Syllabus blogging 3 –Modern China

Syllabus blogging 3 –Modern China

Not as much to say about this. This is an upper-division course for majors and non-majors, and one I teach every few semesters.

The books are

-Schoppa, R. Keith. Revolution and Its Past: Identities and Change in Modern Chinese History. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall/Pearson, 2011.

If you are going to use a textbook this is a good one. I go back and forth on using one,  but this one has a nice theme (identities) and does not cost too much.

-Edgerton-Tarpley, Kathryn. Tears from Iron: Cultural Responses to Famine in Nineteenth-century China. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008.

I am really glad that some stuff is starting to come out that helps with the 19th century. For a long time I put Soulstealers in here, which is a fine book for this slot. Two slots really. An early in the course book and a serious monograph. (I always like at least one of those in an upper-division course.) There are probably a few other things that would fit here.

-Qian, Zhongshu, Jeanne Kelly, and Nathan K Mao. Fortress Besieged]. New York: New Directions, 2004.

I also like using a novel in a class like this. This one is both funny (to what extent the students will see it that way is an interesting question) and important and a good window into at least part of the society of the Republic. I have used Rickshaw here (which was o.k.) and Family, (which did not work as well.) I have high hopes for this

-King, Richard, and Zhun Li. Heroes of China’s Great Leap Forward: Two Stories ; [“ A Brief Biography of Li Shuangshuang”, “The Story of the Criminal Li Tongzhong”]. Honolulu, Hawaii: Univ. of Hawaiʻi Press, 2010.

And some primary sources and something from the Communist period. I’ve used this before and it worked well.

The general model is the same as the old syllabus below. In most of my standard upper-division classes I am moving towards providing them with a selection of book chapters/journal articles and having each of them read one each week (or most weeks), and then a few times a semester write an analysis of one of them. In theory this allows them to read about whatever interests them most. There are a number of places in here where I would like to figure out a better reading, but it general I am pretty happy with the approach.



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