I plan to absorb as much historical knowledge from museums, local architecture, Dr. Griffel and our guides as possible. My husband John (who goes by Ryk) will help with photo documentation.
My plan is to incorporate our travel experiences into the classroom in two ways:
First, I plan to incorporate Central Asia into my global studies class, particularly in a project on the movement of Buddhism into Asia. Second, I am in the first stages of planning a new course that will explore a premise of global history as a field: that contact between cultures is a major source of historical change. This course will explore two or three periods when far-flung cultures come into contact (even indirect) for the first time. The Silk Roads will serve as one of my examples, and the Viking trading arc another. My interest is, in large, part to understand as best I can the mix of cultures found in Uzbekistan, and to understand when and how they entered local culture.
Preparation During Travel
I have read Valerie Hansen's history of the silk roads, am reading Colin Thubron's beautifully-written "Shadow of the Silk Road," and will bring with me a historical-minded travel guide, Calum MacLeod and Bradley Mayhew's "Uzbekistan: The Golden Road To Samarkand."