CCHU7003 Humanities / CCGL7003 Global Issues
The Arts Across Cultures


This Common Core course offers a flexible learning structure focusing on interdisciplinary research, project-based learning and public sharing of the students’ experience and results. It is designed for students working away from the HKU campus, but that fulfill the Common Core Programme Learning Goals and the requirements for Quality Assessment. This course can be under either Humanities AoI or Global Issues AoI and is open to students from ALL Faculties.

Students who wish to take this course need to have fulfilled the following requirements:

  1. having successfully completed at least half of the credits required for their CC courses on-campus;
  2. having earned at least a C- in all of their completed CC courses;
  3. have not taken any CCGE, CC Open Platform Course / Transdisciplinary Team Project

Students who are interested in taking this course and have fulfilled the above prerequisite requirements should apply to enroll on the course by email to together with a copy of i) academic transcript (student copy); and ii) letter from your home Faculty granting Advanced Standing / Credit Transfer for CC credits (if applicable). Application period: from now until December 1, 2019. The selection of students will be performed by the course coordinator. Applications submitted outside of the application period will NOT be considered.

Please note that in the event that a student has failed a CCGE, s/he will not be allowed to take another one.

Course Description

In this course, we will embark on an exciting journey to India. We will explore the diverse ethnic, religious, artistic and social realities of India by experiencing them in their own contexts. We will examine issues of Indian society, religious beliefs, economy, and globalization through music (Ravi Shankar’s “West meets East,” Sufi Rock), visual arts and crafts (Delhi street art, erotic art, block printing), body art (Mehndi), film (Bollywood and rap), architecture (Taj Mahal in Agra, Hawa Mahal in Jaipur), etc.

Through this interdisciplinary exploration, the students will learn the basic tools to critically reflect on the emergence and impact of human creativity and innovation in the context of the arts of India. This will be done, in part, through field trips to what is known as the Golden Triangle cities of Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur. We will visit different socio-cultural settings in these three cities, engage in a wide range of experiential learning activities, and interact directly with local students and the community of the Dayalbagh Educational Institute (DEI) in Agra.

Students from HKU will partner with students from the DEI to investigate, reflect, and collaborate on a project focused on the crossover between arts and sciences, with a thematic focus on “Nature, Culture, and Cities.” In groups, students will work on issues of cultural diversity and their preservation, environmental issues and sustainable living, specific challenges Indian students face living in cities, and the arts, sciences and technology’s role in meeting those challenges. The aim is to develop an inquiry-based, interdisciplinary, and creative project that will be shared in the form of public dissemination event both in Agra and in Hong Kong.

[A sum of HK$4000 will be provided by the Gallant Ho Centre for Experiential Learning for each student to support their travel cost.]

Course Learning Outcomes

On completing the course, students will be able to:

  1. Enhance understanding of cross-disciplinary knowledge and interdisciplinary practice.
  2. Demonstrate, through projects and reflections, understanding of the cross-cultural manifestation of creativity and innovation in India and Hong Kong, which develop mutual understanding as the foundation of genuine multiculturalism.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the cultural, socio-economic, and historical contingencies that gave rise to particular forms of the arts, and their impact both positive and negative on people’s lives.
  4. Enhance the capacities for creative and critical thinking, collaboration, and the skills of multi-media communication (writing, digital formats, audio and video productions).
  5. Create student group project that takes a design-based approach in exploring creative and innovative ideas-based in the arts (and sciences)-to raise awareness on the 21st century challenges facing students in India and Hong Kong.

Offer Semester and Days of Teaching

Second semester

  • Project Orientation and Training: December 14, 2019
  • Trip to India: January 2 – 15, 2020
  • DEI students to Hong Kong: May 21 – 27, 2020
  • Dissemination event: May 27, 2020

Study Load

Activities Number of hours
Online participation 40
Fieldwork / Visits 40
Reading / Self-study 20
Workshop / Seminars 10
Assessment: Presentation (incl preparation) 20
Total: 130

Assessment: 100% coursework

Assessment Tasks Weighting
Reflective writing 20
Online assessment 15
Group project 40
Project presentation 15
Participation 10

Required Reading

  • Bakan, M. B. (2012). World Music: Traditions and Transformations. New York: McGraw-Hill. [pp. 115–56 ‘From Raga to Bollywood: Developments and intercultural crossings in Indian music’]
  • Dehejia, V. (1987). Indian art. London: Phaidon Press. [Introduction, Ch. 1]
  • Fiero, G. K. (1995). The world beyond the west: India, China, and Japan. In W. I. Madison (Vol. 2), The Humanistic Tradition. WCB Brown and Benchmark Publishers. [pp. 144–151] 

Recommended Reading

  • Bawa, S. (2013). Gods, men and women: Gender and sexuality in early Indian Art. New Delhi: D.K. Printworld. [Introduction]
  • Losty, J. P., et. al. (2005). Indian subcontinent. Grove art online. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Shukla, P., & Glassie, H. (2008). The grace of four moons: Dress, adornment, and the art of the body in modern India. Indiana University Press. [Introduction, Conclusion]
  • Capwell, C. (2012). The music of India. In B. Nettl (Ed.), Excursions in world music. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson. [pp. 26­–53]
  • Clayton, M. (2000). Time in Indian music: Rhythm, metre, and form in north Indian rag performance. New York: Oxford University Press. [pp. 1–9 ‘Introduction’]
  • Koch, E. (2005). The Taj Mahal: Architecture, symbolism, and urban significance. Muqarnas, 22, 128–149.
  • Kuppuswamy, M. H. G. (2015). Music of Indian art and archaeology. New Delhi: B.R. Rhythms.
  • Lee, J. T. -H., & Kolluri, S. (Eds.). (2016). Hong Kong and Bollywood: Globalization of Asian cinemas. New York: Palgrave McMillan.
  • Metcalf, B. D., & Metcal, T. R. (2006). A concise history of modern India. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Mitter, P. (2001). Indian art. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Recommended Websites

Course Co-ordinator and Teacher(s)

Course Co-ordinator Contact
Dr E. Ibanez Garcia
School of Modern Languagues and Cultures (African Studies), Faculty of Arts
Tel: 3917 7480
Teacher(s) Contact
Dr E. Ibanez Garcia
School of Modern Languagues and Cultures (African Studies), Faculty of Arts
Tel: 3917 7480