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Jacqueline Jones, Chair 128 Inner Campus Dr., Stop B7000, GAR 1.104 Austin, TX 78712-1739 • 512-471-3261

Spring 2007

HIS 340K • Traditional China-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor


Course Description

This course offers a cultural history of traditional China from some of the earliest historical records (about 1200 B.C.) up through the late imperial period (about 1800 A.D.). We will cover the major historical events, developments, and trends -- social, political, economic, military, philosophical, literary, and cultural. The focus of the course will be on primary sources. We will read (in translation) the most important writings from the Chinese tradition. These include Shang dynasty oracle bone inscriptions (used for divination), early Chinese philosophy (including Daoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism), dynastic histories, historical biographies, novels, satires, poetry, songs, ritual manuals, diaries, scientific treatises, philological studies, and political debates. We will take an interdisciplinary approach -- integrating history with literary, philosophical, and sociological approaches in order to better understand these texts in their context. This is a substantial writing component course.

For more information, see the course syllabus, available at:

Grading Policy

Grades will be based on in-class quizzes and class participation (20%), a final examination (30%), and one written essay of at least 16 pp. (50%).


COURSE READER, available through electronic reserves. Jacques Gernet, A HISTORY OF CHINESE CIVILIZATION, 2nd ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996). SOURCES OF CHINESE TRADITION, vol. 1, FROM EARLIEST TIMES TO 1600, ed. William Theodore de Bary et al., 2nd ed. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1999). THE ANALECTS OF CONFUCIUS, trans. D. C. Lau (New York: Penguin Books, 1979). LAO-TZU: TE-TAO CHING: A NEW TRANSLATION BASED ON THE RECENTLY DISCOVERED MA-WANG-TUI TEXTS, trans. Robert G. Henricks (New York: Ballantine Books, 1989). John R. Trimble, WRITING WITH STYLE: CONVERSATIONS ON THE ART OF WRITING, 2nd ed. (Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 2000)


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