Throughout human history, diverse peoples have been interacting with each other and their environment on the borderlands--places shaped by encounters across difference, with significant implications on culture and livelihood. This cluster focuses on the core issue of borderland encounters, and addresses a variety of common themes such as the concept and nature of borderlands, cultural exchange, power relations, ethnic experience, human- environmental interactions, and (trans)nationalism. The field study will explore the borderlands along China’s Southwest Silk Road through Yunnan province, which encompass diverse ethnic cultures such as Tibetans and Thai in Shangri-La and Xishuangbanna and borderlands environmental experiences along the Tea-Horse trading route.
Through the College’s Ellery Yale Wood Collection of children’s and young adult books, students will investigate childhood, explore literature, and creatively engage in the process of writing children’s literature. The three courses offer differing perspectives on books written for young readers: as cultural historians and critics, as creative practitioners, and as people who may shape educational programs and policies in the future. Historical research, theoretical examination, investigation of the reception and afterlife of important stories, and close attention to the materiality of some of the best-loved objects of childhood will combine with the practical concerns of creating stories for children and communicating about the works.