Colgate University

First-Year Course Offerings — Fall 2022

FSEM 185   Silk Roads
RestrictionsNo 2025 2024 2023
DistributionSocial Relations,Inst.& Agents
Core AreaNone

Faculty Profile for Professor Graybill

Just where, exactly, is the Silk Road? Or are there many silk roads? How has it changed in focus or cultural significance and focus over time? What roles have China, Central Asia, and Europe played in its historical creation and current reimagining? Students focus on the cultural and socioeconomic relationships that developed in the past along the fabled Silk Road and that are being revived to imagine and reimagine the New Silk Roads initiatives today. Students survey the overland trade routes through Central Asia that connected East Asia with Europe. Students consider the local, regional, and intercontinental impacts of the Silk Road and New Silk Roads. Students explore the interactions of nomadic and sedentary peoples, cultural confrontations and syncretism, and the spread of religions, ideas, and foods. Students will host their own bazaar and try some of the cuisines! Students are challenged to think across time, space, and cultures, and encouraged to explore new ideas with new peers, and hone writing and speaking skills for college-level courses. Students who successfully complete this seminar will earn credit for a 100-level REST course and satisfy one half of the social relations, institutions, and agents area of inquiry requirement.

Jessica Graybill is an interdisciplinarian with expertise in the geosciences and in social, cultural, and environmental studies of Russia and Eurasia. She can't wait to share her passion for this place and its cultures and communities with you, while also asking hard questions about it, in your first semester at Colgate! When not teaching, Prof. Graybill’s current research carries her to the Arctic where she studies the cultural impacts of climate change.