Jiangnan examination compound

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Course Syllabus & Readings

The Yangzi river delta is home both to contemporary Shanghai and classic centers of late imperial Chinese culture like Nanjing, Suzhou and Hangzhou, immortalized in the popular Chinese saying “Above there is Heaven, below Suzhou and Hangzhou.” This course explores the region’s vital cultural, political, economic and literature role in the creation of modern China from the late imperial period to the present. Taught on-site in Nanjing, Suzhou, Shanghai and Hangzhou, the course provides students a direct experience of contemporary China’s connections to its past. This course will also provide students an opportunity to improve their Chinese language. 2 units- Williams, Jiang.

Course Texts

The following books will be available for purchase at the CC bookstore beginning in block 7. All are currently marked down at Amazon.com as well. All other readings will be provided and/or posted at a later date.

  • Iris Chang, The Rape of Nanking (Penguin, 1998)
  • Leo Ou-fan Lee, Shanghai Modern (Harvard, 1999)
  • Jeffrey Wasserstrom, Global Shanghai, 1850-2010: A History in Fragments (Routledge, 2009).

19 (Mon) Orientation at John Hopkins University-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies. Class will meet with Hopkins Center staff for an introduction to the Center and its environs.

20 (Tue) : Confucianism & Chinese Culture

1. Tu Wei-ming, "The Confucian Tradition in Chinese History," in Paul S. Ropp, ed., Heritage of China: Contemporary Perspectives on Chinese Civilization (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990), 112-37.
2. Sima Qian 司马迁 (145-86 BCE), "The Biography of Yu Jang," in Y.W. Ma 7 Joseph Lau, eds., Traditional Chinese Stories: Themes and Variations (Boston: Cheng & Tsui, 1986), 41-2.
3. Liu Yiqing 刘义庆 (403-444), "Hsun Chu-po Visits His Friend," in Ma & Lau, 3.
4: Feng Menglong 冯梦龙 (1574-1646), "Wu Pao-An Ransoms His Friend," in Ma & Lau, 4-18.

21 (Wed) : Nanjing and the Founding of the Ming

1. F.W. Mote, "The Transformation of Nanking, 1350-1400," in The City in Late Imperial China, ed. G. William Skinner (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 119-54.
2. Nanjing folktales concerning Zhu Yuanzhang 朱元璋 and the founding of the Ming
Afternoon: Field trip to Nanjing city wall 明城垣 and Zhonghua Gate 中华门.

22 (Thu) : The Work of Feng Menglong 冯梦龙 (1574-1646)
1. Feng Menglong, "The Pearl Shirt Reencountered," in Ma & Lau, 264-92.
2. Feng, "The Couple Bound in Life and Death," in Ma & Lau, 209-24.

23 (Fri): Jiangnan Examination Life

1. Wu Jingzi 吴敬梓, The Scholars (Rulin waishi 儒林外史), trans. Gladys Yang and Yang Hsien-yi (New York, 1992), 1-39.
2. Richard Kagan, "Ch'en Tu-hsiu's [Chen Duxiu 陈独秀] Unfinished Autobiography," The China Quarterly, no. 50 (1972), 295-315
Field trip to Jiangnan Examinaiton Compound 江南贡院 and Confucian Temple 夫子庙 district.

26 (Mon): Jiangnan during the Manchu Conquest
. Lynn Struve, ed. and trans., China in Tigers’ Jaws: Voices from the Ming-Qing Cataclysm (New Haven: Yale University Pres, 1993), 1-5; 28-48;55-72; 93-113.

27 (Tue): The Heavenly Capital
1. Jonathan Spence, God's Chinese Son: The Taiping Heavenly Kingdom of Hong Xiuquan (New York: Norton, 1996), 172-245.
2. Nanjing folktales concerning the Taiping

28 (Wed): Sun Yat-sen 孙中山 (1866-1925) in Nanjing
1. Marie Claire Bergere, Sun Yat-sen (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1998), 1-12, 139-40, 198-227.
2. Sun Yat-sen, "The Three Principles of the People 三民主义," in Prescriptions for Saving China: Selected Writings of Sun Yat-sen (Stanford: Stanford University Hoover Institution Press, 1994), 222-36.
3. Nanjing folktales concerning Sun Yat-sen.
Field trip to Presidential Palace 总统府 and Liangjiang Governor-General's yamen 两江总督衙门.

29 (Thu) : Qiu Jin 秋瑾 (1875-1907)
1. Haiping Yan, "Qiu Jin and Her Imaginary," in Chinese Women Writers and the Feminist Imagination (New York: Routledge, 2006), 32-68.

30 (Fri) Day Trip: Purple Mountain 紫金山. Day trip to Purple Mountain to see the Ming Emperor Hongwu's tomb 明孝陵, Sun Yat-sen's Mausoleum 中山陵 and Linggu Temple 灵谷寺.
1: Delin Lai, "Searching for a Modern Chinese Monument: The Design of the Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum in Nanjing," in Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 64 (2005), 22-55.


3 (Mon) : Republican Era Literature
1. Lu Xun, "Preface to A Call To Arms," "A Madman's Diary," and "Medicine," in Yang Xianyi and Gladys Yang, trans., Lu Hsun: Selected Stories (Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1960), 1-18; 25-33;
2. Ding Ling, "A Certain Night," in W.J.F. Jenner, trans., Miss Sophie's Diary and Other Stories (Beijing: Panda Books, 1985), 180-6.

4 (Tue): Lu Xun 鲁迅 (1881-1936)
Reading: Lu Xun, "My Old Home" and "The True Story of Ah Q." In Selected Stories, 54-64; 65-112..

5 (Wed) : Ding Ling 丁玲 (1904-1986)
Reading: Ding Ling, "Miss Sophia's Diary" and "Shanghai, Spring 1930." inTani Barlow, ed., I Myself Am A Woman: Selected Writings of Ding Ling. (Boston: Beacon Press, 1989), 49-81; 112-71.

6 (Thu) : The Nanjing Decade
Reading: Charles D. Musgrove, "Building a Dream: Constructing a National Capital in Nanjing, 1927-1937," in Joseph Esherick, ed., Remaking the Chinese City: Modernity & National Identity, 1900-1950 (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2000), 139-57.

7 (Fri) : The Nanjing Massacre
1. Iris Chang, The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II (New York: Basic Books, 1997).

Field Trip to Nanjing Massacre Museum & Memorial 大屠杀记念馆.

10 (Mon) Morning: Class; conclude Nanjing segment of the course.

11 (Tue) TRIP TO HUANGSHAN 黄山: Class tours historic villas and other sites in She County 歙县, south of Mt. Huang, then Class spends the night at the base of Mt. Huang mountain.

12 (Wed) Huangshan: Class spends night on Mt. Huang.

13 (Wed)TRIP TO SHAOXING 绍兴: Class travels to Shaoxing, Zhejiang, hometown of 20th century literary giant Lu Xun. In the evening, Class travels on to nearby HANGZHOU 杭州.

14 (Fri)HANGZHOU: Class tours West Lake 西湖 and other important historical sites in Hangzhou.

15 (Sat) Afternoon: Class travels from Hangzhou to Shanghai 上海.

16 (Sun): Off.

17 (Mon) : Going to Shanghai
1. Jeffrey Wasserstrom, Global Shanghai, 1850-2010: A History in Fragments (New York: Routledge, 2008), 21-47
2. Hanchao Lu, Beyond the Neon Lights: Everyday Shanghai in the Early Twentieth Century (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999), 25-66.

18 (Tue) : Republican Shanghai.
1. Wasserstrom, 62-76.
2. Leo Ou-fan Lee, Shanghai Modern: The Flowering of a New Urban Culture in China, 1930-1945 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999), 3-42.
Field trip to Shanghai Museum 上海博物馆 and People's Square 人民广场.

19 (Wed): Conditions of Modern Culture in Republican Shanghai.
1. Lee, 43-120.

20 (Thu): Expressions of Modern Culture in Republican Shanghai
1. Lee, 190-231; 307-41.

21 (Fri) Field Trip: Shanghai Expo 2010 上海世界博览会
1. Robert Rydell, All The World's A Fair (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984), 1-8.

22 (Sat) Evening: Shanghai Acrobats

23 (Sun) : Off.

24 (Mon): Eileen Chang (Zhang Ailing 张爱玲, 1920-1995) & Wartime Shanghai
1.L Lee, 267-303
2. Eileen Chang, Written on Water (1945, rep. New York: Columbia University Press, 2005), 23-63.

25 (Tue) : Revolutionary Shanghai
1. Agnes Smedley, China Correspondent (1943, rep. London: Pandora Press, 1984), 9-12; 27-75.
2. Lu, 109-37
3. Wasserstrom, 77-93.

26 (Wed): Bolshevik Salute
1. Wang Meng, Bolshevik Salute (1979, rep. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1989).
Field tript to site of founding of Chinese Communist Party 中共一大会址纪念馆 and Lu Xun museum 鲁迅纪念馆.

27 (Thu): Gender & Revolution
1. Hong Jiang and Timothy Cheek, "Sense of Place, History and Community in Small Well Lane," in Li Longyun, Small Well Lane: A Contemporary Chinese Play and Oral History (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2002), 1-21.
2. Mayfair May-hui Yang, "From Gender Erasure to Gender Difference: State Feminism, Consumer Sexuality, and Women's Public Sphere in China," in Yang, Spaces of Their Own: Women's Public Sphere in Transnational China (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999), 35-64.

28 (Fri): Traditional Aesthetics: The Gardens of Suzhou
1. Dongzhu Hu, "Confucianism and Daoism as the Source of Classical Chinese Garden Aesthetics," in The Way of the Virtuous: The Influence of Art and Philosophy on Chinese Garden Design (Beijing: New World Press, 1991), 9-19
2. R. Stewart Johnson, Scholar Gardens of China (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), 98-165.

29 (Sat): Field Trip to Suzhou 苏州

30 (Sun): Return to Shanghai from Suzhou.

31 (Mon): Contemporary Shanghai Youth Culture
1. Wei Hui, Shanghai Baby (New York: Washington Square Press, 2002).


1 (Tue) Morning: Class; conclude Shanghai segment of course

2 (Wed) TRIP TO BEIJING 北京: Class travels overnight by train to Beijing.

3 (Thu) Morning: Class arrives in Beijing. Afternoon: Field trip to the Forbidden City 紫禁城 and Tiananmen Square 天安门广场.

4 (Fri) Day Trip: Great Wall of China 中国长城 at Mutianyu 慕田峪.

5 (Sat) Morning: Field trip to Temple of Heaven 天坛 and Yonghe Palace 雍和宫. Afternoon: Field trip to Olympic green.

6 (Sun) Free Time / Optional hutong 胡同 walking tour.

7 (Mon) Class ends in Beijing: Students return to U.S. or travel independently to other destinations.