井底之蛙

11/1/2013

Extra syllabus blogging -Guan Yu meets Qiu Jin on the internet

Filed under: — Alan Baumler @ 8:12 am

Bonus syllabus blogging!1 Since I have received some really good advice about how to teach my classes from yunz, I thought I would try again. This is not a class I am actually going to teach next semester, or ever. It is a model syllabus for teaching a dual level (graduate/undergraduate) course that will be taught on line. We need a sample syllabus to get the on-line approval from the university.2 I tried to come up with something that would appeal to a broad range of students and work well as an on-line class. Any suggestions on the viability of the class or the on-line elements would be welcome. I was thinking of doing it mainly as a reading/discussion type class with the discussion taking place in a threaded discussion group.

History 481/581

Heroism and History in China

The-Woman-Knight-of-Mirror-Lake-20111

From the assassin Jing Ke to the Monkey King (who defeated the enemies of the Buddha with an iron rod) to the Woman Knight of Mirror Lake (pictured above) to the model Communist Lei Feng Chinese history has been full of heroes. Emulating the great people of the past was the foundation of Confucian self-cultivation, and providing models to be emulated or avoided was one of the main themes of Chinese literature and historiography. In this class we will be looking at how scholars used biography and autobiography in creating Chinese history and how ordinary Chinese used these stories of heroic men and women to understand their society.

Required Readings

Our required texts are

Judge, Joan, Ying Hu, Beyond Exemplar Tales: Women’s Biography in Chinese History. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011.

Wills, John E. Mountain of Fame: Portraits in Chinese History. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2012.

Most of our readings will come from book chapters and articles that will be available through our LMS. It may help to buy a brief history of China. I recommend either of Ebrey’s two books.

Ebrey, Patricia Buckley. China: a Cultural, Social, and Political History. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2006.

_________., The Cambridge Illustrated History of China. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

Structure of the course

  This class is built around a series of readings and discussions. Our discussions will take place on-line via a Learning Management System. For each part of the class we will have some readings from our texts (Judge, Hu and Wills) at least one other common reading. You will also be expected to read one of the optional readings.

Instructor office hours

 Office hours will be conducted through Skype. While I will be available during regular hours I am always happy to set up an appointment.

Weeks 1-2 The dynastic histories From Sima Qian on Chinese historians have written the stories of model individuals. The dynastic histories give us our earliest examples of ideal people, from culture heroes like Yu the Great to historical figures like Confucius and Li Si. The standard histories also provided the template for later biographical writings.

Common reading-Biographies of Li Si and Sima Xiangru from Sima Qian

Optional readings-Selections from:

-Davis, Richard. Historical Records of the Five Dynasties. Columbia University Press, 2004.

-Lewis, Mark Edward. The Flood Myths of Early China. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2006.

-Sima, Qian, and Burton Watson. Records of the Grand Historian. New York: Columbia University Press, 1993.

-Twitchett, Denis. The Writing of Official History Under the T’ang. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

 

Weeks 3-4 Hermits and immortals Rejection of society, either as a form of social criticism or as a way to focus on self-cultivation became a major theme in elite society after the Han, and we will look at a number of these people and how they were understood.

Common reading–Autobiography of Ge Hong

Optional readings-Selections from:

Berkowitz, Alan J. Patterns of Disengagement: The Practice and Portrayal of Reclusion in Early Medieval China. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2000.

-Campany, Robert Ford. Making Transcendents Ascetics and Social Memory in Early Medieval China. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2009.

-Campany Robert “Narrative in the Self-Presentation of Trancendence-Seekers” from Chan, Alan K. L., and Yuet-keung Lo. Interpretation and Literature in Early Medieval China Albany: State Univ of New York Pr, 2010.

-Declercq, Dominik. Writing Against the State: Political Rhetorics in Third and Fourth Century China. Leiden: Brill, 1998.

-Vervoorn, Aat Emile. Men of the Cliffs and Caves: The Development of the Chinese Eremitic Tradition to the End of the Han Dynasty. Hong Kong: Chinese University Press, 1990.

“The Daoist Saint Xue Xuantong” from Wang, Robin. Images of Women in Chinese Thought and Culture: Writings from the pre-Qin Period through the Song Dynasty. Indianapolis: Hackett, 2003.

 

Weeks 5-6 Monkey, Buddhism, and literature In addition to the Bodhisattva tradition and Buddhist ideas about perfecting the self we will look at literature (mostly novels and opera) and how purely fiction characters (like Pigsy) and deified mortals (like Guan Di) fit into the tradition.

Common reading– Chapters 62 and 63 from Journey to the West

Optional readings-Selections from:

de Crespigny, Rafe “Man from the Margin: Cao Cao and the Three Kingdoms” The Fifty-first George Ernest Morrison Lecture in Ethnology 1990,

Idema, Wilt L., and Stephen H. West. Battles, Betrayals, and Brotherhood: Early Chinese Plays on the Three Kingdoms. Hackett Publishing Co., 2013.

Kieschnick, John. The Eminent Monk: Buddhist Ideals in Medieval Chinese Hagiography. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 1997.

Puett, Michael J. To Become a God: Cosmology, Sacrifice, and Self-divinization in Early China. Cambridge, Mass.; London: Harvard University Press, 2004.

Qian Nanxiu Spirit and Self in Medieval China: The Shih-shuo hsin-yu and Its Legacy Hawaii, 2001

Yu, Anthony C. The Journey to the West, Revised Edition, Revised edition. University of Chicago Press, 2013.

 

Weeks 7-8 The world of Rivers and Streams Redresses of wrongs and martial arts heroes were popular with all classes of society and particularly after the invention of printing stories about both fictional and historical examples were everywhere and were taken as examples by everyone from Wu Sangui to Mao Zedong.

Common readingChapters 23 and 24 from  The Marshes of Mount Liang

Optional readings-Selections from:

Boretz, Avron Albert. Gods, Ghosts, and Gangsters: Ritual Violence, Martial Arts, and Masculinity on the Margins of Chinese Society. Honolulu: University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2011.

Hamm, John Christopher. Paper Swordsmen: Jin Yong and the Modern Chinese Martial Arts Novel. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2005.

Shi, Nai’an, Guanzhong Luo, John Dent-Young, and Alex Dent-Young. The Marshes of Mount Liang: a New Translation of the Shuihu Zhuan or Water Margin of Shi Naiʼan and Luo Guanzhong. Hong Kong: Chinese University Press, 1994.

Wyatt, Don J. “Unsung Men of War: Accumulated Embodiments of the Martial Ethos in the Song Dynasty” from Di Cosmo, Nicola. Military Culture in Imperial China. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2011.

Each of you will also watch  one film for this section. We will probably use A Touch of Zen (1971) and Shaolin Soccer (2001), but I am up to other suggestions.

 

Weeks 9-10 Dissenting scholars Dissent was a vital part of the Confucian self-image, and we will look at both the traditions of scholar as critic and scholar as martyr.

Common reading -Ditmanson, Peter. “Venerating the Martyrs of the 1402 Usurpation: History and Memory in the Mid and Late Ming Dynasty.” T’oung Pao 93, no. 1/3 (January 1, 2007): 110–158.

Optional readings-Selections from:

Egan, Ronald. The Burden of Female Talent: The Poet Li Qingzhao and Her History in China, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press 2013.

Guo Yingjie and He Baogang “Reimagining the Chinese Nation: The ‘Zeng Guofan Phenomenon'” Modern China 25.2 (Apr. 1999)

Ivanhoe, P. J. Confucian Moral Self Cultivation. Indianapolis: Hackett Pub., 2000.

Ropp, Paul S. Dissent in Early Modern China: Ju-lin Wai-shih and Chʼing Social Criticism. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1981.

Schneider, Laurence A. A Madman of Chʼu: The Chinese Myth of Loyalty and Dissent. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980.

 

Weeks 11-12 May Fourth and New China While the May Fourth generation explicitly rejected ‘feudal’ culture they borrowed heavily from traditional models. We will focus on the creation of modern women.

Common reading-Selections from Wang, Zheng. Women in the Chinese Enlightenment: Oral and Textual Histories. University of California Press, 1999.

Optional readings-Selections from:

Cohen, Paul A. Speaking to History: The Story of King Goujian in Twentieth-century China. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009.

Lean, Eugenia, Public Passions: The Trial of Shi Jianqiao and the Rise of Popular Sympathy in Republican China. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007.

Wang, Jing M. When “I” Was Born: Women’s Autobiography in Modern China. Univ of Wisconsin Press, 2008.

Wang, Lingzhen. Personal Matters: Women’s Autobiographical Practice in Twentieth-century China. Stanford University Press, 2004.

 

Weeks 13-14 Heroes of the Party-state Both the Nationalists and the Communists created party heroes, and we will look at both their stories and some of the tales of the rejection of the party state that appeared after 1976.

Common reading-selections from Young, Helen Praeger. Choosing Revolution: Chinese women soldiers on the Long March Urbana: Univ Of Illinois Press, 2007.

Optional readings-Selections from:

Ding, Ling, and Xianyi Yang. The Sun Shines over the Sanggan River. Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1984.

Hershatter, Gail. The Gender of Memory Rural Women and China’s Collective Past. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011.

Li, Kunwu, Philippe Ôtié, and Edward Gauvin. A Chinese life. London: SelfMadeHero, 2012.

Louise Edwards “Military Celebrity in China: The Evolution of ‘Heroic and Model Servicemen’” from Edwards, Louise P., and Elaine Jeffreys. Celebrity in China. Hong Kong University Press, 2010.

Xie, Bingying. A Woman Soldier’s Own Story: The Autobiography of Xie Bingying. New York: Berkley Books, 2003.

Yao Yusheng “The Elite Class Background of Wang Shuo and His Hooligan Characters” Modern China 30.2 (Oct. 2004)

 

Assignments Undergraduate

Participation in on-line discussion 20%

For each segment of the course you will be required to post at least two substantial comments/ responses to what other students or your instructor have posted. These could be in response to the common readings, the optional readings, whatever you find most interesting. You will need to post a total of at least 20 comments in the course of the semester. Note that this means you have to engage with the readings every week, but you can engage more some weeks than others.

Paste language from Scott’s syllabus on what constitutes substance here

Posting reading summaries on-line 20%

You will need to post summaries of our optional readings 5 times during the course of the semester. These should be posted on the first day of the unit (or later, if I give you permission to do so.) These should give your fellow students a clear idea what the main points of the reading are (if it is a secondary source) or what we can get out of the reading (if it is a primary source). We will discuss how to do these in class, but there are also guidelines for writing an analysis paper on the course website. You should also be able to answer any questions your classmates or professor may have about the reading.

Analysis papers 40%

You will be required to write 4 short (3-4) papers analyzing one of the optional readings. These could be the same readings you did summaries on, or they could be something different. We will discuss how to do these in class, but there are also guidelines for writing an analysis paper on the course website. Note that you can do more than 4 and keep the high grades.

Annotated biography project 20%

Each of you will work with one or two other students to create an annotated version of one of the biographies from the San Guo Zhi. This is what traditional Chinese scholars did when they wrote a commentary, and also what modern scholars do when they create an edited edition of a text.

 

Assignments Graduate

Participation in on-line discussion 20%

For each segment of the course you will be required to post at least two substantial comments/ responses to what other students or your instructor have posted. These could be in response to the common readings, the optional readings, whatever you find most interesting. You will need to post a total of at least 20 comments in the course of the semester. Note that this means you have to engage with the readings every week, but you can engage more some weeks than others.

Paste language from Scott’s syllabus on what constitutes substance here

Posting reading summaries on-line 20%

You will need to post summaries of our optional readings 5 times during the course of the semester. These should be posted on the first day of the unit (or later, if I give you permission to do so.) These should give your fellow students a clear idea what the main points of the reading are (if it is a secondary source) or what we can get out of the reading (if it is a primary source). We will discuss how to do these in class, but there are also guidelines for writing an analysis paper on the course website. You should also be able to answer any questions your classmates or professor may have about the reading.

Analysis papers 10%

You will be required to write 2 short (3-4) papers analyzing one of the optional readings. These could be the same readings you did summaries on, or they could be something different. We will discuss how to do these in class, but there are also guidelines for writing an analysis paper on the course website. Note that you can do more than 2 and keep the high grades.

Annotated biography project 20%

Each of you will work with one or two other students to create an annotated version of one of the biographies from the San Guo Zhi. This is what traditional Chinese scholars did when they wrote a commentary, and also what modern scholars do when they create an edited edition of a text.

30% Historiographical essay on biography and autobiography in the Chinese tradition.

For this assignment you will need to write a short (15+ page) historiographical essay on some aspect of the Chinese biographical tradition. Proposals and working bibliographies will be due in week 5 and the first draft in week 12, with the final paper being due on the last day of class.

You will need to pick a specific theme or period, and that will have an effect on what sort of sources are available. Possible topics include. (expand this list, or take it out? )

-Confucius, praise and blame history and Spring and Autumn Annals.

-Sima Qian and  the Standard Histories model

-Biographies of virtuous women (or eminent monks etc. )

-May Fourth and creating the modern self through history

-Revolutionary historiography and its discontents. (A great place to look at Cultural Revolution stuff.)

Sample Module: Biography, Divinity, and Literature Week 5 This week we will be discussing the Three Kingdoms and how the major political players became major literary and religious figures. With the possible exception of Confucius and some of the people Sima Qian talked about this is the most important example of using biographies to provide models for later Chinese culture. Guan Yu went from being a minor general to being the God of War. Cao Cao, Zhuge Liang and others became proverbial figures. The story is one of the foundational works of Chinese opera, and the novel has had incalculable influence. Mao Zedong said that it and the Communist Manifesto were the only books he always kept with him. In this segment of the class we will be looking at how Chinese people have created and used the stories of this period both as history, ethics and literature.

Scott,

  I like the above better as text, but a Powerpoint seems to almost be a requirement for the module part. Should I split this up into slides?

Our readings and discussions will be on…

– de Crespigny, Rafe “Man from the Margin: Cao Cao and the Three Kingdoms” The Fifty-first George Ernest Morrison Lecture in Ethnology 1990,

-“Introduction”and “Guan Yunchang’s Righteous and Brave Refusal of Gold” Idema, Wilt L., and Stephen H. West. Battles, Betrayals, and Brotherhood: Early Chinese Plays on the Three Kingdoms. Hackett Publishing Co., 2013.

-“ Aligning and Orienting the Cosmos: Anthropomorphic Gods and Theomorphic Humans in the Huainanzi” from Puett, Michael J. To Become a God: Cosmology, Sacrifice, and Self-divinization in Early China. Cambridge, Mass.; London: Harvard University Press, 2004.

“Character Appraisal ” and “Formation of the Wei-Chin Spirit” from Qian Nanxiu Spirit and Self in Medieval China: The Shih-shuo hsin-yu and Its Legacy Hawaii, 2001

 

The main questions I would like to talk about are

 

-The complexity of some of these characters, especially Cao Cao. Some of these people are very hard to fit into Sima Qian’s categories of

-How ideas about character split off from imperial service and loyalty to the state.

-Why the changes that were made in these stories as they became literature or religion were made.

As always, we don’t need to talk about all of these if you have other themes you are interested in.

 

I would also like each of you to write a brief entry on something you learned from what you were able to google (or remember) about the many video game versions of the story. I’m not really interested in winning strategies, but why modern East Asians keep returning to this story and what they get out of it.

 

Sample module assignment

 

Annotated biography project

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Each of you will work with one or two other students to create an annotated version of one of the biographies from the San Guo Zhi. This is what traditional Chinese scholars did when they wrote a commentary, and also what modern scholars do when they create an edited edition of a text. I will give you an English language translation of one of the biographies and you will produce an annotated version that explains to the reader the contrast between this biography of the figure and one or more other versions.

What form the final project takes depends in part on what direction you take with it. If you end up focusing more on, say, Cao Cao’s career as a character in opera, you might want to do it as a web page with quite a few pictures. On the other hand a discussion of Cao Pi as a literary figure or Zhuge Liang as a virtuous or unvirtuous minister might be better done as a text document with footnotes or some other form of annotation. You should clear the general idea of your paper with me within the first week

Your grade will be based on the quality of your research, the clarity of your explanation of your points and how well you support your points with evidence.

Your final project should include a full bibliography and a statement about who did what parts of the project. You should be prepared to answer questions about both the project and your sources after it has been posted.

 

We will discuss what sort of collaborative writing software to use in class, but in general Google Docs is pretty easy and people may know it already. Other possibilities include Draftin, Editorially, or Authorea. Your group should choose whichever platform best suits what you are planning to do. https://draftin.com/

https://editorially.com/
https://www.authorea.com/

 

 

 

 

 

  1. What did you do in a past life to deserve this? []
  2. This needs a good deal of work before I actually teach it, but for a model syllabus like this I don’t need too much detail. []

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