Fall 2016 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Farmer, J Michael
Discipline and Number
HIST 3312 Section 001
MW Time 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM
Course Title
Early China

Description of Course:

Chinese civilization, like its Greek and Roman counterparts in the Mediterranean, is both ancient and far-reaching, influencing the political, economic, social, intellectual, religious, and cultural systems of a hemisphere for over five thousand years. Traditional Chinese civilization coalesced around the turn of the Common Era, reached its zenith during the mid-eighth century, and then began its descent into the early modern world.

This course will examine the history of Chinese civilization from its neolithic beginnings to the end of the third century of the common era, focusing on political, social, economic, intellectual, and cultural developments of China's axial age (the late Zhou dynasty) and first great empire (the Han dynasty).

FALL 2016: The course will focus on two influential figures in the creation of "Early China": Confucius and Sima Qian. Students will read, analyze, discuss, and write about the major works of these two figures.

Required Texts:

Required Books:
Confucius. The Analects. D.C. Lau, trans. Harmonsworth: Penguin Classics, 1998. [ISBN: 0140443487]

Durrant, Stephen W. The Cloudy Mirror: Tension and Conflict in the Writings of Sima Qian. Albany: The State University of New York Press, 1995. [ISBN: 0791426564]

Nylan, Michael and Thomas Wilson. Lives of Confucius. New York: Doubleday, 2010. [ISBN: 0385510691].

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


Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

Heavy reading and discussion requirements.
Weekly source essays (homework), in-class essays.
Book captures.
Final research paper.

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