J495/T325 Chinese Intellectuals in the 20th Century
Diana Lin
Spring 2010

Office: 206A, Hawthorn Hall
(O)219 980 6981
Web page: http://www.iun.edu/~hisdcl
Email: dchenlin@iun.edu
Office hours: MW 9:30-10am, 11:15am-2:30pm, or by appointment

Purpose of Course

This course explores the transformation of Chinese society and culture in the 20th century through the changes experienced by a salient social group in China: the scholar/intellectuals, and their transformation from scholar/gentry to professional academics in both Republican China (1912-49) and Communist China (1949-present). We explore how changes in Chinese society and culture transformed the relationship between Chinese scholars and the state, and how a class traditionally defined as the elites in Chinese society struggled to redefine itself and rebuild its social and political positions in society in the 20th century. Through the vicissitudes in the lives of Chinese intellectuals we get a glimpse of the changes undergone in China in the past century.

Course Requirements

This is a course on historiography and historical research, culminating in a 15-20 page research paper. To facilitate the writing of the paper, the paper is graded through proposal/presentation, draft, and final paper. Credit is also given to class attendance, participation, and weekly essays--a one to two page essay responding to the weekly question, emailed to me by Sunday night via Oncourse.

Method of grading: all grades are assigned in percentages, which will be tabulated at the end of the semester and converted to letter grades. The averages of your take-home papers and of your weekly writing assignments will be taken to represent the grades for your take-home paper and weekly writing assignment. The conversion is as follows: 93-100: A; 90-92.9: A-; 85-89.9: B+; 80-  84.9: B; 75-79.9: B-; 70-74.9: C+; 65-69.9: C; 60-64.9: C-; 55-59.9: D+; 50-54.9: D; 45-49.9: D-; 44 and below: F.

Required Readings:

The following books are required readings and available at the IUN Barnes & Noble bookstore.

Goldman, Merle, et al, eds. An Intellectual History of Modern China. Cambridge University Press, 2002.

Feng, Youlan. The Hall of Three Pines: An Account of My Life. University of Hawaii Press, 2002.

Wang, Jessica Ching-Sze. John Dewey in China: To Teach and to Learn. SUNY Press, 2007.

Online sources:

Online text: Modern Chinese history

Historical Maps of China.

Contemporary Maps of China and Asia

Stefan Landsberger's Chinese Propaganda Poster Pages--Cultural Revolution Campaigns

Class schedule

Week 1 (Jan.11-17)

Jan.11 Introduction.

Jan.13 The role of the literati in Chinese history. Elman, Political, Social, and Cultural Reproduction via Civil Service Examination in Late Imperial China.

Weekly question 1: Which social groups in American history enjoyed a position as the Chinese scholar/officials?

Week 2 (Jan.18-24)

Jan.18 Martin Luther King's Day observed. No class.

Jan.20 Nationalism, science, revolution, and Marxism, I. Goldman et al, chap.2 (Author: Benjamin Schwartz).

Weekly question 2: Compare changes in American society today (e.g. introduction of new ideas, such as environmentalism, healthcare reform, etc) with the introduction of new ideas in early 20th century China.

Week 3 (Jan.25-30)

Jan.25 Nationalism, science, revolution, and Marxism, I. Same reading from Jan.20.

Jan.27 The introduction of foreign educational models in China. Chen, The Chinese Scholars and the Modern University.

Weekly question 3: Compare discussions of educational reform in the U.S. today with educational reforms in China.

Week 4 (Feb.1-7)

Feb.1 The American educational influence: Dewey in China. Wang, chaps.1 & 2.

Feb.3 Reception of Dewey in China and Dewey's reception of China. Wang, chaps. 3 & 4.

Weekly question 4: Give your own interpretation of Dewey's decision to stay in China for two years and his impact on Chinese education.

Week 5 (Feb.8-14)

Feb.8 Life of a Chinese scholar in transition from traditional to modern education. Feng, chaps.1 & 2.

Feb.10 Creating modern Chinese scholarship. Feng, chaps.4 & 5.

Weekly question 5: Connect Feng's life and work with readings above, and situate him in a larger, changing social and intellectual context.

Week 6 (Feb.15-21)

Feb.15 Modern Chinese universities. Feng, chaps.8-11.

Feb.17 Marxism and the thought of Mao Tse-tung. Goldman, chap.5 (by Stuart Schram).

Weekly question 6: Give your interpretation on why some Chinese scholars turned into modern (liberal) academics, while others turned into Marxists.

Week 7 (Feb.22-28)

Feb.22 Intellectuals in Communist China. Goldman, chap.6.

Feb.24 Mao's Thought 1949-76. Goldman, chap.7 (by Stuart Schram).

Weekly question 7: How do you understand Mao and his policies toward the intellectuals in Communist (post 1949) China?

Week 8 (Mar.1-7)

Mar.1 Defining the intellectual, or zhishifenzi, in Communist China. U, Reification of the Chinese Intellectual.

Mar.3 Redefining the social status of intellectuals in China. U,  Third Sister Liu and the Making of the Intellectual in Socialist China.

Weekly question 8: Compare U's analysis of Mao's policies and practices toward the intellectuals  and readings above (Goldman/Schram).

Week 9 (Mar.8-14)

Mar.8 Life in the People's Republic of China, according to one intellectual. Feng, chap.3.

Mar.10 Scholarship in the PRC. Feng, chaps.6 & 7.

Weekly question 9: How do you understand Chinese scholars' response to life and work in a Communist state?

Week 10 Mar.15-21 Spring break.  No class.

Week 11 (Mar.22-28); Mar.22 Scholarship in the PRC, II: the case of Ai Siqi. Joshua Fogel, Ai Siqi: Professional Philosopher and Establishment Intellectuals

Mar.24 Scholarship in the PRC, II: the case of Jian Bozan. Cliffford Edmunds, The Politics of Historiography: Jian Bozan I,   The Politics of Historiography: Jian Bozan, II.

Weekly question 10: Compare the three intellectual responses to Communist rule: Feng Youlan, Ai Siqi and Jian Bozan.

Week 12 (Mar.29-Apr.4)

Mar.29 Post-Mao reform and the Chinese intellectual. Goldman, chap.8.

Mar.31 Intellectuals as cultural critics. Kyna Rubin, "Keeper of the Flame" Wang Ruowang as Moral Critic of the State.

Weekly question 11: How do intellectuals/scholars reposition themselves again in the new wave of reform in China?

Week 13 (Apr.5-11)

Apr.5 proposals due and paper topic discussions.

Apr.7 Proposal presentation.

Week 14 (Apr.12-18)

Apr.12 Proposal presentation.

Apr.14 Proposal presentation.

Week 15 (Apr.19-25)

Apr. 19 Proposal presentation.

Apr.21 Proposal presentation.

Week 16 (Apr.26-May 1)

Apr.26 Proposal presentation.

Apr.28 Conclusion. Paper draft due.

Week 17

Paper due via Oncourse on May 7.