History of China

Choose any one of the following discussion topics for a term paper, which should be of approximately 5 pages(1500 words) in length (typed double-spaced). The paper must quote and cite sources from the two main textbooks and from two additional books (internet sources must be publications of an academic nature). For relevant sources, see the website of “History of China” (http://libguides.uvic.ca/content.php?pid=178798&sid=1504517). For the paper’s academic style, refer to [UVic] Department of History’s “History Essay Style Guide” (https://www.uvic.ca/humanities/history/assets/docs/styleguide.pdf). The grade for the term paper will be based on the coherency of arguments, the adequacy of sources, the quality of analysis, and the correctness of writing and academic style.

Image yourself to be a MODERN Confucian scholar, evaluating traditional Confucianism and its impact on Chinese history, and finding feasible ways to 5 improve Western education and governments (Refer to Fairbank, China, 51-53, 62-63; Ebrey, Chinese Civilization, section 6).

Image yourself to be a MODERN Daoist philosopher, evaluating traditional Daoism and its impact on Chinese history, and finding realistic ways to live a better life and viable solutions to environmental problems (Refer to Fairbank, China, 53- 54; Ebrey, Chinese Civilization, section 7).

Image yourself to be a MODERN political scientist visiting Qin (Ch’in) China, discussing the utility of legalism in the Qin dynasty and its impact on Chinese history, and comparing it with legal and political theories in the modern West (Refer to Fairbank, China, 54-57; Ebrey, Chinese Civilization, section 8)

Image yourself to be a MODERN Buddhist monk, explaining the reasons for practicing Buddhism and the ways of attaining spiritual joy, and comparing Buddhism and Christianity in their religious doctrines and social functions (Refer to Fairbank, China, 73-76, 79-81; Ebrey, Chinese Civilization, sections 22, 31).

Imagine yourself to be a MODERN Western advisor to emperors of the Ming dynasty, discussing the main political problems in your imperial patron’s court, and presenting an acceptable proposal to reform court politics (Refer to Fairbank, China, 128-32, 140-42; Ebrey, Chinese Civilization, sections 25, 47, 58).

Imagine yourself to be a MODERN Western candidate in the civil service examination of late imperial China, discussing the problems of the imperial examination and proposing feasible solutions (Refer to Fairbank, China, 93-107; Ebrey, Chinese Civilization, sections 30, 66).

Imagine yourself to be a MODERN Western feminist visiting late imperial China, identifying social problems and advantages of Chinese women and suggesting reasonable reforms of women’s conditions (Refer to Fairbank, China, 173-76; Ebrey, Chinese Civilization, sections 38, 55, 56, 69).

Imagine yourself to be Christopher Columbus whose voyage in 1492 supposedly achieved its original purpose of reaching China, examining how Chinese scholars, officials and rich merchants had attained their elite status and maintained their elitist life style, and why they were not active in scientific innovation, geographic 6 exploration and overseas colonization (Refer to Fairbank, China, 101-107, 137-40, 154- 61, 179-82; Ebrey, Chinese Civilization, sections 30, 46, 50, 62).

Image yourself to be a MODERN Daoist priest, comparing the Daoist philosophy and Daoist religion in their pursuit of a meaningful life, as well as the Daoist and Christian religions with respect to their religious doctrines and social functions (Refer to Fairbank, China, 53-54, 81; Ebrey, Chinese Civilization, sections 7, 21, 33, 34).

Image yourself to be a MODERN Western philosopher of Neo-Confucianism (the Song school), discussing its values and errors, as well as its similarity to and difference from early Confucianism and modern science in their ways of pursuing truth (Refer to Fairbank, China, 96-101; Ebrey, Chinese Civilization, sections 6, 40, 45).

Imagine yourself to be a MODERN Western sociologist visiting premodern China, discussing the virtues and defects of Chinese familism, as well as its applicability to Western society (Refer to Fairbank, China, 17-23; Ebrey, Chinese Civilization, sections 15, 36, 37, 54, 72).

Imagine yourself to be a MODERN Western agriculturist visiting peasants in late imperial China, discussing their happiness and hardship, and suggesting attainable solutions to their problems (Refer to Fairbank, China, 167-73; Ebrey, Chinese Civilization, sections 48, 52, 61, 62, 64, 65).