Before the rise of the modern world, China made several developments in philosophy, technology, politics, art and economics. However, since the Industrial Revolution this has not been the case; for the past 400 years, China has witnessed some of the poorest living conditions on the planet. Within the span of a few generations, however, China now boasts one of the most industrially productive and technologically advanced economies in the world. This has led many scholars to predict that a greater appreciation of Asian societies will be key to understanding the 21st century. This course introduces students to core beliefs, traditions, social customs, and political history of specific regions in Asia. Drawing on diverse resources — primary texts, film, essays, short stories, and poetry — this course allows students to consider China from a broad social, cultural, and intellectual context.
This course also offers students an optional intensive-study abroad package, whereby students can complete 35 per cent of their course work while attending a two-week tour of Taipei, Southern Taiwan and Beijing. The cost of this intensive-study abroad component has yet to be determined, and will take place in the first two weeks of May 2012 (the two weeks following the end of the winter semester).