Undergraduate Course: Culture and Society in Early Modern China (HIST10412)
|School||School of History, Classics and Archaeology
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||We cannot begin to understand twenty-first-century China without reference to its early modern past, when excessive wealth, consumption, expanded literacy, anxiety, social mobility, a flourishing of the arts, and unprecedented new freedoms for women first became a part of the lived experience for many Chinese.
This course introduces students to the cultural and social histories of early modern China (c. 1420-1820), a period that straddles the tremendous upheaval brought about by the extended transition from Ming to Qing rule. Its structure is both thematic and chronological, emphasising the broader cultural themes of the period, while at the same time allowing students to explore the ways in which Chinese culture and society developed and transformed over several centuries. Gender, class, literacy, consumption and material culture are principal concerns throughout the course. Participants will be encouraged to make use of a range of primary sources - textual, visual, material - that take us beyond the standard political narratives, and help us to understand the complex social and cultural lives of a range of Chinese men and women during this fascinating period.
Note: This course does not assume any knowledge of the languages of China.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||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. Students on Chinese (MA Hons) may take the course without meeting this requirement.
Before enrolling students on this course, PTs are asked to contact the History Honours Admission Administrator to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 504030).
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites||Visiting students must have 3 History courses at grade B or above. We will only consider University/College level courses. Enrolments for this course are managed by the CAHSS Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department. All enquiries to enrol must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the department directly to request additional spaces.
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2021/22, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Exhibition catalogue entry or anthology introduction (2,000 words): 35%
Academic essay or piece of annotated historical fiction (4,000 words): 65%
||Students will receive written feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser during his published office hours or by appointment.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- demonstrate a command of a body of knowledge relating to the cultural and social histories of early modern China;
- demonstrate an ability to analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
- demonstrate an ability to analyse critically a range of primary source materials, and to contextualise these within a history of early modern China;
- demonstrate an ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments by formulating appropriate questions and harnessing relevant evidence, and to present those arguments in a manner befitting the discipline;
- demonstrate independence of mind and initiative, and intellectual integrity and maturity.
|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).
Michael Chang, A Court on Horseback: Imperial Touring and the Construction of Qing Rule, 1680-1785 (Cambridge, MA, 2007).
Emma J. Teng, Taiwan's Imagined Geography: Chinese Colonial Travel Writing and Pictures, 1683-1895 (Cambridge, MA, 2004).
Lynn A. Struve ed., The Qing Formation in World Historical Time (Cambridge, MA, 2004).
Joseph R. Dennis, Writing, Publishing and Reading Local Gazetteers in Imperial China, 1100-1700 (Cambridge, MA, 2015).
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||This course will help students develop a range of transferable skills, including:
- the ability to manage one's time effectively, work to deadlines and perform effectively under pressure;
- the ability to gather, sift, organise and evaluate evidence in textual, visual and material forms;
- the ability to marshal arguments in both written and oral forms;
- the ability to work independently.
|Course organiser||Dr Stephen McDowall
Tel: (0131 6)50 3754
|Course secretary||Miss Lorna Berridge