Undergraduate Seminar: Imagining Private Life: Love, Marriage, and Family in Early Modern China
This course examines how artists, poets, moralists, politicians, and philosophers painted, sang about, or legislated private life in early modern China. The paintings, poems, and documents we examine will allow us to peer deeply into the private lives of people speaking as lovers, married couples, or parents. In addition to such private objects as pillows, mirrors, or personal fans, we'll also look at paintings about private matters intended for viewing in public. To prepare us for this voyeuristic voyage, we will read modern studies of early modern family life in China by historians, sociologists and anthropologists, as well as primary legal and philosophical arguments written in classical and early modern China. We will also read some primary and secondary materials relating to private life in early modern Europe. From the use of such materials students will acquire a basic understanding of moral, political, and legal issues relevant to the conduct of private life generally, as well as a more detailed understanding of the basic arguments and assumptions adopted regarding these issues in early modern China. More important still, students will learn the fundamentals of conducting social historical research using primary materials.
Requirements include: Regular class participation, short (5 minute) class presentations, a longer (20 minute) presentation, and a final paper (10 pages) based on the longer presentation.
No cost for materials.
HISTART category for concentration distributions: C. Asia (includes China, Japan, India, South and Southeast Asia, and the Pacific), 3. Early Modern.