131: China in War and Revolution, 1911-1949 131: China in War and Revolution, 1911-1949

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HIEA 131: China in War and Revolution, 1911-1949
Summer Session I 2015

Instructor: Amy O’Keefe
Classroom: Warren Lecture Hall 2207, Mon-Thurs, 9:30-10:50
Office Hours: Tues/Thurs 11-12, at Cups Outdoor Cafe (by the bear statue)
E-reserves password: AO131

The years 1911 through 1949, also known as the Republican period of Chinese history, were a time of head-spinning change in China’s politics and culture. Understanding this period, which is bookended and characterized by political upheaval, is key to recognizing the changes that can and cannot be ascribed to the Chinese Communist Party’s victory in 1949. Negotiations that occurred as various groups sought for control of and a place in the changing Chinese nation are also reflected in the social and economic changes that have followed the death of Mao in the late 1970s. In short, knowing this history of the Republican period can help unlock our understanding of China today.
This course is designed to familiarize students with the political and military events of the Republican period, but also to facilitate discussion of key facets of social and intellectual change during this time period. Our course is structured around four major themes: gender, intellectual trends, the experiences of religious minorities, and war. As we work within that framework, we will also discuss other issues of import to understanding the complexity of life in Republican China.
In addition to deepening our understanding of a critically important period in China’s modern history, this course will focus on helping students develop skills in analytical reasoning and writing. We will practice assessing the strengths and weaknesses of arguments made in secondary sources, and articulating those assessments in writing. The multiple short writing assignments in this course are designed to help students from a variety of backgrounds and with a variety of career goals hone their skills at effectively presenting sophisticated ideas in writing.

Student-centered Classroom
This course was designed with a student-centered approach, meaning that a student’s engagement in and preparation for class is key to the class’s effectiveness, both for that student and her peers in the class. Therefore, consistent attendance is essential in this course. If issues such as medical problems necessitate more than two absences for any student, that student should contact the instructor as early as possible to make arrangements for make-up work.
Students are expected to contribute to the class’s learning by asking questions, taking part in discussions, and striving to engage critically and creatively with course materials. I ask that computers and phones be turned off and put away during class to facilitate engagement and interaction.
Respect for all people, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, and nationality are at the core of a healthy and productive learning environment, and are expected to characterize our interactions in this course.

Academic Integrity
As this is an upper-division course, I assume you are familiar with the standards of academic integrity. If you use someone else’s ideaas in your writing, you must cite properly. If you use their word,s, you must use quotation marks and proper citation. Failing to adhere to these standards will lead to a lengthy academic integrity investigation and a failing grade. The university’s official policy on academic integrity can be found on the UCSD website: (search “academic integrity”). If you have questions about the policy, or about whether a use of a certain source is permissible, please feel free to ask me in person or through email.
Required Books:
Ida Pruitt and Ning Lao Tai Tai. A Daughter of Han: The Autobiography of a Chinese Working Woman.
Eastford, CT: Martino Fine Books, 2011.
Susan Glosser. Chinese Visions of Family and State, 1915-1953. Berkeley: University of California
Press, 2003.

Other required texts will be made available through e-reserves or links provided on the Ted site.

18 points: reading quizzes (two points per quiz, nine quizzes).
15 points: Midterm
5 points: Assignment 1 (Pruitt)
7 points: Assignment 2a (Glosser)
15 points: Assignment 2b (Glosser)
15 points: Assignment 3 (Mao, Lian, or Carter)
5 points: preparation for and participation in debate
20 points: Final Exam

A boost to the final course grade of up to 1/3 of a letter grade is possible. Determination of who will get this boost will be based on the student’s in-class participation, use of feedback to improve on analysis and writing, and peer review work.


Timeline: Make a timeline of at least 25 most important events, periods, or transitions within our class’s period of study (1911-1949). Refer to notes from lecture and discussions, the documentary film, and the Tanner reading. Indicate the source of your information on your timeline, using a brief parenthetical reference. (To cite the text, use (Tanner 446); to cite the film, use (Williams); and if information came from lecture, just write (lecture).)
Assignment 1: Is A Daughter of Han a valuable historical source? Write an essay arguing for this source’s value or lack thereof in understanding Chinese history. What unique contributions does it make? What are its downfalls? Should this book be read by people interested in better understanding Chinese history? Use details from the book as evidence (properly cited) but no block quotes. 2-3 pages.
Assignment 2a: Summarize Susan Glosser’s main argument. Include who she is arguing against and identify her original contributions to the academic conversation. Instructor will comment and return. 2-3 pages.
Assignment 2b: In paper 2a, you summarized Glosser’s argument, based on her introduction. Did Glosser keep the promises she made in that introduction? In other words, did she deliver the well-supported, persuasive argument she claimed she would? Write an assessment of Glosser’s work, in which you focus in on one or two parts of her argument, discussing strengths and weaknesses. Consider the logic of her arguments and the validity and strength of the evidence Glosser presents. 4-5 pages.
Assignment 3: Select one of the readings for Week 4 and analyze the argument for its strength or weakness. As you did with Glosser’s work, you should look for what arguments the author is responding to; what the author claims his original contribution will be; whether or not the author delivers convincing evidence to support the argument; and whether the logic of the argument is sound. 3-4 pages.


Week 1: Overview of Republican Period
Mon. 6/29: Course Overview, brief overview of Republican period.
Tues. 6/30: Reading due: Tanner, chapter 13 [e-reserves]
Wed.   7/1: Reading due: Tanner, chapter 14 [e-reserves]
Thurs. 7/2: Reading due: Spence primary sources [e-reserves]
Due: Timeline assignment (bring paper copy and submit on Ted)

Week 2: Women & Feminism in Republican China
Mon. 7/6: Reading due: A Daughter of Han, books 1 & 2.
Tues. 7/7: Midterm on timeline
Wed.  7/8: Reading due: A Daughter of Han, book 3; transcript of New Woman[link is on Ted].
Due: Assignment 1.
Thurs. 7/9: Reading due: get started on Glosser

Week 3: Intellectual Currents: The New Culture and May Fourth Movements
Mon. 7/13: Reading due: Glosser Introduction and Chapter 1
Due: Assignment 2a
Tues. 7/14: Reading due: Glosser Chapter 2
Due: online quiz (indicating your preferred role in in-class reading; no grade)
Wed. 7/15: Reading due: Glosser Chapter 3
Thurs. 7/16: Reading due: Glosser Chapter 4

Week 4: Religion in Republican China
Mon. 7/20: Reading due: Mao Yufeng article on Islam [link is on Ted]
Due: Assignment 2b.
Tues. 7/21: Reading due: Lian Xi chapter on the Jesus Family [e-reserves]
Wed. 7/22: Reading due: James Carter chapter on Buddhist monk Tanxu [e-reserves]
Thurs. 7/23: Due: Assignment 3 draft. Peer review on Ted due Friday at 5:00. Final due Monday.

Week 5: Warin China
Mon. 7/27: Reading due: Spence primary source “The Tale of Luding Bridge” [e-reserves] and “Mao’s             Lost Children” [link is on Ted]
Due: Assignment 3
Tues. 7/28: Reading due: Lloyd Eastman [e-reserves]
Wed. 7/29: Reading due: Chalmers Johnson [e-reserves]
Thurs. 7/30: Debate
Due: debate preparation [you’ll bring them to class for the debate; also submit to Ted]

Final exam: Friday 7/31, 8:00 a.m. to 10:59 a.m. Location TBA.

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