Pilgrimage Culture

Instructor: Karen Shelby
Tuesdays, 12:00 PM – 2:40 PM
Macaulay Classroom 204
Course Code: MHC 330
Modality: In-person

This course will explore the meaning and significance of the transformational travel of pilgrimage. Pilgrims travel over and through exterior landscapes, but pilgrimage fundamentally focuses on the interior journey. The class will examine the role sound, ritual, and architecture and other forms of material culture play in both the external and internal journey. Students will read autobiographical narratives of pilgrims and be introduced to theoretical approaches. This interdisciplinary course addresses pilgrimages in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas through a variety of academic fields including anthropology, material culture, and musicology. Final projects will reflect student-led research with a focus on primary and secondary sources, which will include object-centered learning in the archival holding of museums in New York City such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Chinese in America, the Studio Museum of Harlem, and The Rubin Museum of Himalayan Art. The final result will be a student-created public-facing Open Educational Resource (OER).

This is a ZTC (zero textbook cost) course.

Preliminary syllabus