Literature in Twentieth and Twenty-First
Century Mongolian History

with Simon Wickhamsmith (PhD)

A book-club format course, in which we will discuss every week three or four thematically-related stories, and so develop an understanding of the relationship between literature and Mongolian politics and culture over the century since the revolution of 1921.

Mongolia has a rich and varied modern literary scene, and whatever you enjoy reading, in English or another language, has parallels in Mongolian.  Reading Mongolian fiction is an exciting and meaningful way to explore Mongolia’s culture and history - and also to prepare for a future trip!

Live sessions from October 29 - December 3, 2021

Pacific Daylight Time

8:30 a. m. (Fridays)

Eastern Daylight Time
Central European Summer Time

Recordings of lectures for all sessions available to enrollees on the LearnDash platform.

The following are the texts which we will be reading and discussing during the course. Please note that all will be available in the course module.

They can also (with the exception of B.Jamd’s “The Note”) be found in Suncranes and Other Stories: Modern Mongolian short fiction (translated by Simon Wickhamsmith; Columbia University Press 2021).

Course outline

October 29th

Week 1: The Modern - Part I

M.Yadamsüren “The Young Couple”

D.Natsagdorj “Dark Cliffs”

S.Buyannemeh “Something Wonderful”


November 5th

Week 2: Mystery

Ts.Damdinsüren “Two White Things”

O.Tsend “A Great Mystery”

H.Bolor-Erdene “Room for Rent”



Simon Wickhamsmith, PhD

Rutgers University, Mongolian, Tibetan and Manchu
Simon Wickhamsmith is a translator and scholar of modern Mongolian literature. He is the author of Politics and Literature in Mongolia 1921-1948 (Amsterdam University Press, 2020), and the translator of Ts.Oidov's The End of the Dark Age (Phoneme Media, 2015) and Suncranes and other stories: Modern Mongolian short fiction (Columbia University Press 2021). He teaches at Rutgers University.

"Attending the renewable energy field school was the best decision I made in 2019! I was already attending a fulltime graduate program in Canada, but the field school added rich value to my learning. As the world is becoming more globalized, looking at how Mongolia is responding to the challenges of supplying cleaner energy was a valuable experience. Our instructors came with a vast amount of knowledge and a passion to teach.’’

Liz B.

Participant of Mongolia Field School 2019
Batkhuu SQ600

"As a sociology major student, this program was very helpful to explore urban issues and migration processes in contemporary Mongolia. Through this program, I sharpened my academic capabilities while refining soft skills essential for my future studies.’’

Batkhuu B.

Participant of Mongolia Field School 2019

"The ACMS field school is a unique experience that has changed my life and teaching. In most programs, international participants are isolated from the country in which we are studying except for controlled visits to local people and sites. Not so with ACMS! Half of the participants in each field school are from Mongolia, ensuring that local and international participants have a chance to understand each other’s perspectives.’’

Janis M

Participant of Mongolia Field School 2019

Please note that this course is offered online for free as part of the Session 2 of ACMS Online Field School 2021. ACMS is planning to offer a field course in rural Mongolia in June 2022 that would provide participants an opportunity to put ideas from this course into action.

Click here to see all five courses of Online Field School 2021.

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