Current Courses:

In Academic Year 2016-2017, the following courses with Himalayan content will be taught at UBC-Vancouver:


ARTH 253

Asian Architecture: Sacred and Urban Spaces
Monday & Wednesday, 10-11am, Winter Term 2
Select built forms in Asia, such as temples, tombs, palaces, cities and gardens, and their relations to cultural, social and political systems.
Instructor: Katherine Hacker


Tibetan and Himalayan Culture
Tuesday & Thursday, 2-3:30pm, Winter Term 2
This course aims to introduce Tibetan and Himalayan studies to students who do not have a background in the subject. The students are introduced to culture and civilization of Tibetan speaking cultural region of the Himalaya focusing on religion, arts and society. The students will read academic articles and books by way of general background and lectures on Tibetan history and civilization.
Instructor: Tsering Shakya



ARTH 455

Kathmandu in ruins: Heritage sites, settlements and reconstruction in post-earthquake Nepal
Tuesday, 2-5pm, Winter Term 2
When a massive earthquake struck the small Himalayan country of Nepal last year, the death toll climbed to nearly 9,000 people and the toll on Nepal’s rich architectural and cultural heritage was equally devastating. The Kathmandu Valley has seven UNESCO-designated World Heritage Sites and approximately sixty percent of the historic monuments were destroyed or seriously damaged. The implications for heritage preservation in Nepal are profound and prompt an inquiry into the criteria for conservation and rebuilding This seminar will focus on the devastated built environment and different stakeholders’ plans and priorities for reconstruction, and will be situated within robust debates around cultural heritage and restoration, tourism and development that have local and global consequences.

This timely seminar will draw on the extensive photographic documentation and archival material Professor Hacker assembled while in Kathmandu in 2016. There is no prerequisite for this course and students from different disciplines and training are all welcome.
Instructor: Katherine Hacker

GPP 508

Philosophical and Ethical Foundations for Public Policy
Monday, 9am-12pm, Winter Term 2
Inter-cultural communication skills, entrepreneurship, and effective community engagement in policy work.
Instructor: Tsering Shakya




GPP 522

Development Discourses and Practices
Wednesday, 2-5pm, Winter Term 2
What is development? How can the micro and macro aspects of engineering progress be balanced to yield the best possible results? This course draws upon critical social science literatures, as well as writings by development practitioners, to address key questions of development theory and practice. It offers an overview of the rise of development thought, and an assessment of the outcomes of development for countries and communities across the world under different regimes, from authoritarian states to plural democracies in political transitions and into and out of communism and socialism.
Instructor: Sara Shneiderman




Past Courses:

The following additional courses have been offered in the past and have significant Himalayan content.


ANTH 302

Ethnography of South Asia
Tuesday & Thursday, 9:30-11am, Winter Term 1
A specialized study of ethnographic and theoretical problems relating to South Asia.
Instructor: Sara Shneiderman


ARTH 353

Nepal and Tibet: Art, Ritual and Performance
Tuesday & Thursday, 11am-12:30pm, Winter Term 1
Art of the Himalayan region situated within social and religious practices, festivals, and performances.
Instructor: Katherine Hacker

GPP 565

Nationalism, Religion, and Ethnic Conflict in Asia
Wednesday, 9am-12pm, Winter Term 1
Ethnic and religious conflict in Asia related to historical and dialectic development of different forms of nationalism; the confluence between religion, ethnicity, and nationalist ideologies in the escalation of conflicts in different Asian societies.
Instructor: Tsering Shakya


ANTH 415A/505A

Religion and Society
Tuesday & Thursday, 3:30-5pm, Winter Term 1
Comparative study of religious beliefs, practices, and movements; relations between religious, social, and political institutions; religion as a force for stability and change; anthropological/sociological theories of religion.
Instructor: Sara Shneiderman

ASIA 306

Esoteric Buddhism
Tuesday & Thursday, 2-3:30pm, Winter Term 1
Overview of Buddhism's rich and complex esoteric traditions in the Himalayan region and South, Southeast, and East Asia, with particular emphasis on texts, commentaries, and practices from a variety of traditions, locales and time periods.
Instructor: Tsering Shakya

ASIA 310A 001

Studies in the History of a Major Asian Civilization
The course provides an introduction to the religions of Tibet in general and particularly Tibetan Buddhism. The course focuses on the formation of a unique system of Buddhist practices and its history of the development of institutions, doctrines, rituals, different schools and literary practices. The course will examine the historical development of Tibetan Buddhism from the 7-8th Century to the present spread of Tibetan Buddhism in the West. Whilst we will examine the subject chronologically, the course will also examine thematic issues, such as the establishment of institutions of the Tulku (Incarnate Lamas) and the Dalai Lama, monasteries and esoteric teachings.
Instructor: Tsering Shakya