In the 2015-16 academic year, we will focus on the Silk Roads, routes that linked the civilizations of China, Central Asia, West Asia, and to a lesser extent, Europe, for much of premodern history, starting as early as the second century BCE if not earlier. Their cultural significance can hardly be overstated and their political influence has received much attention. Today, industry has revived these overland routes as a faster alternative for shipping electronics from European markets to China and other products from China to the West.
The Year of Silk Roads will explore the rich and diverse cultures along the Silk Roads through programs on culture, history, politics, society, economy, ethnicity, art, literature, science, music, and film. As a critical part of our programming, we will engage local ethnic communities with historic ties to this region, and include their perspectives in our survey. We will also feature the innovative work being done by Queens College students and faculty in areas along the Silk Roads.
1 Adapted from Rossabi, From Silk to Oil (China Institute) and Riding the New Silk Road (The New York Times.)