REL 218
Foundations of China Fall 2021
Division II
Cross-listed GBST 212 / ANTH 212 / REL 218 / HIST 214 / ASIA 211 / CHIN 214

Class Details

This course examines the foundational period of Chinese civilization, from the earliest evidence of human activity in the geographical region we now call China, through the end of the Han dynasty in the early third-century CE. This is the period that saw the creation and spread of the Chinese script (a writing system that would be the dominant one in East Asia for thousands of years), the teachings of Confucius (whose ideas continue to play a role in the lives of billions of people today), the construction of the Great Wall (which is not, as it turns out, visible from space), and the creation of the imperial bureaucratic system (that was, in essence, the progenitor of the modern bureaucratic state). We will proceed chronologically but focus on a set of thematic topics, including language and writing, religion and philosophy, art and architecture, politics and economics, and science and technology. While this course is entitled “Foundations of China,” we will take a critical perspective on narratives, both Chinese and Western, that see Chinese history as an unbroken history of a single “civilization.”
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: 40
Expected: 25
Class#: 1459
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: short writing assignments (approximately 750-1000 words each), quizzes, a mid-term, and a final exam
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Chinese majors, History majors, Religion majors, and Anthropology majors
Distributions: Division II
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
GBST 212 Division II ANTH 212 Division II REL 218 Division II HIST 214 Division II ASIA 211 Division I CHIN 214 Division I
Attributes: HIST Group B Electives - Asia

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