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Exploring World Heritage Sites in Asia

Evening Program

Monday, June 29, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.
Code: 1J0033B
$25 - Member
$35 - Non-Member
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Left to right: Mogao Grottos in Gansu province, China; Shah-i-Zinda necropolis in the city of Samarkand; Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet; and The Taj Mahal

Please Note: This program has a rescheduled date (originally April 23, 2020).

There are 269 UNESCO World Heritage sites throughout Asia. Each of them offers a fascinating glimpse into the evolution of complex civilizations, empires, and religions. This series offers an in-depth overview of four of the most intriguing UNESCO World Heritage sites in Asia, including both well-known and lesser-known sites. Each lavishly illustrated program goes far beyond the typical tourist experience by incorporating the insights of the latest scholarship and research.

Justin M. Jacobs, associate professor of history at American University, acts as guide through the iconic monuments and cities of Asia. He is the author of several books, including The Compensations of Plunder: How China Lost Its Treasures, and is currently producing a 24-episode series on UNESCO World Heritage Sites for The Great Courses.


The Potala Palace

The towering white and red walls of the Potala Palace in Lhasa serve as both a symbol of the unique brand of Tibetan Buddhism that flourishes on the “rooftop of the world” and of the Tibetan nation itself. Since its construction in the seventeenth century, the Potala Palace has been home to ten Dalai Lamas and witnessed several traumatic encounters with the outside world. Jacobs uses the Potala Palace and its cultural treasures as a window into the history of Tibet, the institution of reincarnated lamas, and Tibet’s troubled history with China.

If you are interested in additional sessions to this course, please click here.

S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)