((OOC note: This will have been submitted as a single document. I have divided it into multiple posts for ease of quotation and reply))
Pandaren Antiquities & Culture
Preliminary Proposal for Course Topics and Sequence
Visiting Professor Zhangshe Cranewing
Submitted to Department Chair for discussion and approval. Additional copy submitted to Office of the Dean.
This document is submitted as an opening point for discussion within the department and with the faculty as a whole. There is certainly the opportunity for alternative suggestions. I am not aware of the standard for how many courses per semester a faculty member offers. The same goes for customary arrangement of course sequences. Therefore I will be content with either a reduction of what should be offered initially, or with shifting specific courses between the proposed present & future topics lists. Once one or more specific offerings are approved for current presentation a detailed syllabus for each will be prepared and submitted.
Initial Course Offerings
Introduction to Written Pandaren
Written Pandaren takes the form of pictograms and more abstract ideograms. As such no knowledge of spoken Pandaren is necessary. Because some Pandaren cultural concepts and perspectives are quite different from other peoples' studying written Pandaren can in fact serve as an effective gateway to learning to speak the language.
Course format: 1/3 pattern. A lecture or group discussion followed by 3 sessions of individual assignments and in-office tutorial, with the cycle repeated throughout the semester.
The course would cover an overview of historical development, the meanings of a basic set of signs, interpretation of commonly occurring signage and labels, and other topics related to encounters a visitor to Pandaren locations might encounter in day to day activities. The course would culminate in a final project: composing a letter, posting it, and interpreting the reply.
Pandaren Vernacular Architecture
The course would cover organically built (as opposed to professionally designed) structures. Special emphasis would be placed on homes as embodiments of social networks and cultural values. Regional variations would be explored at the level of practical necessities for daily activities and also in terms of habitus (socio-cultural strictures on individual behavior). Student's understanding of homes would then be expanded into analysing other structures such as inns and market places.
The last part of the course would look at villages as a built environment and as a basic social unit within Pandaren culture as a whole. Students in small groups would develop a design for a community in a Pandaren region of their choice over the course of the semester. A substantial portion of course evaluation would be based on the group's creation of a three-dimensional model and presentation to the class of their design.
Polity in Pandaria
The course would begin with an overview of four major epochs in Pandaren history:
the era of slavery and the Revolution
the Pandaren Empire
the era behind the Mist (including the historical importance of the Wandering Isle)
Contemporary Pandaria, the Isles & Émigré / Ex-patriot communities
The course would then focus on:
Regional political structures
Sodalities as loci of social influence.
How Pandaria functions as a cohesive whole without a central authority
Pandaren involvement in international politics
Course evaluation determined through papers & exams
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Last edited by Zhangshe on 2018-11-02 7:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
Other Academic Activities to initiate during the first semester
Coordination of student research opportunities in Pandaria & the Isles:
Academic supervision by Visiting Prof. Cranewind for those pursuing Pandaren Studies as a concentration, and consultation as requested by other faculty for students in other fields of inquiry.
Practical arrangement by Visiting Prof. Cranewind through local contacts for placement, housing, etc.
Academic credit for fieldwork activity as -
an assignment within an existing course
enrollment in supervised independent study
Courses more suited to fieldwork rather than classroom presentation. Linguistics, Cartography & Archaeology are just a few examples of disciplines where fieldwork is a desirable component
extended practicum as a component of an advanced degree
Course registration not required to attend. For faculty, students, adjuncts and invited friends of the university. While distinct from the Colloquium series if desired any of these topics could be offered as such.
Potential topics which spring to mind:
“Chi & Tea” (preparation & consumption of tea as an expression of the Pandaren worldview)
“The Eternal Spiral of Time” (the Timeless Isle as a spatial anomaly analogous to the Caverns of Time)
“The Momentum of Monument” (evolution of major architectural sites during design, construction, use and their shifting function through re-appropriation as Pandaren culture evolved)
“Arms and the Empty Hand” (Pandaren martial philosophy and practices)
“Why We Eat” (food as Pandaren cultural sign and symptom)
“We're Gonna Need A Bigger Kitchen” (Supra-familial kinship amongst Pandaren – OOC note: in other words: clans exist, just not as an in-game mechanic for factional disputes)
Many other topics could be presented about the rich and varied Pandaren culture of course, depending on the interests of the faculty.
Informal yet in-depth discussions with other faculty. I am seeking both advice/support for my own studies and to function as a consultant to those in other fields with overlapping interests. More formal potential outcomes could include guest lectures, co-authorships, and joint presentations or panels at conferences.
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Last edited by Zhangshe on 2018-11-02 7:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
Potential Course Topics for Future Semesters
Intermediate Written Pandaren (sign complexes, polysemic construction, incorporating entry-level spoken Pandaren vocabulary)
Spoken Pandaren (grammar, syntax, vocabulary & colloquial expressions – special emphasis on phrases of use to travelers and those interacting with Pandaren on a daily basis)
Orality as Cultural Mnemonic (Wandering Isle teaching techniques & Lorewalkers of Pandaria)
Formal & Monumental Architecture of Pandaria
Pandaren Cuisine (preparation, etiquette, and related cultural issues)
courses on each of the four major historical epochs as listed above
Genera Pandaren Geography – followed by subsequent courses on each major region of Pandaria & the Isles
Rituals & Liminality – inclusive of spatial, temporal, ceremonial, and quotidian aspects
Introduction to Pandaren Martial Arts (for Physical Education credit)
Traditional Pandaren Expressive Media (for creative arts credit)
Philosophy & Spirituality (The Four August Celestials, the monastic system, shrines & temples, comparison of Huojin, Tushui & other "ways", typical everyday religio-philosophical practices, expression of spirituality in quotidian activities)
Long Term Goals
Much more tenuous than the proposals above. Consider these as brainstorming seeds for Informal discussion.
On-Campus Cultural Activities
Traditional Pandaren Banquet
Demonstrations of Pandaren sports, martial arts, etc.
Celebration of Pandaren holidays
Guided Tour of Pandaria
1 or 2 week stay with residence divided between major inns as appropriate. Coordinated activities would include:
Formal presentations by SWU faculty & local experts
Guided visits to sites of historical & cultural significance
Attendance of the weekly Wanderers' Festival
Opportunities for small group or individual interactions with local artists, artisans, and representatives of local organizations such as the Shado-Pan and Order of the Cloud Serpent
Students would receive course credit through assignments approved by and submitted to professors whose courses they are enrolled in. Examples may include but are not limited to: papers, posters, class presentations, creations in various media, and so on.
Journal of Pandaren Studies
Peer-reviewed. Open to submissions from all disciplines. Hopefully we can come up with a name that is more reflective of the playfulness and poetry of Pandaren.
Exchange Student Program
To be developed in cooperation with appropriate Pandaren entities such as the various monastery schools, the Arboretum,
Pandaren Studies as an Area of Concentration for Undergraduate Degrees
Design of a course sequence sufficient to meet University degree requirements for Pandaren Antiquities and Culture as an area of concentration - not as a specific major until a later stage of development.
Clusters from which students would choose required courses would be Literature & Expressive Arts (Humanities), History (including Archaeology), and Contemporary Culture (Social Sciences & Pandaren perspectives on Theoretical Sciences)
Incorporation of electives from other disciplines would be a requirement - with an appropriate list developed in consultation with other faculty
Most courses within the Pandaren studies concentration would be developed in such a way as to make them suitable as electives for students pursuing degrees in other disciplines.
An additional requirement would be completion of at least one Independent Study or Fieldwork assignment within the field of Pandaren studies broadly construed.
I look forward to discussing these proposals both formally and informally, with you and with my colleagues on the faculty as well.
((name written, chop affixed as official signature)
OOC: Everybody feel free to comment either IC or OOC. I definitely want this portfolio to be an extension of the great collegial interaction we're already developing in-game. Being able to re-read will be a lot easier than trying to remember in detail what was said in-game.
IC: Pandaren you know & many you don't got together & had a special scroll made of a text by Zhangshe as a community contribution to the University library.
OOC: The link should be publicly accessible for you to dl the whole scroll (18 images, larger than these previews) as a pdf without needing a dropbox account. If you have trouble let me know.
Special thanks to Yao of Jadepaw Dynasty who several years ago made some random Pandaren ideograms that work well with the few Blizzard posted then later gave me permission to assign meanings and use them in my art.
Proposal for the Tsao Center for Peace Studies
The August Celestials have taught the Pandaren over the centuries both how and – more importantly – why to fight. The central teaching of Chi-Ji is that “Hope's Fire grows when the Flames come together.” A practical way of saying this is that we fight to Restore Balance and Harmony. This way of being in the world is not solely for the peoples of Pandaria alone. It is available to all the peoples of Azeroth.
The Tsao Center for Peace Studies will be a place for all to share in the Pandaren way of reaching Harmony. Through education programs, public events and accessible spaces to savor the lessons learned the Tsao Center will serve both Stormwind University and the wider community as a place in which to find balance both within & without.
The Tsao Center's adopted motto “Hope's fire grows when the Flames come together” is at the heart of the Pandaren way. Tsao was the emperor of the First Dynasty who – despite the oppression of Pandaren by his own people – decreed that they be allowed to establish their own schools and thus preserve and pass on their own culture.
Therefore the Center for Peace Studies itself embodies the spirit of Harmony. Within a balance of natural places with constructed spaces the Tsao Center provides the students and faculty of Stormwind University the opportunity for educational, practical and contemplative activities that work together toward that goal. Furthermore it functions as a setting for the University to extend these activities the community as a whole.
To the University:
- Classrooms, Workshops and other didactic spaces for the study of Pandaren culture in relationship to the other peoples of Azeroth
- Archives and Gallery space for the preservation and display of cultural artifacts such as rare texts, art and traditional crafts of all the peoples of the continent of Pandaria and the Wandering Isle
- Representative Landscapes, Flora and Fauna as an extension of the botanical and agricultural programs
- Additional space for classes and other activities by all departments
- Informal spaces for contemplative and small group activities by all members of the University
- Pavilion, Plaza, Hall and other outdoor spaces for receptions and presentations both public and private
To the Community:
- A place for preservation through active expression of their culture for Pandaren traveling through or living permanently within the current diaspora
- A variety of easily accessible spaces for public events in a tranquil non-aligned setting
- A place of refuge from the strife and dissonance of everyday life at the present time
The overall goal for the facilities' design of the Tsao Center for Peace Studies is to express a harmonious balance of opposites. This is in the spirit of Jihui – that the way to win is for all to be satisfied with the present circumstances. Which is an apt definition of Peace.
Pandaren architecture builds the harmony of public and private spaces, practical and contemplative activities, education toward and enactment of Chi-Ji's message in everyday life. The design of the Tsao Center for Peace Studies expresses this spirit through a balance of traditional and contemporary constructs. Which is an apt definition of a Way of Life.
The design is a synthesis of all the regional styles in a functional way rather than a reproduction of any specific monumental or historic Pandaren site. This reinforces the Tsao Center for Peace Studies mission of realizing a more hopeful future through contemporary adaptation of the best of the past. Which is an apt definition of Culture.
At a practical level the most fundamental element of architectural design is functional use in harmony with the surroundings; of construction is laying the foundations. A meandering path including sections of low steps which follows the streams and contours of the surrounding hillsides leads up to and through three terraced levels separated by what might be best described as cultivated natural landscaping.
The path and steps lead up to the highest point of the Tsao Center for Peace Studies. A hilltop vista overlooks the Center's activities, with a view to Stormwind University as a whole, and the world beyond.
The Tsao Center for Peace Studies is designed to be constructed in three phases: facilities of immediate use to the Stormwind University community, expansion of facilities dedicated to specific educational programs, and finally establishment of an area for the University to share its spirit with the general public.
While the Center when fully realized will be used from the base up – moving ever deeper into the heart of the Pandaren way - the actual construction proceeds from the top tier downward to the path out to the center of campus. This order meets the immediate needs of the University and advances to completion in a practical sequence.
Each phase of construction is named for a key feature and is focused on a particular way of savoring life.
Top Terrace: Savor of Action
Provides facilities for currently existing educational and public programs related to the Tsao Center's mission.
- The path and stairs for the whole Center. While not as long as the path up from the university center, the section upward beyond the base terrace is longer than that between the two upper terraces.
- Planting of specimen boulders, trees & bambus throughout the Center's grounds
- Shaping of the waterways descending from a pond
- On either side of the pond: a scholar's hut (classroom) in the Jade Forest / Vale of Eternal Blossoms styles and a rural village home (workshop) using materials representative of the several coastal and heartland styles
- A bridge across the pond
- A cobblestone area just below them for larger group activities
Middle Terrace: Savor of Community
Provides facilities which expand the purpose of the scholar's hut & village home into more specialized didactic spaces representative of four types of activities.
- Pave terrace – a common area for lectures, presentations & educational activities
- Dojo - physical exercise including martial arts, and other small group activities
- Scroll Grotto - study, production and preservation of texts in a climate-controlled traditional space
- Bell Shrine – personal contemplation, community ceremony, philosophy & spiritual life
- Workshops – outdoor space for kiln, forge, carpentry, etc.
- Wall that defines communal ambience without creating a barrier – low height, moon gates, of materials which transition between buildings & natural surroundings
- Detailed landscaping of whole Center including placement of worked stones & creation of nooks for semi-private activities
- Introduction of small fauna indigenous to Pandaria to help establish a stable micro-ecozone.
- Statues of Tsao & Liu Lang flanking entry to Center's path
- Chi-Ji statue at center of lower tier
Lower Terrace: Savor of Unity
Provides spaces for general use by larger groups
- Plaza of worked stone encircling Chi-Ji statue in style of Shrine of Friendship peak.
- Ponds with wooden bridges connecting plaza to other areas of lower terrace & continuation of upper path
- Multi-story reception center: Interior design in style of similar buildings in Pandaren monasteries. ground floor reception / meeting space. Upper stories library & exhibition rooms. Exterior: white walls in Jade Forest style with dark tile roof as found in Northern Pandaria and along the Serpent's Spine.
- Pavilion – open-sided wooden structure with thatched roof in Kun-Lai style. Generous reception space in center with dining areas as found at Pandaren inns at either end
- Partial walls defining function while allowing free flow throughout terrace
- Specimen trees, boulders & worked stone throughout terrace
- Stone Gate between statues, demarking entry to the Center
- Completion of paving & balustrade on the vista peak at the rear of the grounds.
Primary initial cost to the University – provision of land along with some time by supervisory & security staff. Other needed funds from outside grant(s), donations & subscriptions. Subscription concept is that the grounds would be available to the Pandaren community whenever not in use by the University Additional subscription levels would garner access to classes on a non-credit basis, subject to space limits.
Materials - donation wherever possible, especially of those to be imported from Pandaria. By providing local materials on an individual and community basis those Pandaren not in a position to make substantial financial contribution to the center can still help the Center come to fruition.
Labour – many Pandaren would be eager to donate their skills to the development of such a facility. It is quite likely that the same is true of other communities. This can be combined with an apprenticeship program allowing students to receive academic credit for work done under the supervision of master artisans. Whatever additional labor costs are incurred would be subsidized by the outside funding mentioned above.
Once the Tsao Center for Peace Studies is functioning a dedicated endowment from the sources listed above, along with an appropriate portion of tuition and usage fees should subsidize operating costs.
- I plan to mention the potential development of a Center for Peace Studies at the Pandaren Summit. This will be a general description to prompt IC discussion within the Pandaren community & hopefully increase attendance at our public events.
- The primary purpose is to provide IC justification of MoP locations as campus facilities. For example Dreamers' Pavilion is already use. In-game structures there include the cobblestone area and the scholar's hut described above as part of the first construction phase.
- Every major location listed in the proposal has one or more equivalents in-game The Center is a feasible location for all sorts of guild, invitation-only & public RP events.
Prepared for - but not presented at - the Second Pandaren Summit
My heart is here. You – my family – are in my soul for as long as I have fur & claws. All my outside affiliations are temporary. I set them aside to speak with my family today. Matters not where we fight, who we fight beside or against. WHY we fight is what matters. We Pandaren fight to restore Balance & Harmony. We must remember that we grow into dynamic tranquility with two hands & one heart.
Huojin & Tushui are two hands extending from one Pandaren heart. Do Red Crane & Jade Serpent make enemies of White Tiger & Shado-pan to violently eject them from Kuhn-Lai? No. The time has come when we must fight with more than breaking & hacking. We can also restore Balance & Harmony with bowls & humor.
We already know all the peoples of Azeroth can live as we do. We first encountered them banded together, healing each other. Healing the harm they had done to our land as well. Time now to remind them.
Step boldly out of the mists of doubt & division.Restore Balance & Harmony. YES, we need Huojin active amongst those they thought were friends. Tushui gently reminding people that it is they who create, not kings. We will do so in a thousand tiny ways. In teahouses & temples. In walking & waiting. In frolics & food.
For myself, I am working to establish a center for peace studies at Stormwind University. I hope you will join me in that effort. They are eager to incorporate the Pandaren way of being in the world to what they offer Azeroth. They choose active non-alignment. They provide opportunities every month for all to sit together.
Share with this mighty family gathered here today where you are creating Balance & Harmony. Spread the word amongst our siblings and cousins across Azeroth. Then we can show unity of purpose by being together publicly. Seize every opportunity to sit together & remind all the peoples of Azeroth how we first met them.
Befriend all. Be everywhere. Be ourselves.