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In tracing the history of the English idea of China, we will critically examine such issues as how and why China has been (mis)understood and (mis)represented differently at different historical moments. We will relate some of the typical formulations about China and their implications to the contemporary conditions of cross-cultural understanding and the on-going process of globalization. 

 

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Objectives


  1. Be cognisant of the varying representations of 'China' in British and American discourse
  2. Be able to critique each representation, focusing on how and why this particular representation has come about
  3. Understand the continuities and breaks in the tradition of imagining China

 

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Organisation


We will meet once a week for three hours. Weekly sessions will be a combination of lectures, group discussions, and oral presentations.

 

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Assessment


Course assessment is 100% coursework that has the following components:

Attendance and participation

10%

In-class report: oral presentation

20%

Mid-term essay

30%

End-of-term paper

40%

 

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Texts


Selected Core Texts:

Oliver Goldsmith

from Citizen of the World (1762)

William Chambers

from A Dissertation on Oriental Gardening (1772)

Arthur Henderson Smith

from Chinese Characteristics (1894)

Edward Morton

San Toy (1899)

Thomas Burke

 ‘The Chink and the Child’ (1916)

H.V. Morton

'Fan Tan' & 'Yellow and White' (1926)

Elsie McCormick

The Unexpurgated Diary of a Shanghai Baby (1923)

Pearl S. Buck

The Good Earth (1931)

 

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Last updated: 18 July 2017