CCS 539 - Critical Readings in Documentary Chinese
Fall 2021, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Chinese Studies (CCS)
Department: LSA II: KLRR Center for Chinese Studies
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Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of department.
Advisory Prerequisites:
Reading knowledge of Chinese.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


History is the study of the past through analytical readings in the available documentary record, and every period of history requires some special training before you can access primary documents. This study course introduces students of East Asian studies to documentary Chinese, through critical readings of selected primary documents in different genres, ranging from the Qing dynasty (1644-1912) through the People's Republic of China. Since the Qing dynasty had a formative impact on the way documentary Chinese was written even after its demise in 1912, the emphasis of the course will be on reading palace memorials, local gazetteers, newspapers, treaties, and other standardized documents from the Qing. We will also explore handwritten Chinese, which remains an important medium of communication in China, and we will delve into reading documents from the People’s Republic of China. Students will also be taught how to use important reference tools and how to make use of the vast resources of the University of Michigan Asia Library. The skills taught in this course will be useful not only to specialized students of Chinese history, but also to students who are interested in the power of the written word in modern China and East Asia.

Course Requirements:

A reading knowledge of modern Chinese is required and some familiarity with Classical Chinese (or Japanese kanbun or Sino-Korean) is desirable. Advanced undergraduate students may take the course with special permission from the instructor.

Intended Audience:

Graduate students and advanced undergraduates in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese studies.


CCS 539 - Critical Readings in Documentary Chinese
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
MW 4:00PM - 5:30PM

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