Anthropology of China

Course Number: 
170
Semester: 
Spring
Year: 
2017
Section: 
001
Location: 
Tan 180
Instructor: 
Liu, X
Units: 
4
Time: 
M W F 11 - 12 pm
CCN: 
12558

The material impact of China is no longer questionable, but the question of the meaning of its significance remains unclarified. Today’s China poses a conceptual question, a question we must answer in order to understand a potential future for ourselves. China comes onto the global stage with a new appearance, and this class hopes to show how this appearance should be understood through its 20th century struggles which have changed both itself and ourselves.

As an anthropological class, we will focus on Chinese family practice and, in particular, on the position of women in society before and after the Maoist revolution, in order to show how its representation of self is different from what it was. The wider field of social sciences will be the immediate background for this class, and theoretical concerns in anthropology will be part of our discussion.

Requirements: 

Additional reading may be given according to the development of our thinking in the class, and no prerequisite is needed but dedication to the class, especially the demand for reading, will be required.

 

Texts: 

Required Texts (in the order of reading sequence)

  • Buck, Pearl S. 1954. My Several Worlds. John Day (other editions should be fine).   
  • Baker, H. D. R. 1979. Chinese Family and Kinship. Macmillan.
  • Kristeva, J. 1986[1974]. About Chinese Women. Marion Boyars.

 

Additional reading may be given according to the development of our thinking in the class, and no prerequisite is needed but dedication to the class, especially the demand for reading, will be required.