Suzhou canals

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Course Description & Itinerary

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.


16 (Fri) Students depart United States.

17 (Sat) Students arrive in Nanjing 南京; will be picked up by John and Hong at the airport and taken to John Hopkins University-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies on the campus of Nanjing University. (Nanjing University neighborhood map)

18 (Sun) Rest and recuperation!

19 (Mon) Orientation at the Hopkins Center. Class will meet with Hopkins Center staff for an introduction to the Center and its environs.

20 (Tue) Morning: class. Confucianism & Chinese Culture.

21 (Wed) Morning: class: Nanjing and the Ming Founding. Afternoon: Field trip to Nanjing city wall 明城垣 and Zhonghua Gate 中华门

22 (Thu) Morning: class: The Stories of Feng Menglong 冯梦龙 (1574-1646)

23 (Fri) Morning: class: Jiangnan Examination Life. Afternoon: Field trip to Jiangnan Examination Compound 江南贡院 and Confucian Temple 夫子庙 district.

24 (Sat) Off.

25 (Sun) Off.

26 (Mon) Morning: class: Jiangnan during the Manchu Conquest

27 (Tue) Morning: class: The Heavenly Capital.

28 (Wed) Morning: class: Sun Yat-sen in Nanjing. Afternoon: Field trip to Presidential Palace 总统府 and Liangjiang Governor-General's yamen 两江总督衙门.

29 (Thu) Morning: class: Qiu Jin

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 (Sat): Off.

2 (Sun): Off.

3 (Mon) Morning: Class: Republican Era Fiction

4 (Tue) Morning: Class: Lu Xun 鲁迅 (1881-1936)

5 (Wed) Morning: Class: Ding Ling 丁玲 (1904-1986)

6 (Thu) Morning: Class: The "Nanjing Decade"

7 (Fri) Morning: Class: Occupation and Atrocity. Afternoon: Field Trip to Nanjing Massacre Museum & Memorial 大屠杀记念馆.

8 (Sat): Off.

9 (Sun): Off

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

11 (Tue) TRIP TO HUANGSHAN 黄山: Morning: Class travels from Nanjing to Huizhou for lunch, tours Ming villas of She County 歙县, south of Mt. Huang. Late afternoon: Class travels to Huangshanspends the night at the foot of the mountain.

12 (Wed) HUANGSHAN: Class ascends the mountain and spends the night on its peak.

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) Morning: Class

18 (Tue) Morning: Class. Afternoon: Field trip to Shanghai Museum 上海博物馆 and People's Square 人民广场.

19 (Wed) Morning: Class.

20 (Thu) Morning: Class.

21 (Fri) Day Trip: World's Fair: Expo 2010 Shanghai.

22 (Sat) Evening: Class attends exhibition of Shanghai Acrobats.

23 (Sun)

24 (Mon) Morning: Class.

25 (Tue) Morning: Class.

26 (Wed) Morning: Class. Afternoon: Field trip 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) Morning: Class. Afternoon: Field trip to Pearl Television Tower 东方明珠塔.

28 (Fri) Morning: Class.

29 (Sat) TRIP TO SUZHOU 苏州: Class travels to Suzhou, where we will tour Qing dynasty gardens villas and the historical district centering on Shantang Street 山塘街.

30 (Sun): Afternoon: Class returns to Shanghai.

31 (Mon) Morning: Class.


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.