Lecture #1 Study questions
Yi-fu Tuan writes, “Place is an organized world of meaning”. Amitav Ghosh writes, “In the geography of
human history, no culture is an island.” How do you understand these quotes taken from our syllabus?
(Mines and Lamb)
- because locations have meaning to groups of people, not just individually. Experiences of the
world are different from person to person; an important place to one person is just a mass of land for
-“In the geography of human history, no culture is an island”: What I understand of this quote is
that culture is all around us. It isn’t isolated from anyone and it affects everyone. For example, in the
movie Jama Masjid Street Journal you get to see how there are modern businesses but around it you are
surrounded by traditional ways. Or another example, there are practices of Indian culture in Canada –
cuisine, karma sutra, etc. So as people are displaced or move around the world, they take with them
their own culture, but also adapt to the new culture of the country. No one culture is completely pure
and distinct from the rest – no culture is an island.
Name the contemporary nations of South Asia.
-Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka. And sometimes Afghanistan
What is the “Orient” and why is it important to our study of South Asia?
-Orient refers to the east. The term Orientalism came from Edward Said. Orientalism is a term
which encompasses the ways in which the “west” views the “east. It’s related to the “Othering” and
“Eurocentric view where the western experience is at the center. And everything else outside of that is
considered exotic or different. The west feels responsible to take care of the east and help them develop
into a similar way to the West.
- It is extremely important in our study of South Asia because it will shape the view of the East
from the West’s perspective and then further determines how they are treated. The west feels obliged
to go and develop the east and this will develop their relationship throughout history.
What are the layers of history that have contrib