Introductory Seminar in East Asian History
This is a discussion- and writing-intensive course. Through an introduction of scholarly works and primary source materials, this course explores the most prominent figures, ideas, and forces that shaped the intellectual life and religious beliefs in Chinese history. Major topics include early Chinese worldview, the “Hundred Schools of Thought,” and popular beliefs and practices. Another goal of this class is to introduce students to the historian’s craft of research and writing. Class discussion, presentations, and a variety of written assignments all gear toward developing students’ critical thinking, reading, and writing skills. Reading assignments include Philip J. Ivanhoe and Bryan W. Van Norden, Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy (Hackett Publishing, 2005), Bryan W. Van Norden, Introduction to Classical Chinese Philosophy (Hackett Publishing, 2011,), and selected articles and book chapters. This course fulfills the College’s second writing and historical and non-Western perspective requirements. No previous knowledge of Chinese history is required.