Interested in learning more about the Himalayan region? Take a look at these Himalaya-focused courses offered at UBC in Winter Term 2017/18!

Choose from a selection of undergraduate and graduate-level courses with content relevant to the Himalayan region, taught by UBC Himalaya Program faculty. Courses include a wide variety of topics, from the exploration of contemporary Tibetan art or Asian architecture to the history and impact of trekking and mountaineering on Himalayan culture and society.

Don’t miss this chance to learn more!

Term 1
Asian Architecture: Sacred and Urban Spaces
ARTH 253

Select built forms in Asia, such as temples, tombs, palaces, cities and gardens, and their relations to cultural, social and political systems.
Instructor: Katherine Hacker
Time: Tuesday & Thursday, 5-6pm

Tibetan Buddhism
ASIA 311
The course provides an introduction to the religions of Tibet in general and particularly Tibetan Buddhism. The course focuses on the formation of a unique system of Buddhist practices and its history of the development of institutions, doctrines, rituals, different schools and literary practices. The course will examine the historical development of Tibetan Buddhism from the 7-8th Century to the present spread of Tibetan Buddhism in the West. Whilst we will examine the subject chronologically, the course will also examine thematic issues, such as the establishment of institutions of the Trulku (Incarnate Lamas) and the Dalai Lama, monasteries and esoteric teachings.
Instructor: Tsering Shakya
Time: Tuesday & Thursday, 2-3:30pm

Nepal and Tibet: Art, Ritual and Performance
ARTH 353

Art of the Himalayan region situated within social and religious practices, festivals, and performances.
Instructor: Katherine Hacker
Time: Tuesday & Thursday, 2-3:30pm

Nationalism, Religion & Ethnic Conflicts in Asia (Graduate Seminar)
GPP 565
Asian nations emerged out of anti-colonial movement. As each sought ideas that supported a singular nation or strong nationalism, Asian states often looked to secular ideas that de-emphasized religious and ethnic differences even as they relied upon religious or cultural ideas that emphasized national sameness. In contemporary Asia, this has given rise to a complex situation in which religious and ethnic identities are emerging to the fore. The course will focus on the kinds of ethnic and religious conflict that are prevalent in Asia, and how these relate to the historical and dialectic development of different forms of nationalism. The course will examine the confluence between religion, ethnicity, and nationalist ideologies in the escalation of conflicts in different Asian societies.
Instructor: Tsering Shakya
Time: Thursday, 2-5pm

Term 2

Tibetan and Himalayan Culture and Society
ASIA 313
The Himalayas—stretching from Northern Pakistan to Myanmar and China, with the Tibetan Plateau occupying a central position—have long captured the global imagination. The mountainous region has become a site of mass tourism and attracted academic studies in a variety of fields, from anthropology and religious studies to development and environmentalism. This course introduces ways of understanding the Himalayan region through interdisciplinary approaches in social sciences and the humanities. Students will explore the languages, history, cultural formation, ethnicities, and the religious traditions of the Himalayas, as well as popular representations of them in the west. This course will also examine specific topics, such as the history and impact of trekking, mountaineering, and the imperatives of development and conservation.
Instructor: Tsering Shakya
Time: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 1-2pm

Representing Old Buddhas in New Clothes? Exploring Contemporary Tibetan Art
ARTH 455
This seminar focuses on art after 1959, the year marking the Dalai Lama’s flight from Tibet to Dharamsala India, location of Tibet’s government in exile. Tibet is associated with religion and imagery of Vajrayana Buddhism; we will examine the ways in which contemporary artists – in a Tibetan homeland and in exile – may strategically draw from or subvert a rich repertoire of formal Buddhist iconography to comment on the current socio-political situation in Tibet and on cultural identity. Readings situate these practices within the interplay between tradition and modernity.
Instructor: Katherine Hacker
Time: Monday, 2-5pm