East Asian Languages and Cultures | Topics in East Asian Studies: Early China
E505 | 26943 | Eno, Robert

This course carries Culture Studies credit
This course open to graduate students only
This course meets with HIST-G380 on same topic

Early China will explore the social, political, and intellectual
trends of ancient China, with particular emphasis upon the
relationship in early China between concepts of the past and
perspectives of the present and future.
The range of the course will span a millennium and a half,
from China's Bronze Age (beginning about 1500 B.C.) to the emergence
and stabilization of China's imperial state in the first century
B.C. We will not, however, examine this long period in chronological
sequence.  Instead, we will begin by anchoring ourselves in the
culture of "Classical China" (722-221 B.C.), a romantic era of
political fragmentation and intellectual ferment that is usually
regarded as critical to the formation of the "Confucian" culture
that dominated China from the early Imperial era to the beginning of
this century.
During the first half of the course, our goal will be to
become fully familiar with the cultural perspective of the Classical
period, particularly with the Classical understanding of its own
past and its expectations for the future. In the second section of
the course, we will examine the pre-Classical era through
archaeological sources unknown to Classical culture, and we will
compare the Classical conception of its past to the more analytical
portrait offered through modern scholarship. In the final section of
the course, we will study the early years of the post-Classical
period, and compare Classical expectations of the future with the
future that ultimately emerged.
Course readings will include writings of modern scholarship,
but primary source materials will be particularly stressed.

Graded requirements.  There will be two exams (a midterm and a
final), homework assignments, and a term paper exercise. Students
will keep a journal for readings outside of basic course online text

Texts to purchase.  None. Required reading materials will be
available online through Oncourse.