Audio & Video Resources

Ramayana

Image from the Ramayana

The Ramayana originated in north India as an oral epic poem, performed with musical accompaniment and dance. Written, illustrated manuscripts of the poem were later produced from Pakistan to Indonesia. This means that the Ramayana has expressions in oral performance, dance, music, literature, and illustration. Modern iterations of the tale extend to film, television, comic books, and animation....

Monomyth: Hero's Journey Project

Joseph Campbell's Monomyth, developed in Hero With A Thousand Faces, describes the common heroic narrative in which a heroic protagonist sets out, has transformative adventures, and returns home. It is a useful formula for comparing literary traditions across time and culture.

Here, ORIAS provides resources to explore and compare three different works through the lens of the Monomyth: Mali's Sunjata, South Asia's Ramayana, and Japan's Yamato.

Epic of Gilgamesh

Close-up of cuneiform tablet

See images of some of the original tablets. Learn about the history of writing. Hear parts of the epic read in the original Akkadian.

Ramayana Resources

Scene from the epic Ramayana: Kumbhakarna battles the monkeys, 1100-1200 CE, former kingdom of Angkor

Read summaries of the narrative, including one illustrated with art from different regions. See a beautiful digitized version of the tale. Watch a controversial modern film based on the epic.

Migration & Diaspora

Summer Institute for Community College Teachers

May 31 - June 2, 2018

The 2018 Summer Institute for Community College instructors will consider migration and diaspora from the standpoints of wide-ranging disciplines, including history, anthropology, sociology, journalism, and international law. Join your teaching colleagues in this exploration of human migrations of the distant past, causes of migration, the subjective experiences of both new migrants and those living in long-established diasporas, and current issues in global migration....

Women in World History

How would your curriculum change if your default historical subjects were women, rather than men?

How would you assess the importance of the agricultural revolution or Athenian democracy? Would property rights and marriage laws edge out professional status and voting rights in classroom discussions about power? How would you construct narratives of long-distance trade, imperial conquest, and industrialization? Do you imagine the core periodization and themes underlying your course would be altered?

These are not new...

Foodways in World History

How has the history of human society been driven by food and agriculture? Watch the full set of lectures from this Summer Institute.

Featured: In Favor of Podcasts

May 4, 2016

My love affair with podcasts began while I was teaching. I don't recall how I stumbled across the show, but after several months of avid listening I began assigning segments from BackStory to augment US History class readings. A little to my surprise, the students liked it. They found the interactions between the hosts funny (in an admittedly dorky way) and were cautiously...

Ramayana through Dance

Music and dance are core aspects of retellings of the Ramayana. As part of the Hero's Journey Project, ORIAS contributors interviewed dancer and choreographer, Jyoti Rout. Footage of the dance she choreographed and performed for ORIAS, the Navarasa, has been lost. However, comments from her interview can help unfamiliar viewers interpret performances.

On The Classical East Indian Temple Dance of Orissa

Odissi is an ancient,...

Teaching World Literature

A short selection of resources on the value and challenges of teaching World Literature.