The Khan and the Emperor

khan-and-emperoro-poster-1The Khan and the Emperor: Genghis, Khubilai and the Mongol Empire, 15 April – 20 May 2017: I taught this course at the Oriental Institute in the spring of 2017.

This course offers the student the opportunity to study the history of the Mongol Empire by examining its two most important figures. First, the founder of the empire and the conqueror who began it all: Temujin, later known as Genghis Khan. Second, the last of the Great Khans and founder of the Yüan Dynasty in China: Khubilai, grandson of Genghis. Through these two khans–one a conqueror the other an empire builder–we can more deeply understand the Mongol Empire and trace the lasting impact left by the empire and its greatest personalities.

For more information, see: Course Website


Silk Road Odysseys

Silk Road Odysseys: an Exploration of Central Eurasian History Through Travel Literature23 April – 28 May 2016: In the spring of 2016, I taught a course of my own design for the Oriental Institute which was open to registration by the public.

Course Materials for Students
The Explorers of Central Eurasia – a resource page with information, media and references on writers, scholars and adventurers in Central Eurasia (still in development)

SRO-Poster 1

This course is designed to introduce the intrepid student to the complex and fascinating history of Central Eurasia through vicarious adventures on the so-called Silk Road. Whether you are seeking to discover a new body of travel and adventure literature, or only vaguely know where Central Eurasia might be—or even if you are already on your way to becoming a Central Eurasia expert and are hoping to spend more time with the sources—you’ll find what you’re looking for in the Silk Road Odysseys course. We’ll structure our six-week course thematically, approaching the history of Central Eurasia by way of the most important issues and problems in this rich subject. Our readings will be selected from the earliest, incredulous records of distant, strange lands; through rich medieval travelogues that have made the Silk Road famous; to the modern travel writers searching for a lyrical past by submerging themselves in the contemporary realities of modern Central Eurasia.

Introduction to the History of Central Eurasia 1

I had the opportunity to teach a course of my own design at the University of Chicago. In conjunction with the goals of the Committee on Central Eurasian Studies and a perceived need for general courses on the history of Central Eurasia, I designed this course as a survey of the history and methods of studying Central Eurasia. This course was the first of a two-quarter sequence, surveying the history of Central Eurasia from pre-history to the Russian expansion. The second course of the sequence, Introduction to the History of Central Eurasia 2, surveyed the period from the Russian expansion into Central Eurasia up to the present and was designed and taught by a colleague in the Department of History.

Islamic Art and Architecture, 1500-1900

I served as teaching assistant to Professor Persis Berlekamp in this course which surveyed the major works of Safavid, Mughal and Ottoman art and architecture from 1500-1900 and the dissemination of artistic ideas, techniques and motifs into Europe and the west, generally.

Islamic History and Society 2: the Middle Period

For two consecutive years, I was offered the opportunity to be teaching assistant and discussion group leader for the second part of the popular Islamic History and Society sequence of courses at the University of Chicago. This course has been taught for around 40 years by my advisor, Professor John Woods, and reaches its maximum capacity every year. It deals with the time period covered in Marshall G.S. Hodgson’s The Venture of Islam, volume 2: The Expansion of Islam in the Middle Periods. Hodgson’s three-volume The Venture of Islam was, in fact, produced in relation to this three-quarter sequence of Islamic History and Society.

English as a Second Language

After my undergraduate study, I worked at Suzhou International Foreign Language School (SIFLS), the first private educational institution in China since 1949. My duties there, in addition to teaching English to the school’s teachers and staff, included arranging course materials and teaching contracts for foreign teachers coming to SIFLS.

The Vietnam Conflict

My very first teaching job, immediately following my undergraduate graduation, was as a preceptor for Professor Tom Zoumaras in his course, The Vietnam Conflict, at the Joseph Baldwin Academy for Eminent Young Scholars

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