Interested in doing something unique, exciting, and educational this summer? Check out this opportunity from the Elliott School and UHP Professor Robert Shepherd:
Summer Field Program:
Heritage, Tourism, and Development on China’s Ethnic Frontiers
June 10th – July 1st, 2012
This program takes GW students into the field to experience firsthand the development
challenges faced by state authorities, community leaders, and regular citizens in the
interior regions of the People’s Republic of China. As part of a national campaign
to ‘Go West’, Chinese authorities have promoted tourism and heritage projects as
development tools in marginalized minority areas. The purpose of this program is to
learn about these projects and their impact on citizens by traveling overland through
the Tibetan cultural frontier area of historic Amdo and Kham.
After arriving in China we will spend five days in Beijing, where we will visit cultural
sites in and around the city such as the Temple of Heaven, the Forbidden City, and
the Dongtian Daoist Temple complex. During this time we will also visit the National
Minorities University for a discussion of state ethnic policies, and Beijing International
Studies University, for a discussion on tourism policies and objectives. After traveling by
train to Lanzhou, capital of Gansu Province in Northwest China, we will travel overland
through the Amdo and Kham regions of historic Tibet. Our first stop will be the Tibetan
pilgrimage town of Xiahe, site of Labrang Monastery, a key intellectual center for the
Gelukpa Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. We will then continue by road to the monastery
town of Taksen Lhamo (Chinese Langmusi), located along the Gansu-Sichuan border
on the edge of the Tibetan plateau, and then to Jiuzhaigou National Park, in Northern
Sichuan province. From Jiuzhaigou we will fly to Xian, the former capital of the Tang
Dynasty and site of the Terra-Cotta warrior museum. Our trip will conclude with a return
journey to Beijing by train.
Over the course of this three-week field study students will interact with Chinese
tourism and heritage scholars, local Tibetan and Han Chinese business owners, Tibetan
pilgrims and nomads, and Chinese students. In keeping with the focus of the program,
our overland trip will be arranged and hosted by Nomad Travel, a Tibetan-run agency
located in Xiahe, Gansu province.
The total fee for this program is $5,432.This includes GWU tuition ($3,679) for three
credits), train (soft sleeper class) and air travel within China, all accommodations, site
visits, admission fees, travel insurance and most meals. Parts of this journey will be at
elevations of 3,000 to 3,500 meters (10,000-12,000 feet), so good health is a must.
The program will be led by Robert Shepherd, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and
International Affairs. For more information, feel free to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
or stop by his office in the Sigur Center for Asian Studies, Suite 503, 1957 E Street.