor Foundation).

3) The Four Encounters -- The Illustrated Life of the Buddha (Berkeley).  Optional: The Buddha: Birth & Youth (PBS: Grubin).

4) The Great Departure -- The Illustrated Life of the Buddha (Berkeley).  Optional: The Buddha: Birth & Youth (PBS: Grubin).

5) Austerities -- The Illustrated Life of the Buddha (Berkeley).  Optional: The Buddha: Seeking (PBS: Grubin).

6) Enlightenment -- The Illustrated Life of the Buddha (Berkeley).

7) Sankasya: after preaching to his deceased mother in Trayastrimsa (heaven of thirty-three gods), the Buddha descends to earth -- Buddhist Pilgrimage Sites: The Astamahapratiharya: fourth entry (V&A).  Optional: Pilgrimage to the Buddha's Life Sites, pp. 30-33 (Saylor Foundation).

8) The Uruvela Conversion -- The Illustrated Life of the Buddha (Berkeley).  Optional: The Buddha: Community, Meditation, and Compassion (PBS: Grubin).


9) Return to Kapilavastu -- The Illustrated Life of the Buddha (Berkeley).


10) Subjugation of the Mad Elephant at Rajgir -- The Illustrated Life of the Buddha (Berkeley) and Buddhist Pilgrimage Sites: The Astamahapratiharya: sixth entry (V&A).  Optional: The Buddha: Miracles (PBS: David Grubin) and Pilgrimage to the Buddha's Life Sites, pp. 37-44 (Saylor Foundation).


11) The Great Passing at Kushinagar -- The Illustrated Life of the Buddha (Berkeley); Buddhist Pilgrimage Sites: The Astamahapratiharya: second entry (V&A); and Sacred Destinations

Optional: The Buddha: Death & Legacy (PBS: Grubin) and Pilgrimage to the Buddha's Life Sites, pp. 23-25 (Saylor Foundation).

Optional: Other episodes




3: Ashoka and Borobudur


BUDDHISM --  Ancient India, segments 4-7 [14 minutes] (Kultur) and The Story of India: The Power of Ideas: sections 8-15 [33 minutes] (BBC: Michael Wood) Optional: Indus to Independence: A Journey Through Indian History, segments 4-7 [8 minutes] (Lightworx, 2000) and Buddhism, segments 1-5 [8 minutes] (Heaven on Earth: Monuments to Belief).


INDIA: Ashoka -- Buddha and Ashoka (Crash Course World History) and The Mauryan and Gupta Empires (McGraw-Hill: Interactive Map Quiz).  Optional: The Word and the Sword: sections 2-3 [7 minutes] (BBC: Marr); Pilgrimage and Buddhist Art (Asia Society); and Civilisations animated map (BBC) And study at least one topic:

SOUTHEAST ASIA -- The Spread of Buddhism to 600 CE (OUP) and Buddhist Landscapes, 300-600 CE (Norton iMaps) Optional: Southeast Asia: Kingdoms, AD 100s-1300s and Southeast Asia: Trade Routes, AD 100s-1300s (McGraw-Hill: Maps in Motion); and Spread of Hinduism and Buddhism, 500 BCE-CE 600 (Houghton Mifflin).



IV: Islam


ISLAM -- An Introduction to Islam (skipping the video) and An Introduction to the Qu'ran (Asian Art Museum); and Learn More About the Five Pillars of Islam (Pearson).  Optional: World Religions in Art: Islam (MIA); Islam (BBC); The architecture of a mosque [3 minutes] and An important shrine in Delhi [5 minutes] (The Open University); Islam: The Five Pillars of Faith [50 minutes] (Ashes in the River: Four Religions of India); and Islam: Surrender to God [20 minutes] (Let's Look at World Religions).


MUGHALS -- Ancient India, segments 8-13 [20 minutes] (Kultur); The Mughal Empire and Historical Reputation and Int'l Commerce, Snorkeling Camels, and the Indian Ocean Trade (Crash Course World History); Indus to Independence: A Journey Through Indian History, segments 8-14 [16 minutes] (2000); Mughal Dynasty and The Mogul Empire, 1530-1707 (McGraw-Hill); and The States of the Mongol Empire, The Mughal Empire, 1530, and Expansion of the Mughal Empire, 1556-1707 (Norton iMaps) Optional: Revolution: sections 5-7 [7 minutes] (BBC: Marr); The Story of India: The Meeting of Two Oceans [55 minutes] (BBC: Michael Wood); India, 1200-1650 (Norton Anthology of World Literature); States of Postclassical India (McGraw-Hill); The Great Mughal Emperors 1526-1707 (Paradoxplace); and ; and Islamic Art: India and the Middle East (BBC: Januszczak) And study the Taj Mahal and at least one other monument:


CHINA, I: Foundations


ANCIENT CHINA -- An Introduction to the Geography of China, An Introduction to Ancient China, and Archaeology and the Study of Ancient China with video [4 minutes] (Asian Art Museum); China (World Atlas); Compare US to China (If It Were My Home); Ancient China, segments 1-2 [8 minutes] (Kultur); The Art of China: Part 1, segments 1-9 [17 minutes] (BBC: Andrew Graham-Dixon); and Creating a Bronze Vessel (Princeton).  Optional: William T. Debary, East Asian Civilizations: A Dialogue in Five Stages (1988); Understanding the Geographies of China: An Assemblage of Pieces (McColl); Geography (A Visual Sourcebook for Chinese Civilization); Ancient China (British Museum); and Early Chinese Art 1: Early Dynastic Chinese The Large Concepts [13 minutes] (Mencher).


Maps -- The Geography of China (McGraw-Hill: Maps in Motion); and The Zhou Dynasty, 2200-256 BCE and Zhou China In the Warring States Period (Norton iMaps).


SCHOOLS -- Age of Empire: sections 12-13 [6 minutes] (BBC: Marr) and Hundred Schools of Philosophy (Asian Art Museum).


 II: Qin, 1: Emperor and Assassin


QIN (221-210 BC) -- Ancient China, segments 3-5 [18 minutes] (Kultur); The Word and the Sword: sections 4-6 [8 minutes] (BBC: Marr); and An Introduction to the Qin Empire (221-206 BCE) with video [3 minutes] and The First Emperor’s Reputation: The Man Who Unified China (Asian Art Museum) Optional: "Legalism" & the Unification of China (Hoffert or here); North and South of the Great Wall, Part 1 (CCTV's New Frontiers: Chinese Civilization): Part 1 (1/3, 2/3, and 3/3); and The First Emperor of China: The Man Who Made China [100 minutes] (Discovery Channel].

Historian -- Sima Qian: China's 'grand historian' (BBC).




2: Law and Wall


WALL -- Engineering An Empire: China [minute 00-16.55] (National Geographic); Terracotta Warriors, Episode 4: The Grand Master Builders that Defy Nature" for the Great Wall and road [begin at minute 7.00 in part 1/3 and also 2/3, from the beginning to minute 8.15]; Building the Great Wall (Glencoe: In-Motion Animations); and The Art of China: Part 1, segments 10-13 [11 minutes] (BBC: Graham-Dixon) Optional: Qin Shihuangdi: Memories of the First Emperor (Hoffert); The Great Wall Of China [44 minutes] (Modern Marvels); Bronze banliang coin (3C BC, British Museum); and Following the Great Wall: Interactive Map (EDSITEment).












3: Tomb


TOMB -- Engineering An Empire: China [minute 16.55-24.51] (National Geographic); The Underground Army of the First Emperor (Asian Art Museum); Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor (UNESCO World Heritage Sites) for NHK World Heritage 100 Sites [3 minutes], OUR PLACE, and WHTour; and Emperors, segments 1-8 [17 minutes] (BBC: Niall Ferguson, China -- Triumph and Turmoil)OptionalFirst Emperor's Burial Complex [1 minute] (Asian Art Museum); Terracotta Warriors, Episode 1: The Mighty Imperial Army, Parts 1, 2, and 3 [10 minutes each] and Episode 6: The Brothers in Arms, Part 3 [begin at minute 2.19]; German art student joins Terracotta Army [3 minutes]; The Dynastic Cycle (Pearson: Interactive Map); Ancient China: Tombs and Ancestors (British Museum); The Qin Dynasty On-Line Source Book; and New Discoveries in Chinese Archaeology  [4 minutes] (Art Babble); The First Emperor at the British Museum (Times of London); Tomb of Emperor Qin [9 minutes] (Mencher);and China: Heritage of the Wild Dragon [60 minutes] (MICO); Secrets of the First Emperor (National Geographic) in five parts [47 minutes total; also here]; and The First Emperor: The Man Who Made China (Discovery Channel).


Terracotta Warriors -- Terracotta Warriors from the mausoleum of the first Qin emperor of China (c. 221-206) (Khan Academy).  Optional: Emperor Qin's Terracota Army; Rising to Life: Treasures of Ancient China, Restless Spirits: Chinese Afterlife, and Terra-Cotta Warriors That Didn't Make It to National Geographic's Museum (National Geographic); and Terracotta Army (detail) from the Tomb Complex of Qin Shi Huangdi (Learner: Art Through Time); Terracotta Warriors series, Episode 1: The Mighty Imperial Army, 2: The Colour of Bronze, 3: The Battlefields of Life and Death, 4: The Grand Master Builders that Defy Nature, 5: The All-out War of Unification, and 6: The Brothers in Arms; The Xi'an Terracotta Warriors in China [7 minutes]; Unpacking and Installing China's Terracotta Warriors [3 minutes] and Unpacking and Installing a Terracotta Horse [2 minutes] (Asian Art Museum).






Dr. C. McAllister, Catawba College, Salisbury, NC


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