Voyages and Visionaries
How did cross-cultural contact between Europe and Asia in the pre-modern era produce our modern concept of civilization?
In this course we examine five moments of intellectual encounter in the pre-modern era among civilizations of the eastern hemisphere, including India and China and what we now call the Middle East. Through the eyes of scholars, pilgrims, and missionaries, you will learn to map the itineraries of early travelers and to analyze their experiences from a comparative perspective. We will focus on reconstructing the worldviews and geographical imaginations that inform each text with reference to historical maps and images.