Chinese Popular Culture

History 117A

Fall 2017
170 Barrows
Day & Time: 
TuTh 8-9:30
Class Number: 
  • This course satisfies the Pre-Modern Requirement for the History Major.
  • From the fever for reviving Confucian education (guoxue re) to the market for theme parks like "Song Dynasty Town," China's imperial culture is once again popular after more than a century of reform and revolution. But what was life like for ordinary people in imperial China, and how have their ideas, values, identities, and practices been represented and reimagined over time? In this course, we will ground our study of Chinese popular culture within the economically vibrant Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and the culturally diverse Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). We will consider the ways in which commerce, institutions and rituals structured social life; how people articulated experiences of class, gender, ethnicity, and religion; and the relationship between culture and revolution in the early twentieth century. Through our class discussions and assignments, you will have the opportunity to explore what it meant for culture to be "popular" and "Chinese" during the late imperial period.