History of China: Origins to the Mongol Conquest

History 6A

Fall 2015
150 GSPP
Day & Time: 
MW 4-530P

This introductory course, designed for lower-division undergraduates with little or no background in Chinese history, celebrates key features of early and middle-period Chinese civilization, including its distinctive writing system, its compelling forms of historiography and philosophy, its construction of the social and heavenly orders, and the density of its urban life in antiquity, partly through the incredibly rich material record revealed by scientific excavations (mainly since 1949) and also through the hallowed literary traditions.  Upon occasion, lectures will contrast the imperial order of early China with that of Rome under Augustus and Hadrian, in order to highlight the diametrically opposed premises on which these two empires operated; sometimes lectures will contrast conditions in early China with those seen in today's China.

Course Books

Zhuangzi: Basic Writings by translator Watson, Burton Columbia University Press. ISBN: 9780231129596 Required
China: A History, Volume 1 by Tanner, Harold M. hackett. ISBN: 978-1-60384-202-1 Required
Bing by Loewe, Michael Hackett. ISBN: 978-1-60384-622-6 Required
Pre-industrial Societies by crone, patricia Press. ISBN: 9781851683116 Required
Lives of Confucius by Nylan, Michael Doubleday. ISBN: 9780385510691 Optional