1Amherst College Fall 2009
History 15/ALC 24f T/Th 2:00-3:20
CHINESE CIVILIZATION IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
Professor Jerry Dennerline Office hours: Tues/Thurs. 3:30-4:00
Office: Chapin 12 Wed. 1:00-3:00
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Phone: 542-2486 And by appointment
The following books are available for purchase at Amherst Books:
China: A Cultural, Social, and Political History, by Patricia B. Ebrey
A Tale of Two Melons: Emperor and Subject in Ming China, by Sarah Schneewind
Confucius: The Analects, tr. D. C. Lau
Mencius, tr. D. C. Lau
Hsün Tzu: Basic Writings, tr. Burton Watson
Stories from a Ming Collection, Cyril Birch
Emperor of China: A Portrait of Kang Hsi, Jonathan D. Spence
Copies of these books are also on reserve at Frost Library. A Collection of Readings, Part I and Part II, will be available at the History Department Office, Chapin 11. There will be a fee to cover the expense of photo-copying.
Course Description and Requirements
This course is designed to introduce students to a broad array issues and sources in Chinese history and culture from the earliest records to the eighteenth century. No familiarity with China or previous experience in the study of history is required. We will explore meanings in texts and other sources, relating traditional Chinese philosophy, religion, art, fiction, historical narrative, statecraft, and social thought to their historical contexts and to current events. Class meetings include brief lectures, which supplement readings from China: A Cultural, Social, and Political History, and reading and discussion of primary sources and interpretive articles. The first requirement is to read the assigned material in preparation for class. If you know that you will be unable to attend a class, inform me of the reason in advance. Repeated unexcused absence will lower the grade. Grades are based on successful completion of the following assignments:
Regular weekly one-page responses and oral exercises, which serve as the basis for class discussions (25%), in accordance with posted guidelines and suggested topics. Three 4-5 page papers (45%) on topics of the student’s choice, based on material covered in class up to the due dates: Oct. 5, Nov. 2, Nov. 20.. One 7-8 page essay (30%) in lieu of a final exam, designed by the student in consultation with the instructor in accordance with guidelines distributed in advance, due on Dec. 21.
Thurs., Sept. 10 Introduction: Geography, Language, and History
Tues., Sept. 15 Western Zhou: History and Sources
Read: Ebrey, China, pp. 1-22; Edward Shaughnessy, “The Composition of ‘Qian’ and ‘Kun’ Hexagrams of the Zhouyi,”in Before Confucius, pp. 197-212, and “Western Zhou History,” pp. 320-25 and 331-38; Book of Songs, tr. Arthur Waley, selections.
Thurs., Sept. 17 Eastern Zhou: History and Sources
Read: Ebrey, China, 23-28; J. Dennerline, Mandate of Heaven Lost: the Spring and Autumn World (15p); ”The Chong Er Saga” and “Xia Ji of Chen” from Zuozhuan, tr. Eric Henry in Readings in Chinese Historical Legend.
Tues., Sept. 22 Confucius and the Analects
Read: Ebrey, China, pp. 28-40.
Confucius: The Analects, tr. D.C. Lau, early selections, 479-436 B.C.E.:
5:1-6, 8-12, 15, 17-21, 23-25, 27-28;
6:1-14, 16, 18-23, 25-27;
7:1-3, 5-8, 12, 14, 16-17, 19-20, 22-24, 26, 28-30, 33-35;
Thurs., Sept. 24 Confucius: Mentor and Patron
Read: D.C. Lau, “The Disciples as they Appear in the Analects,” in The Analects, Appendix II.
Tues., Sept. 29 After Confucius: Heaven, Kingship, and the Way
Read: Mo Tzu (Mozi), "The Will of Heaven," in Sources of Chinese Tradition, pp. 46-49; Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching, selections; and Confucius: The Analects, tr. D.C. Lau, student selections.
Thurs., Oct. 1 After Confucius: Human Nature and the Way
Read: Mencius, 2A:6; 3A:4-5; 7A1-15, 26, 27, 30; Chuang Tzu (Zhuangzi), selections; Hsün Tzu, “Man’s Nature is Evil,” pp. 157-171.
Monday, Oct 5: Paper due.
Tues., Oct. 6 Mencius on Knowing, Kingship and the Way of Governing
Read: J. Dennerline, Mandate of Heaven Revived: Warring States Scholars and Kings (6p); Mencius, 1A:1, 3. 4. 7; 1B:5, 6, 8, 12-15.
Thurs., Oct. 8 Xunzi (Hsün Tzu) on Knowing, Heaven and the Way of Man
Read: J. Dennerline, Mandate of Heaven Revised: Ritual, Law, and the Way of Empire (7p); Hsün Tzu, tr. Watson, “Dispelling Obsession,” pp. 121-138; “A Discussion of Heaven,” pp. 79-89.
Tues., Oct. 13 Ritual, Law, and Empire
Read: Ebrey, China, pp. 41-63; Karen Turner, “Sage Kings and Laws in the Chinese and Greek Traditions,” in Heritage of China, ed. Paul Ropp, pp. 86-111; Hsün Tzu, “A Discussion of Rites,” pp. 89-112.
Thurs., Oct. 15 Xunzi and Han Feizi on Law
Read: Hsün Tzu, “Regulations of a King;” pp. 33-56 ; Han Fei Tzu, selections.
Tues., Oct.20 Empire: Qin and Han
Read: Ebrey, China, pp. 41-63; Sima Qian, “Biography of Lü Buwei;” Jia Yi, “The Faults of Qin”
View: “The Emperor and the Assassin” (Streaming, or PN1997 .E4447 VideoDVD)
Thurs., Oct. 22 Han Spirituality: the Historian and the Poet
Read: Records of the Grand Historian, “Biographies of Ch’ü Yüan (Qu Yuan) and Master Chia (Jia Yi);” Ch’u Tz’u: The Songs of the South, tr. David Hawkes, “Li Sao.”
Tues., Oct. 27 The Dialogue between Steppe and Sown
Read: Records of the Grand Historian, “The Hsiung-nu,” excerpts; Thomas J. Barfield, “The Hsiung-nu Imperial Confederacy: Organizations and Foreign Policy,” Journal of Asian Studies, 41.1, pp. 45-61.
Thurs., Oct 29 Han to Tang: Buddhism and the Cosmology Wars
Read: Ebrey, China, pp. 63-108; “Hui-yüan,” in Sources; “The Earliest Tales of the Bodhisattva Guanshiyin,” in Religions of China in Practice, pp. 82-95; “Han Yü’s Counterattack on Buddhism and Taoism,” in Sources, pp. 426-37.
Monday, Nov. 2: Paper due.
Tues., Nov 3 Contending Empires, Commerce, and Neo-Confucian Response
Read: Ebrey, China, pp. 109-35; “The Great Learning” and “The Doctrine of the Mean.”
Thurs., Nov. 5 Buddhism in the Spiritual Landscape
Read: “Visions of Mañjuśrī on Mount Wutai,” in Religions of China in Practice, pp. 203-222.“The Story of Hui-yuan,” in Ballads and Stories from Tun-huang.
Tues., Nov. 10 Three Teachings and Cultural Integration
Read: John E. Wills, “Qiu Chuji, the Daoist,” in Mountain of Fame, pp. 181-200; “Zhu Xi on Spirit Beings,” tr. Gardner, in Religions of China in Practice, pp. 106-119.
Thurs., Nov. 12 Popular Culture, Ideal Worlds
Read: “Precepts for Social Life,” by Yüan Ts’ai, excerpts, in Family and Property in Sung China, tr. P. Ebrey; “The Canary Murders” and “The Lady who was a Beggar,” in Stories From a Ming Collection, ed. Cyril Birch.
View: Valerie Hansen, “The Beijing Qingming Scroll and its Significance for the Study of Chinese History,” On Reserve (ND 1049 C4525 H27 1996).
Tues., Nov. 17 Ming Taizu and the Farmer
Read: Sarah Schneewind, A Tale of Two Melons.
Thurs., Nov 19. No class.
Friday, Nov. 20: Paper due.
Tues., Dec. 1 The Ming Empire and the Changing World
Read: Ebrey, China, pp. 136-78; Morris Rossabi, Khubilai Khan: His Life and Times, pp. 141-47, 153-61, 177-88; Geoff Wade, “The Zheng He Voyages: A Reassessment” (27 pages); Timothy Brook, Vermeer’s Hat, pp. 54-83.
Thurs., Dec. 3 Urban Culture at Ming’s End
Read: “The Pearl Sewn Shirt,” in Stories from a Ming Collection.
Tues., Dec. 8 Manchus and Modern Empire: The Ch’ing (Qing)
Read: Ebrey, China, pp. 179-201; Jonathan Spence, Emperor of China, pp. 7-89.
Thurs., Dec. 10 State, Society, and the Scholar-Officials
Read: Chang Ying, “Remarks on Real Estate,” in H. J. Beattie, Land and Lineage in China, Appendix III (pp. 140-151); Huang Liu-hung, A Complete Book concerning Happiness and Benevolence: A Manual for Local Magistrate in Seventeenth-Century China, excerpts.
Tues., Dec. 15 The K’ang-hsi Emperor (Kangxi) and the Rest of the World
Read: Spence, Emperor of China, “Valedictory” (pp. 143-151).
Mon., Dec. 21: Final Essay Due (No extensions)