Advocating a global as opposed to a Eurocentric perspective in the college classroom, discusses why and how to teach about China's Silk Road.
The romance of the journey along the Silk Road with its exotic locales and luxury goods still excites the popular imagination. The trade route between China and Central Asia that flourished from about 200 BCE to the 1500s, the Silk Road can provide great insight for contemporary higher education curricula. Indeed, with people, plants, animals, ideas, and beliefs traversing it, the Silk Road is now considered both a metaphor of globalization and an early example of it.
Teaching the Silk Road highlights the reasons to incorporate this material into courses and shares resources to facilitate that process. It is intended for those who are not Silk Road or Asian specialists but who wish to embrace a global history and civilizations perspective in teaching, as opposed to the more traditional “world history” view that shows impacts of other societies on Europe. The work explores both classroom and experiential learning and is intentionally interdisciplinary. Each essay focuses on pedagogical strategies or themes that teachers can use to bring the Silk Road into the classroom.
Jacqueline M. Moore is Professor of History at Austin College. She is the author of several books, including Cow Boys and Cattle Men: Class and Masculinities on the Texas Frontier, 1865–1900. Rebecca Woodward Wendelken is Associate Professor of History at Methodist University.