ASIAN 585 - Seminar in Chinese Studies
Section: 001 Technologies of Culture in Early Modern China
Term: WN 2018
Subject: Asian Studies (ASIAN)
Department: LSA Asian Languages & Cultures
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
Graduate standing. Qualified undergraduates with permission of instructor. Reading knowledge of Chinese language may be required.
May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

This graduate seminar explores what we gain by using technology as an analytical category for the Ming-Qing world. We begin with the primary technology that facilitated the production and dissemination of culture in that world: the woodblock-printed book. From there, we will consider together phenomena that are often studied in isolation: cooking, architecture, decorative objects, bodies, theatrical performance, and playwriting. How were particular cultural forms codified, and how did recognizable genres and styles emerge? What value was placed on aesthetic novelty in a rapidly commercializing but not yet modern cultural sphere? And how did these methodological choices relate to questions around class, gender, and social stratification? By approaching Ming-Qing expressive culture as an array of technological experiments with the material world, we find that the media artists of that era forged new ways to transmit complex sensuous experiences. The seminar combines close analysis of primary texts in Classical Chinese (with a focus on Li Yu’s Xianqing ouji, 1671) with secondary reading in a range of disciplines.

Intended Audience:

Graduate students in Chinese studies. The course is interdisciplinary and will include readings in social and cultural history, art history, literary studies, theater and performance studies, and history of architecture Reading knowledge of modern Chinese is required. Some training in Classical Chinese is recommended, but not necessary.

Class Format:

One 3-hour meeting weekly

ASIAN 585 - Seminar in Chinese Studies
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
Tu 4:00PM - 7:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 0674066804
Home and the world : editing the "Glorious Ming" in woodblock-printed books of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Author: Yuming He., Publisher: Harvard University Asia Center, distr. by Harvard UP 2013
ISBN: 9780824828202
Superfluous things : material culture and social status in early modern China, Author: Clunas, Craig., Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press 2004
ISBN: 022627280X
The crafting of the 10,000 things : knowledge and technology in seventeenth-century China, Author: Scha?fer, Dagmar,
ISBN: 9780472089239
Chinese theories of theater and performance from Confucius to the present, Publisher: University of Michigan Press 2002
ISBN: 9780520206854
Technology and gender : fabrics of power in late imperial China, Author: Bray, Francesca., Publisher: University of California Press 1997
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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