Readings marked by * are available through e-reserve or otherwise electronically through the UBC Library.

Week 1 (Sep. 3): No Class (Imagine UBC)

Week 2 (Sep. 10): The Idea of China

For students unfamiliar with Mandarin Chinese, see the online pronunciation guide.

Students who have not taken ASIA 320/HIST 378 might want to browse through the early chapters of Hansen.

Week 3 (Sep. 17): China and Inner Asia

Focus: How did “Chinese” and “non-Chinese” perceive one another?

Week 4 (Sep 24): Reforms in Song China

Focus: What was at stake in the debates over reforms in eleventh-century China?

Week 5 (Oct. 1): A Turn Inward

  • Hansen, pp. 265–273;
  • *YUAN Cai [Yüan Ts’ai] (1140–90), “Author’s Preface” & excerpts from “Getting along with Relatives,” in Family and Property in Sung China, trans. Patricia Buckley Ebrey (Princeton, 1984), pp. 177–212.

Focus: What were some of the major concerns of the literati in the southern Song period?

Week 6 (Oct. 8): China under Mongol Rule

Focus: In what ways is Guan Hanqing’s play reflective of the Yuan period?

Week 7 (Oct. 15): Mid-term Conversation

No class this week. Students will sign up for individual meetings with the instructor.

Start reading Monkey (see Week 9).

Week 8 (Oct. 22): Rebuilding of Order

Focus: What was Zhu Yuanzhang’s vision for Ming-dynasty China?

Week 9 (Oct. 29): Currents of Change

  • Hansen, pp. 363–368;
  • WU Ch’eng-en (ca. 1506–82), Monkey, pp. 1–5, 11–77, 119–165, 210–246, & 279–305.

Focus: How might one characterize the religious landscape of sixteenth-century China?

Week 10 (Nov. 5): Engagements and Entanglements

Focus: How did the literati of China react to the teachings of Christianity?

Week 11 (Nov. 12): Becoming Qing

  • Hansen, pp. 385–404;
  • SHEN Fu (b. 1763), Six Records of a Life Adrift, pp. xiii–xv, 1–51 (no need to submit reading notes this week).

Week 12 (Nov. 19): “Like the Sun at Mid-day”

Focus: What were the sources of Shen Fu’s joy and sorrow?
(please take into account the readings of Weeks 11 & 12)

Week 13 (Nov. 26): Empire at the Crossroads

Focus: What were some of the challenges facing China at the turn of the nineteenth century?


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