Fall 2014 - Undergraduate Course Description
Farmer, J Michael
Discipline and Number
HIST 3316 Section 001
TR Time 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM
Course Title
Women in Traditional China

Description of Course:

Passive. Submissive. Immobile. Insignificant.

These adjectives are frequently found describing women in China. Fortunately, the field of Chinese women's history has developed rapidly in the past few decades and many of the old stereotypes of Chinese women are being displaced by more reasoned narratives and analyses. This course will examine the history of women in China from the earliest times through the tenth century. To facilitate this exploration, two anthologies of primary documents--one largely male-authored and the other female-authored--will serve as the core readings for the class. Additionally, we will read selected secondary scholarship, both articles and monographs, to provide examples of how primary documents might be approached as historical sources. Much of our class time will be dedicated to the discussion of readings.

Required Texts:


Ebrey, Patricia. Cambridge Illustrated History of China. 2nd ed, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010. [ISBN: 0521124336].

Wang, Robin R. Images of Women in Chinese Thought and Culture. Indianapolis: Hackett, 2003. [ISBN 0872206513].

Idema, Wilt and Beata Grant. The Red Brush: Writing Women in Imperial China. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2004. [ISBN 067401393X].

Kinney, Anne Behnke, trans. and ed. Exemplary Women of Early China. New York: Columbia University Press, 2014. [ISBN: 9780231163095].

Raphals, Lisa. Sharing the Light. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1998. [ISBN: 0791438562].

Kwa, Shiamin and Wilt L Idema. Mulan: Five Versions of a Classic Chinese Legend, with Related Texts. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 2010. [ISBN: 139781603841962


Plus additional readings via eLearning (or whatever it's called this semester).

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

Source essays.
In-class writing assignments.
Research paper.

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