- Department: History
- Module co-ordinator: Dr. Dilnoza Duturaeva
- Credit value: 20 credits
- Credit level: M
- Academic year of delivery: 2023-24
- See module specification for other years: 2022-23
Trans-Asian trade along the Silk Roads occurred during one of the most turbulent phases in its history in the period between the fall of the Tang dynasty and the rise of the Mongols. Political instability in Central and North Asia and the withdrawal of the Tang dynasty from the Western Regions restricted access to the caravan routes that had connected China and Central Asia since ancient times. However, trade always found a way of circumventing barriers; and without sharing goods, ideas and knowledge, the world in the 10th-12th centuries would have been poorer. Moreover, it is difficult to imagine that the Silk Roads declined in this era when the Song dynasty, as all Chinese dynasties, retained a high demand for horses, the beasts of burden for long-distance trade.
This module provides a Central Asian perspective on how trans-Asian trade functioned during a period of political upheaval and explores in particular the “renewal” of the Silk Roads in the eleventh century. We will study the effects of Central Asian politics on the international trade between China, India, Iran and Anatolia and explore commodity and exchange in the history of Central Eurasia, focusing on the period when it was not only silk that was a major primary commodity transported from China to Central Asia and beyond. Through dynastic histories, official documents, history works, diaries and travelogues as well as art objects and historical maps we will examine trade and economic diplomacy between China and the “West” along the global caravan routes.
|A||Semester 2 2023-24|
The aims of this module are to:
Students who complete this module successfully will:
Students will attend a 1-hour briefing in week 1. Students will then attend a 2-hour seminar in weeks 2-4, 6-8 and 10-11. Weeks 5 & 9 are Reading and Writing (RAW) weeks during which there are no seminars, and during which students research and write a formative essay, consulting with the module tutor. Students prepare for eight seminars in all.
Seminar topics are subject to variation, but are likely to include the following:
|Task||Length||% of module mark|
Students submit a 2,000-word formative essay in week 9.
A 4,000-word summative essay will be due in the assessment period.
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Students will typically receive written feedback on their formative essay within 10 working days of submission.
Work will be returned to students in their seminars and may be supplemented by the tutor giving some oral feedback to the whole group. All students are encouraged, if they wish, to discuss the feedback on their formative essay during their tutor’s student hours—especially during week 11, before, that is, they finalise their plans for the Summative Essay.
For more information, see the Statement on Feedback.
For the summative assessment task, students will receive their provisional mark and written feedback within 25 working days of the submission deadline. The tutor will then be available during student hours for follow-up guidance if required. For more information, see the Statement of Assessment.
For reading during the module, please refer to the module VLE site. Before the course starts, we encourage you to look at the following items of preliminary reading: