HIS 306N • Introduction to China
Geographically, ethnically, and economically, China today is a land of diversity, characterized by striking regional variations. Yet underlying this diversity is a shared cultural heritage: A unifying set of historical, literary, and artistic traditions; philosophical and religious ideas; political institutions; and a common writing system. This course introduces the study of Chinese society and culture through an examination of the cultural unities and diversities, continuities and discontinuities that comprise the historical development of Chinese civilization. Topics include philosophy and religion; cosmology and the life cycle; literature and arts; science, technology and medicine; power and authority; gender, ethnicity, and cultural identity. This course provides a foundation for continued study of Chinese history and society for students who plan to go on to more specialized, upper-division courses including Chinese anthropology, history, psychology, sociology, economics, law, policy, international business, art history, architecture, environmental science, and philosophy.