Arts, Culture, and Spirit on Silk Roads

Fall 2019
Winter 2020
Freshman - Senior
Class Size: 25
8 12 Credits per quarter
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This interdisciplinary half-time program will examine artistic and spiritual traditions on the Silk Roads with emphasis on China. We will consider the Silk Roads as a metaphor for social and cultural interactions and exchange. We will study foundational concepts and practices in  Daoism, Confucianism, Buddhism, Islam and Jewish faiths. We will engage in various artistic, meditative and self cultivation practices including Taiji, calligraphy, and art making inspired by our learning.

During the fall quarter, students will develop foundational knowledge by reading philosophical, historical and aesthetic texts. They will keep an art journal and will cultivate their own spiritual, meditative, and artistic life. Field trips destinations may include Chinese and Japanese gardens, a Native American reservation, museums, concerts, meditation retreats, and other spiritual resources in the community.

In winter quarter, students will continue studying the arts and cultures of the Silk Roads at an intermediate level.  Students' focused and individualized study will include a research project. They will be able for example to pursue the study of art, or health and meditative practices, or practice the Way of Tea with the instructor’s guidance. Winter quarter will have an accelerated schedule and will include a three day Lunar New Year Taiji seminar. Winter quarter will culminate in presentations of students’ research projects in week 8.

Students registered  in the program can earn up to 12 credits in Winter quarter. by participating in 3 weeks of study abroad in China. Approximate dates: March 10-30. On study abroad students will visit important cultural centers and will study at Daoist and Buddhist colleges. A signature requirement is required for students seeking 12 credits. Please contact the faculty for more information. 

Community members may participate as Special Students, registering with CRN 20159 for 2 credits for study abroad.  This will include 3 orientation sessions on Saturdays, 4-6 PM, to apply for visas and preparation activities.  Dates TBA. 

Credits will be awarded in Chinese and Cultural Studies, and in Visual Arts.


Fall 2019 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

(8): 10010
Winter 2020 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

(8): 20005
(12): 20006
(2): 20159

Academic details

Preparatory For

Arts, International and Cultural Studies

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing

Fall: $50 for field trip, Winter: $15 for Lunar New Year Tai Ji Seminar. Study abroad will be optional at the end of winter quarter; the cost including transportation will be approximately $3200. 



In Person or Remote
Hybrid (F)
Hybrid (W)
Time Offered
Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule

First Meeting

SEM 2 A1105 - Lecture
Study Abroad

An optional 3 weeks study abroad is offered in China at the end of Winter quarter.

Estimated Costs: 

Special Expenses: $800   (Estimated expenses students will cover themselves including Visa and Airline ticket)

Required Student Fee: $2000 (Fee covers group expenses for services organized by college)

Administrative Fee:   $400  (Nonrefundable deposit to cover administrative costs of running study abroad)

DateRevision 2020-01-09 Winter fee updated to $15 (was $10) 2019-12-16 Signature requirement added for 12-credit study abroad section 2019-05-17 Study Abroad Special Expenses Reduced to $800 (was $1200) 2019-05-17 2-credit study abroad only option added for community members