History Of Asian Civilizations Seen Through Languages

SS114
Spring 21

This course provides students with an introduction to diverse aspects of languages’ historical roles with a geographical focus on, but not limited to, Asia. Languages, both spoken and written, have been a cornerstone of the formation of great civilizations in human history. Accordingly, ups and downs of a language throughout history well manifest the vicissitudes of the civilization with which the language has been connected. By analyzing histories of a number of key languages from Asian civilizations and their current status in the world, the course will impart to students a more balanced understanding of the interaction between languages and human societies. The course is also designed to encourage critical thinking about why historical approaches are essential for understanding of human being’s intellectual activities such as language use. For an interactive purpose, each lecture will be followed by a Q&A session. During the course, we will watch two films about languages’ roles in history and students are required to write a final paper on one of them.

Hanung KIM


Hanung KIM


Dr. Hanung Kim is a historian of Inner Asia
and a Tibetologist. He earned his PhD from
the Department of East Asian Languages
and Civilization at Harvard University in 2018.