October 12, 2010
As part of the University's East Asian Civilizations program at the Center in Beijing, Tamara Chin, Assistant Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature, and several staff members took the class on a day-long trip to a portion of the Great Wall at Mutianyu, about 70 kilometers northeast of Beijing.
Professor Chin's course "Silk Road Fictions" includes an examination of the historical function and social meanings of the Great Wall, especially during the early empires of the Qin and Han. Students were assigned readings on the early builders of the “long walls” and what the walls meant to their contemporaries and to later generations. The trip was designed to equip students with a more tangible understanding of the physical environment and size of the Wall, and of its competing symbolic meanings over time.