HIST 215
Crises and Critiques: The Literature and Intellectual History of Early 20th Century China Spring 2010
Division II Writing Skills Exploring Diversity Initiative
Cross-listed COMP 256 / CHIN 251 / HIST 215
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

The first fifty years of the 20th century saw unprecedented changes in almost every sphere of Chinese society. A political system that had survived in some form for over two millennia abruptly disintegrated. New ideas challenged orthodox intellectual culture in profound and complex ways. Chinese intellectuals questioned the value of inherited traditions while simultaneously facing the real possibility of the near total extinction of those traditions. Literature, which had historically been an important locus of cultural debates, served this role to perhaps an even greater extent during this tumultuous period, as writers struggled with questions of how to save a country and culture wracked by internal disintegration and facing urgent external threats. These debates framed many of the issues that continue to influence the political, intellectual, and literary cultures of the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan to this day. In this course we will examine a broad range of sources that engage the key debates of this period. This is an EDI course in which we will address such questions as the role of traditional culture versus that of modern or Western culture, the role of ideology and politics in literary and artistic production, ideas of nationhood and cultural identity, and the relationship between the individual and the state. All readings will be in English translation.
The Class: Format: tutorial; students will meet with the instructor in pairs for an hour each week
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 3012
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: each week, the student will write and present orally a 5- to 7-page paper on the assigned topic or write a 2-page critique of their patner's paper; a final paper on issues addressed in the course also required; grade based on written work and critiques
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Chinese majors
Unit Notes: Meets Group B requirement in History major only if registration is under HIST
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills Exploring Diversity Initiative
Notes: meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under CHIN or COMP; meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under HIST.
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
COMP 256 Division I CHIN 251 Division I HIST 215 Division II
Attributes: HIST Group B Electives - Asia
INST East Asian Studies Electives

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