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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: Ming China (1368-1644) and its Cultural Legacy (HIST10364)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryWe cannot begin to understand twenty-first century China without reference to its Ming-dynasty past, when excessive wealth, corruption, anxiety, social mobility, a flourishing of the arts, political intrigue, unprecedented new freedoms for women, and a (re)discovery of a forgotten cultural heritage were already a part of the lived experience.
Course description This course introduces students to the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), with a particular emphasis on the ways in which the period has been reimagined and reinterpreted both in the immediate aftermath of its collapse and beyond. Its structure is thematic, emphasising the broader cultural transformations of the Ming rather than approaching the period chronologically. Participants will be encouraged to understand the end of Ming dynastic rule as an extended process of transition, rather than as a single military event, and the various ways in which the people of the Ming dynasty survived - or did not survive - that transition are the focus of our final seminars.
Note: This course does not assume any knowledge of the languages of China.

1. Introduction to the Study of Ming History
2. Zhu Yuanzhang and the Founding of the Great Ming
3. Ming Capitals
4. Intellectuals & the Ming State: Civil Examinations
5. Knowledge & Power: Commercial Printing in the Ming
6. Women in Ming Society
7. Material Culture in Ming Society
8. Landscape & Power
9. The Fall of the Ming
10. Early-Qing Responses to Dynastic Transition
11. The Great Ming in Chinese History
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass or passes in 40 credits of first level historical courses or equivalent and a pass or passes in 40 credits of second level historical courses or equivalent.
Before enrolling students on this course, Personal Tutors are asked to contact the History Honours Admission Administrator to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 50 3780).
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 History courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses. Applicants should note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2015/16, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  30
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 172 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 30 %, Practical Exam 10 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 1 x essay of 2,500-3,000 words (30% of overall assessment); 1 x oral presentation (10% of overall assessment); 1 x two-hour examination (60% of overall assessment).
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, command of the body of knowledge considered in the course;
  2. Demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
  3. Demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material;
  4. Demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
  5. Demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
Timothy Brook, The Confusions of Pleasure: Commerce and Culture in Ming China (Berkeley, 1999).
Craig Clunas, Superfluous Things: Material Culture and Social Status in Early Modern China (Honolulu, 2004).
Craig Clunas, Empire of Great Brightness: Visual and Material Cultures of Ming China (London, 2007).
Benjamin A. Elman, A Cultural History of Civil Examinations in Late Imperial China (Berkeley, 2000).
Dorothy Ko, Teachers of the Inner Chambers: Women and Culture in Seventeenth-Century China (Stanford, 1994).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Ability to read texts critically; ability to present ideas in a logical and persuasive manner.
KeywordsMing China
Course organiserDr Stephen Mcdowall
Tel: (0131 6)50 3754
Course secretaryMiss Alexandra Adam
Tel: (0131 6)50 3767
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