Reed, Bradley

Seminar in East Asian History

Cultural Rev in China
HIEA
4501
Undergraduate
Fall
2017

In 1966, Mao Zedong launched his last great mass campaign by calling upon the youth of China to “practice revolution” and rebel against established authority. The tumultuous response to Mao’s summons opened a ten year period in which political and social order were nearly destroyed, over a million people were persecuted, and countless lives were ruined. With the death of Mao in 1976, a movement that had begun as an effort to keep China firmly on the path to socialism thus ended amid fear, apathy and doubt as to the legitimacy of the Communist Party and the revolution which it had led. Today, fifty years after it began, the Cultural Revolution remains one of the most traumatic yet least understood periods of Modern Chinese History.

 

This seminar attempts to get at the meaning and significance of the Cultural Revolution by examining it as a multi-faceted period that cannot be adequately understood through any single analytic framework. Through the reading and discussion of secondary literature and translated primary sources, we will consider a number of issues: the movement’s political and ideological roots, the role and culpability of Mao, the significance of the Cultural Revolution as a youth movement, the causes of social violence, the impact of the movement on rural areas, and the influence that this “decade of violence” has had on Chinese government, society, and culture since the death of Mao.

 

For the first ten weeks, seminar participants will read and discuss an average of between 200 to 250 pages of primary and secondary material. The remainder of the semester will be devoted to the completion of a substantial research paper of 20-25 pages. Evaluation will be based on the quality of both the seminar paper (50%) and attendance/participation in weekly discussions (50%). Although there are no prerequisites for this seminar, all students who have not taken a course on Modern China are expected to have read Mao’s China and After, by Maurice Meisner prior to the beginning of the course.  This course satisfies the Second Writing Requirement and may be used as a capstone course for East Asian Studies majors.

Course Instructor: 
Maximum Enrollment: 
15
Course Type: 

Modern China

HIEA
2031
Undergraduate
Fall
2017

At the turn of the 20th century, China was one of the poorest nations in the world. Its 2,000 year old system of government was crumbling, large segments of its population were impoverished or starving, and the country seemed powerless to defend itself against repeated foreign intrusion. Once known as the “sick man of Asia,” China today is a global power with world-wide strategic, economic and political influence.

This course is about the people, personalities, and events that have given this remarkable transformation its dramatic and sometimes tragic tone. It is also about the social, political, and cultural currents that lay beneath these more visible manifestations of change and the profound effect these forces have had on the Chinese people. Following a brief consideration of the political and social institutions of the last imperial dynasty (the Qing, 1644-1911), we will examine the interaction of foreign aggression and domestic social crises that led first to the fall of the imperial order and the establishment of a Republic in 1911 and then to the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949. From here we move on to the post-'49 period under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), a period that has been described as the greatest attempt at revolutionary social transformation in world history. In the final weeks of the course, we will look at the post-Mao reform era and the issues facing China today after nearly a century of revolution.

Reading assignments, drawn from a survey textbook (R. Keith Schoppa, Revolution and its Past) as well as other secondary and translated primary sources, will average about 125 pages per week. Grades for the course will be based on a mid-term exam (25%), a final exam (30%), an eight-page essay (30%) and attendance and participation in discussion sections (15%).

Course Instructor: 
Maximum Enrollment: 
180
Course Type: 
Discussion Sections: 
9

Late Imperial Chinese Law

HIEA
5559
Graduate
Fall
2016

Law and judicial practice in Late Imperial China, particularly during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Inquiry will consider statutory law from two angles; as an instrument of state authority designed to enforce a particular social and political order, and as a field of social interaction within which ordinary people utilized the legal system to seek justice and redress for personal grievances.

Course Instructor: 
Maximum Enrollment: 
5
Course Type: 

Seminar in East Asian History

Late Imperial Chinese Law
HIEA
4501
Undergraduate
Fall
2016

This seminar explores the nature and role of law, judicial institutions, and legal culture in Chinese society during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).  In the process, we will consider Imperial Chinese law from several vantage points:  as an instrument of state authority, as an expression Confucian ideology, and as a site of contestation between state and society as well as between individuals.  Our exploration will entail both the formal elements of law (codified statutes and formal court procedures) and the more informal realm of customary practice at the local level.  A major goal of the seminar in this regard is to examine how scholarship and scholarly debate on these issues have changed over the past several decades, particularly with the availability of new archival sources.  

Readings, consisting of several of the major English-language works in the field along with a number of translated primary sources, average approximately 250 pages per week for the first seven weeks of the semester.  Evaluation will be based on the completion of a research paper of between 20 and 25 pages (50%) and participation in weekly discussions (50%).  Although not strictly required, some prior course work in Chinese history is strongly recommended.  This seminar will satisfy the College's second writing requirement (SWR).

Course Instructor: 

Modern China

HIEA
2031
Undergraduate
Fall
2016

At the turn of the 20th century, China was one of the poorest nations in the world.  Its 2,000 year old system of government was crumbling, large segments of its population were impoverished or starving, and the country seemed powerless to defend itself against repeated foreign intrusion.  Today, China has the world's largest second largest economy and the fastest growing middle class.  Once known as the "sick man of Asia," China is now a global power with world-wide strategic, economic and political influence.  

This course is about the people, personalities, and events that have given this remarkable transformation its dramatic and sometimes tragic tone.  It is also about the social, political, and cultural currents that lay beneath these more visible manifestations of change and the profound effect these forces have had on the Chinese people.  Following a brief consideration of the political and social institutions of the last dynasty (the Qing, 1644-1911), we will examine the interaction of foreign aggression and domestic social crises that led first to the fall of the imperial order and the establishment of a Republic in 1911 and then to the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949.  From here we move on to the post- '49 period under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), a period that has been described as the greatest attempt at revolutionary social transformation in world history.  In the final weeks of the course, we will look at the post-Mao reform era and the issues facing China today after nearly a century of revolution.

Reading assignments, drawn from a survey textbook (R. Keith Schoppa, Revolution and its Past) as well as other secondary and translated primary sources, will average about 125 pages per week.  Grades for the course will be based on a mid-term exam (25%), a final exam (30%), an eight-page essay (30%) and attendance and participation in discussion sections (15%).

Course Instructor: 

Mao and the Chinese Revolution

HIEA
5151
Undergraduate
Graduate
Spring
2016
This is a reading seminar open to both graduate and advanced undergraduate students. Our purpose is to explore the on-going nature of one of the 20th century’s most significant events, the Chinese revolution, and the role played by the individual most closely identified with that Revolution, Mao Zedong. Although our focus will be on events during Mao’s life, we will also consider Mao’s legacy and the influence his image and ideas continue to have today.
 
All students will meet for weekly discussions of assigned texts. Graduate students are required to write response papers for each text and complete a longer historiographic essay by the end of the semester. Undergraduate students will have the option of writing either a historiographic essay or a research paper of approximately the same length.
Course Instructor: 

Late Imperial China: 1000 to 1900

HIEA
3112
Undergraduate
Spring
2016
HIEA 3112 covers the late imperial period of Chinese history, from the founding of the Song dynasty in the tenth century to the final decades of the imperial system in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Although the course covers the basic elements of social, political, and cultural history, emphasis is placed on analyzing events and trends in an attempt to come to grips with two rather thorny questions: 1) How can we account for the remarkable stability and longevity of the late imperial system of government as well as its basic patterns of social economic relationships? 2) Given the durability of the late imperial system, how can we account for its fragmentation and ultimate demise when it faced fundamentally new challenges, from both within and without, in the nineteenth century? These and other questions will be considered through an investigation of several inter related issues: The ideological and philosophical foundations of the authoritarian state; the linkage and tension between elite and popular culture and life styles; the cultural assimilation of non-Chinese peoples; the formation of popular traditions of religious faith, protest and rebellion; and problems of systemic decline.
 
Although HIEA 3112 is the second of a two semester sequence on Imperial China, neither HIEA 3111 nor any previous study of Chinese history is required. The course is based on lectures along with occasional discussions. Readings, drawn from a basic text and translated primary materials, average between 100 150 pages per week. Evaluation is based on a mid-term exam (30%), an interpretive essay (35%), and a final exam (35).
Course Instructor: 
Subscribe to Reed, Bradley

Corcoran Department of History
University of Virginia
Nau Hall - South Lawn
Charlottesville, VA 22904

  

Contact:
(434) 924-7147
(434) 924-7891
M-F 8am to 4:30pm
Department Contacts