Current Courses:

In Academic Year 2017-2018, the following courses with Himalayan content will be taught at UBC-Vancouver:

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ARTH 253

Asian Architecture: Sacred and Urban Spaces
Tuesday & Thursday, 5-6pm, Winter Term 1
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

ASIA 311

Tibetan Buddhism
Tuesday & Thursday, 2-3:30pm, Winter Term 1
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 Trulku (Incarnate Lamas) and the Dalai Lama, monasteries and esoteric teachings.
Instructor: Tsering Shakya

 

ASIA 313

Tibetan and Himalayan Culture and Society
Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 1-2pm, Winter Term 2
The Himalayas—stretching from Northern Pakistan to Myanmar and China, with the Tibetan Plateau occupying a central position—have long captured the global imagination. The mountainous region has become a site of mass tourism and attracted academic studies in a variety of fields, from anthropology and religious studies to development and environmentalism. This course introduces ways of understanding the Himalayan region through interdisciplinary approaches in social sciences and the humanities. Students will explore the languages, history, cultural formation, ethnicities, and the religious traditions of the Himalayas, as well as popular representations of them in the west. This course will also examine specific topics, such as the history and impact of trekking, mountaineering, and the imperatives of development and conservation.
Instructor: Tsering Shakya

 

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ARTH 353

Nepal and Tibet: Art, Ritual and Performance
Tuesday & Thursday, 2-3:30pm, Winter Term 1
Art of the Himalayan region situated within social and religious practices, festivals, and performances.
Instructor: Katherine Hacker

ARTH 455

Representing Old Buddhas in New Clothes? Exploring Contemporary Tibetan Art
Monday, 2-5pm, Winter Term 2
This seminar focuses on art after 1959, the year marking the Dalai Lama’s flight from Tibet to Dharamsala India, location of Tibet’s government in exile. Tibet is associated with religion and imagery of Vajrayana Buddhism; we will examine the ways in which contemporary artists – in a Tibetan homeland and in exile – may strategically draw from or subvert a rich repertoire of formal Buddhist iconography to comment on the current socio-political situation in Tibet and on cultural identity. Readings situate these practices within the interplay between tradition and modernity.

Painting: Tenzing Rigdol, Wrathful Dance, 2014
Instructor: Katherine Hacker

GPP 565

Nationalism, Religion & Ethnic Conflicts in Asia (Graduate Seminar)
Wednesday, 9am-12pm, Winter Term 1
Asian nations emerged out of anti-colonial movement. As each sought ideas that supported a singular nation or strong nationalism, Asian states often looked to secular ideas that de-emphasized religious and ethnic differences even as they relied upon religious or cultural ideas that emphasized national sameness. In contemporary Asia, this has given rise to a complex situation in which religious and ethnic identities are emerging to the fore. The course will focus on the kinds of ethnic and religious conflict that are prevalent in Asia, and how these relate to the historical and dialectic development of different forms of nationalism. The course will examine the confluence between religion, ethnicity, and nationalist ideologies in the escalation of conflicts in different Asian societies.
Instructor: Tsering Shakya

 

 


 

Past Courses:

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

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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

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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

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 310T

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

kathphotosize

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

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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

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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

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

 

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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

 

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

 

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