History | China: The Age of Glory
G382 | 2851 | Struve

Above section carries culture studies credit
Above section open to undergraduates only

This course examines the 1200 dramatic years during which the
Chinese state twice attained enormous size and power as a great
Eurasian empire, the Qin-Han period of ca. 200 BC-200 AD and the Sui-
Tang period of ca 600-900 AD, as well as the long era of political
dissolution and disunity in between.  What historical factors
account for those bursts of civilization energy, and how did Chinese
civilization (unlike the Greco-Roman) manage to restore itself on
traditional groundwork after hundreds of years of political
fragmentation and cultural change?  How did the different values of
Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism achieve workable coexistence, and
how did Han-Chinese society interact with non-Han peoples from the
steppe region who often outstripped them militarily?  What accounts
for developments in the literary and visual arts which defined the
great Chinese traditions in those fields of creativity?  And how did
the Chinese themselves write and interpret their own history
throughout this era of both exciting and devastating change?  These
are some of the questions we will address during the semester.

We will proceed in a lecture-discussion mode.  Attendance will be
taken and grade penalties assigned for numerous unexcused absences.
Grades will be based principally on three in-class essay
examinations.  A one-grade-step adjustment, up or down, may be made
to a studentís final grade depending on quantity and quality of
classroom participation.

Fairbank and Reischauer, "China:  Tradition and Transformation"
Cyril Birch, ed., "Anthology of Chinese Literature", Vol. 1
W.T. de Bary, ed., "Sources of Chinese Tradition", Vol. 1