Why is Tibet a favorite darling of Hollywood movie stars? Is Taiwan a country? Is it true that al-Qaeda is trying to incite separatist activities among followers of Islam in China? This course examines the ways that ethnicity has been perceived in China during ancient, imperial, modern, and contemporary periods. Ethnicity is a modern concept, yet in ancient China groups of people distinguished themselves from each other in ways that both overlap our modern notions of ethnicity and seem contradictory to it. We will explore related concepts of difference, race, ethnicity, and identity, as well as conflicts and policies derived from these notions. By studying the struggles and successes of specific groups of people as they tried either to become part of mainstream Chinese society or to distinguish themselves from it, we will learn how ethnicity played a role in the construction of empire and nation in Chinese history.
Question and critique categories and basic concepts of such normalized notions as
ethnicity and race.
Examine anthropological studies and concepts from an historical perspective and become
familiar with the different “ways of knowing” in these disciplines.
Study diachronic shifts in perceptions and policies centered on ethnic identity and
understand the historical contexts and forces that affected these shifts.
The reading selections and assignments all are designed to hone your skills in critical
reading, expository writing, and analytical thinking. The class also is designed to give you opportunities to practice your skills in oral presentation and engage in shared inquiry.
View history from multiple perspectives, including that of the center majority
and those of the many minority ethnic groups. Examine how our understanding of history and society shifts with our change in perspective and what happens when power holders do not represent the majority of the population.
Demonstrate and understanding of the world from the perspective of China and the many contesting perspectives of historical figures and peripheral peoples in the regions in and around China.
Harrell, Stevan, ed. Cultural Encounters on China’s Ethnic Frontiers. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1995.
Rossabi, Morris, ed. China Among Equals: The Middle Kingdom and its Neighbors, 10th-14thCenturies. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983.
Mullaney, Thomas. Coming to Terms with the Nation: Ethnic Classification in Modern China. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010.
Dalai Lama. Freedom in Exile: The Autobiography of The Dalai Lama. New York: HarperCollins, 1990.
ELECTRONIC READINGS ON MOODLE:
Dikötter, Frank. “Race as Culture: Historical Background.” In The Discourse of Race in Modern China, 1-30. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1992.
Sinor, Denis. “Introduction.” In Cambridge History of Early Inner Asia, (1-18) Edited by Denis Sinor. Taipei: SMC Publishing, Inc., 1991.
Yü Ying-shih. “The Hsiung-nu.” In Cambridge History of Early Inner Asia, (1-18) Edited by Denis Sinor. Taipei: SMC Publishing, Inc., 1991.
Di Cosmo, Nicola. “Ancient Inner Asian Nomads: Their Economic Basis and Its Significance in Chinese History.” The Journal of Asian Studies 53.4 (November 1994): 1092-1126.
Crossley, Pamela Kyle. “The Paradox of the Manchus.” In The Manchus, 1-13. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2002 .
Elliot, Mark C. “The Eight Banners and the Origins of the Manchus.” In The Manchu Way: The Eight Banners and Ethnic Identity in Late Imperial China, 39-88. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001.
Spence, Jonathan D. “In Motion.” In Emperor of China: Self-Portrait of K’ang-hsi, 3-23. New York: Viking Books, 1974.
ZOU Rong, “On Revolution.” In The Search for Modern China: A Documentary Collection, edited by Pei-kai Cheng and Michael Lestz, 197-202. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., Inc., 1999.
Dikötter, Frank. “Race as Nation (1903-1915).” In The Discourse of Race in Modern China, 97-125. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1992.
Atwill, David, G. “Blinkered Visions: Islamic Identity, Hui Ethnicity, and the Panthay Rebellion in Southwest China, 1856-1873,” The Journal of Asian Studies 62.4 (November 2003): 1079-1108.
Li, Shujiang and Karl W. Luckert, eds. “Origin of the Jujube Dates,” 83-85; “The Story of the Winding River,” 201-203; “Du Wenxiu Becomes Commander,” 265-268; “A Magistrate Judges a Case,” 388-390; “Why People Do Not Understand Animals,” 441-445. In Mythology and Folklore of the Hui, A Muslim Chinese People. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1994.
Gladney, Dru C. “Muslim Nationalism in China: A Fourth Tide.” In Muslim Chinese: Ethnic Nationalism in the People’s Republic of China, 1-63. Cambridge, Mass.: Council on East Asian Studies, Harvard University Press, 1996 .
Copper, John F. “History.” In Taiwan: Nation-State or Province?, 29-65. Boulder: Westview Press, 2001.
Brown, Melissa J. “What’s in a Name? Culture, Identity, and the ‘Taiwan Problem’.” In Is Taiwan Chinese?, 1-34. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004.
MOODLE: : I will be using MOODLE: to post your additional required readings, make
announcements, post documents, accept assignments, etc. This will offer you a tremendous amount of enhanced convenience and enable you access to additional resources.
ASSIGNMENTS, EXAMS, PAPERS, AND EXPECTATIONS:
Attendance and Participation: I will take attendance and incorporate it into your participation grade. I will forgive three absences—no questions asked—but use them wisely because subsequent absences will count even if your reason is good. If you also attend class during allowed absences, those points will be added into your grade as extra credit. Attendance is an important component of participation, but is not enough by itself; be prepared to thoughtfully and actively participate in each class you attend.
Moodle Forum QQCCs:
I will also use MOODLE to create a forum for students to record interesting quotes from the reading, pose questions about the reading, post comments on the reading, and converse with your classmates by commenting on at least one of their posts each week (QQCCs Quote, Question, Comment, Converse). These will be due before each discussion. Your participation in the forum will be an important part of your participation grade.
Discussion: Each week three or more students will lead discussion on the readings due that day. I am happy to meet with discussion leaders to prepare for the next week. ALL students, whether discussion leaders or not, must bring at least two questions about the reading or topic of the week to discuss in class. It is also helpful for discussion leaders to integrate questions and issues posted on Moodle Forum QQCCs into the discussion.
Learning Outcomes: Participation in class discussion of the material gives you access to enhanced explanation, additional information, shared inquiry, and learning from your peers. The QQCC Forum enables you to draw each other’s attention to quotes and questions about the readings that you find personally interesting, confusing, or challenging. This is an important way of expanding our shared inquiry and allows you to participate equally if are uncomfortable about speaking out or if there simply is not enough time to get to your questions on a given day. Leading discussion gives you direct ownership of the class, offers you a leadership opportunity, and enables you to hone your skills of inquiry and oral expression.
Papers: PAPER 1: This paper will be 2-3 pages and will be based on the concept of ethnicity. PAPER 2: This paper will be a 4-5 page paper based on assigned readings. PAPER 3: This 6-7 page paper will require you to incorporate some of the assigned reading with outside sources that you find independently. I will discuss all papers in more detail closer to their due dates and distribute prompts in class. Papers must be typed, double-spaced, 12-point font, with 1-inch margins. Note: Your grade will drop if your paper is more than half a page shorter than the minimum or half a page longer than the maximum page limit on any of the papers.
Plagiarism, or using other people’s words or ideas without properly acknowledging them, is not tolerated. Know what plagiarism is and how to avoid it. Refer to the section in the SMC Student Handbook that addresses “Forms of violations of the Academic Honor Code” and understand procedures for dealing with academic dishonesty and other forms of academic misconduct. The consequences can range from a grade of F on an assignment to expulsion from the college. If you have any questions about what constitutes plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct, come see me during office hours.
Learning Outcomes: Few things are as important as improving your ability to express yourself in writing. Writing also enhances your analytical thinking and synthesizing skills. Regardless of your future plans—the ability formulate an argument, support the argument with evidence, and to write well will make you more successful.
Midterm Exam: The midterm exam will take place in class on FRIDAY, OCTOBER 18.
This will be largely based on an essay format. I will distribute study guides and discuss the format in more detail closer to the exam date.
Final Exam: This will be an in-class exam on WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 11 AT 10:30 am -12:30 pm. This exam will be very similar in format to the midterm exam. Again, more details on the format will be offered in closer proximity to the exam.
Learning Outcomes: Many students learn best through preparation for exams; exams are not simply assessment tools. When studying for exams students are able to synthesize content, expand knowledge, and think analytically through a surprisingly different process from that of writing essays at home.
Co-curricular Events: During the course of the semester, the History Department and the College at large will sponsor several talks and activities. Many of these are relevant to topics and issues we study about China, history, or ethnicity. I will offer more details on Moodle for the format and questions I would like you to address. You are also allowed to do two write-ups on two events for extra credit (worth a total of up to 2% of your grade). I will announce these as I hear of them. You also can propose an event for consideration to be added to the list.
Learning Outcomes: Co-curricular events enable students to apply knowledge and a critical perspective that they are gaining in the class to external sources of information and conversely analyze how information that is not specifically designed for the class is applicable to the topics and issues we are studying. Attending such events also builds community across the college and expands your ways of knowing.
Academic Support, Disabilities, and Special Circumstances:
Student Disability Services extends reasonable and appropriate accommodations that take into account the context of the course and its essential elements for individuals with qualifying disabilities. Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact the Student Disability Services Office at (925) 631-4358 or email@example.com to arrange a confidential appointment to discuss accommodation guidelines and available services. Additional information regarding the services available may be found at the following address on the Saint Mary’s website: http://www.stmarys-ca.edu/sds
Grading: You are graded on a straight scale in which 90-100% (358-400 points) is an A-range grade, 80-89% (320-357 points) is a B-range grade, etc.
Attendance and Participation 40 points Throughout Semester
Discussion Leadership 10 points Choice of Date
Short Writing Assignments 10 points Various Dates
Paper 1 40 points Friday, September 13
Paper 2 70 points Monday, September 30
Midterm Exam 40 points Friday, October 18
Paper 3 90 points Monday, November 18
Final Exam 100 points Wednesday, December 11
Total Points 400 points
SCHEDULE (Note: Reading listed under a specific date is due on THAT day. So Dikötter “Race as Culture,”1-30 should be completed before you enter the classroom on Friday 9/6). WEEK 1
W 9/4: INTRODUCTION TO COURSE
F 9/6: CONTEXTUALIZING ETHNICITY IN CHINA
Reading: MOODLE: Dikötter, “Race as Culture.” (1-30).
M 9/9: PLACING “CIVILIZING PROJECTS” HISTORICALLY
Reading: Cultural Encounters, Harrell, “Introduction” (3-36)
W 9/11: DISCUSSION OF ETHNICITY AND VARIOUS NOTIONS OF DIFFERENCE
F 9/13: INTRODUCTION TO CHINA’S GEOGRAPHY AND PEOPLES OF THE NORTH
PAPER 1 DUE AT THE BEGINNING OF CLASS
Reading: MOODLE: Cambridge History of Early Inner Asia, “Introduction,” (1-18)
MOODLE: Cambridge History of Early Inner Asia, “Hsiung-nu,” (118-149).
M 9/16: CULTURAL REPRESENTATIONS OF NORTHERN GROUPS
Reading: MOODLE: Di Cosmo, “Ancient Inner Asian Nomads” (1092-1126).
TOPIC FOR PAPER 2 DUE W 9/18: DISCUSSION OF “THE HSIUNG-NU (XIONGNU)”
F 9/20: INTRO TO THE SONG DYNASTY/ LIAO, CHIN (JIN), HSI HSIA (XI XIA), ETC.
MOODLE: Dikötter, Frank. “Race as Nation (1903-1915).”
Coming to Terms with the Nation (Ch. 1,2)
W 11/6: DISCUSSION OF ETHNIC AND OTHER CLASSIFICATION
Reading: Coming to Terms with the Nation (Finish Book)
F 11/8: INTRO TO ISLAM IN CHINA
Reading: Atwill, “Blinkered Visions.”(1079-1108)
M 11/11: THE CULTURE(S) OF ISLAM IN CHINA
Reading: MOODLE: Li and Luckert, “Origin of the Jujube Dates,” (83-85); “The Story of the Winding River,” (201-203); “Du Wenxiu Becomes Commander,” (265-268); “A Magistrate Judges a Case,” (388-390); “Why People Do Not Understand Animals,” (441-445)
W 11/13: DISCUSSION OF ISLAM PAST AND PRESENT IN CHINA
Reading: MOODLE: Gladney, “Muslim Nationalism in China: a Fourth Tide,” (1-63).
Reading: MOODLE: Copper, Ch. 2 “History,” (29-65); Brown, “What’s in a Name? Culture, Identity, and the ‘Taiwan Problem’” (1-34)
W 11/27: Thanksgiving Holiday Classes Do Not Meet F 11/29: Thanksgiving Holiday Classes Do Not Meet
M 12/2: CONTEMPORARY TAIWAN CULTURE
Reading: Panda Diplomacy News Articles
W 12/4: DISCUSSION OF THE TAIWAN CONUNDRUM
F 12/6: ETHNIC IDENTITY AND CONFLICT IN CHINA TODAY
Reading: Study for Exam
FINAL EXAM: WEDNESDAY, 12/11, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm. Meet in our regular classroom no later than 10:25 am. Bring writing utensils, your memory, your analytical brain, and your stamina.