East Asian Languages & Cultures | China: The Enduring Heritage
E232 | 1617 | Eno


This course introduces students to patterns of the Chinese past and present,
particularly to China's evolving Confucian tradition and its transformation
under the present Communist regime.  E232 includes three course units, each
employing a different perspective as we move chronologically through
cultural history.  Ancient China is explored through the religious and
ethical ideas of China's elite class, which we will read in translations of
classics such as the *Dao de jing,* by the Daoist thinker Lao_zi, and the
*Analects* of Confucius.  We approach the medieval period by considering the
lives of non_elite classes and the way
representatives of the governing class interacted with them.  For this
portion of the course, we focus on popular short stories the period and
other narrative materials.  The modern era, from the Opium War of 1842 to
the present, is analyzed through political history, using fiction,
autobiography, and documentary sources to explore the rise and
transformation of communist society in China and the question of its links
to China's Confucian past.

Written requirements include three short papers, a midterm and final, and
brief exercises or quizzes.  E232 is designed as a general introduction to
Chinese society and culture, and to prepare students for upper level
courses in Chinese history, religion, philosophy, politics, and literature.
*No prior background in Chinese studies is required.*