The Himalaya:
A Cultural, Religious, and Geographic History

An elective course for high school juniors and seniors

Drew Devore
Episcopal School of Acadiana
Cade, Louisiana


Course Overview


Cultural Sensitivity




Course Description

The course will survey the cultures and history of the Himalayan region, focusing specifically on the regions that make up present day Nepal and Tibet. Students will begin by investigating the geography of the region, and then moving on to study the various religious traditions, culture and history of the region. It will culminate with a discussion of the issues facing the region today, and a look towards what the future holds for the region. The course will also spend time investigting the issues that cross-cultural study sometimes generate (known as Orientalism) and how to avoid these problems.

The course is designed as a one semester elective for juniors and seniors. Because it is an elective class for interested student, the reading load will be fairly light for this class, but make use of sophisticated (often college level) materials. The course is also designed to be taught to a small number of students (probably no more then ten in the class)

Course Overview/Outline

Unit I: Geography

Part I: Physical Geography

Part II: Ecology

Part III: Human Geography

Unit II: Cultural Issues

Part I: Orientalism

Part II: Rules for Doing Comparative Religion

Unit III: Religions of the Region

Part I: Hinduism

Part II: Buddhism

Part III: Tibetan Buddhism

Unit IV: History

Part I: Ancient Tibet

Part II: Ancient India, Nepal, Kashmir

Part III: Modern Himalayan Kingdoms

Part IV: Modern Tibet

Unit V: Contemporary Issues facing the Region

Part I. Tibetan Issue

Part II: Conservation, population growth

Part IV: Political upheaval, Maoists

This site was created by Andrew Devore at the NEH Summer Institute "Cultures and Religions of the Himalayan Region," held at the College of the Holy Cross, Summer 2006