This course will explore how two intertwined ways of life - pastoral nomadism and settling down for religious, educational, and economic reasons - have shaped the cultural, artistic, and intellectual traditions of Mongolia. In this course students will learn about Mongolian pastoral nomadism, and how the Mongolian economy, literature, and steppe empires were built on grass and livestock. We will also explore how Mongolians have also just as consistently used the foundations of empire to build sedentary monuments and buildings, whether funerary complexes, Buddhist monasteries, socialist boarding schools, and modern capitals. Over time, these cities have changed shape, location, and ideology, all the while remaining linked to the mobile pastoralists in the countryside. We will also explore how these traditions of mobile pastoralism and urbanism were transformed in the 20th century, by urbanization, communist ideology, and the new reality of free-market democracy, ideological pluralism, and a new mining dependent economy. We will meet modern painters and musicians who interweave Mongolian nomadic traditions with contemporary world trends, and consider the future of rural traditions in a modern world.