Final Syllabus blogging

Well, as I predicted I got my syllabai done too late to post them and get helpful suggestions, other than HIST 200, where I did get (and use) some good ideas.1

Still if anyone has any ideas that might help for next time I would be glad to hear them. Here are the classes.

HIST 200 Introduction to History -The methods class for majors. Focusing on the Boxers this time, I have high hopes for this.

HIST 206 History of East Asia -One I always like teaching (especially since I got more thematic about it) and that students like to take, at least judging by how fast it always fills. I have still not solved the problem of outside readings with this one. I usually like to use three books they can write papers on. One of them should really be a Pre-Han Chinese text, and this time I went with Zhuangzi. The other option is Book of Songs, but both of these are problematic. For the other two I went with Fukuzawa Yukichi’s Autobiography and Liang Heng’s Son of the Revolution. I like both of these, and I like autobiographies with classes at this level, but I wish there were more books that worked like these that would go earlier in the semester.

HIST 332 Early China -This is starting to become my standard model for upper-level courses. Not much for required reading, but lots of optional readings that students can pick from. The idea is that they can Choose Your Own Syllabustm by picking out the stuff that interests them. This worked well last semester in Modern Japan, as there were students who had read and were willing  talk about interesting readings they had done almost every week. We will see how well it works with a class that is always farther from other things students have done that stuff like Modern China or Modern Japan


  1. Thanks Chuck 


  1. How about Anthony Yu’s The Monkey and the Monk? It’s an abridgement of his full four volume Journey to the West (both U of Chicago Press). It’s funny, it’s got poetry and religion — what’s not to like?

    And by the way, however, I am shocked — shocked!! — that an erudite and conscientious fellow like Alan should commit the false and injurious pluralification of “syllabus” as “syllabai,” when it is well known that it must be “syllabim.”

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