History | Colloquium in Cultural History
H680 | 3155 | Wasserstrom

A portion of the above section reserved for majors
Above section meets with H675


This course will explore the divergent, but occasionally
overlapping, histories of ideas and practices associated with rights
and citizenship in twentieth-century China and various parts of the
modern West  especially France since 1789 and the United States
since 1776.  Readings will include works of scholarship on the
Chinese Revolution; studies that place human rights debates into
comparative and historical perspective; translations of major
documents produced in China and France at key moments in the
histories of those countries; and a book on the complex interplay
between law and colonialism in varied parts of the world.  Topics to
be explored will include the following.  How exactly have ideas
about gender shaped notions of citizenship in China and the West?
Why is it that revolutionary upheavals so often involve revisions of
ideas and practices associated with rights?  How did their
experiences with imperialism affect the ways that Chinese
intellectuals of the early 1900s thought and wrote about citizenship
and rights?  What is at stake when participants in contemporary
political and diplomatic debates insist that history and/or cultural
differences between nations are or are not relevant to the spread of
international human rights regimes?  No previous study of China or
knowledge of Chinese is required to take this course, and graduate
students in any field of history are welcome to take it, as are
professional school students and graduate students in any discipline.