Wei Zhi Gao
B CUSP 188
Introduces the traditional arts, cultures, and history of countries of Asia. Emphasizes the interaction between culture and geography, politics, economies, and social structures that shape, and are shaped by cultural processes and products. Specific countries varies with the instructor and quarter offered. Offered: WSp.
Chinese Cultural Heritage: From Ancient Virtues to Modern Visions
B CUSP 188 (UW Bothell) is a gateway to the traditional arts, cultures, and history of countries of Asia. It emphasizes the interaction between culture and geography, politics, economies, and social structures that shape, and are shaped by cultural processes and products. Specific countries vary with the instructor and quarter offered. In the spring 2011 version we will survey the cultural, intellectual and literary history of China from the introduction of Confucianism and Taoism in the ancient "Central Kingdom" to the present, following a set of interconnected texts in complex contexts. There are five sections in this course.
1. The Founding Philosophical Paradigm: Readings on Confucianism, Taoism, Mohism, and Legalism will initiate a dynamic dialogue between you and the founding fathers in ancient China; 2. Gardens & Guardians: Classics on Chinese gardens and taijiquan (tai chi) will lead you closer to natural harmony; more important, we will infer the philosophical underpinnings in garden designs and martial arts. 3. Poetry & Paintings: in this section, students will be trained in engaging poetic reasoning in addition to appreciating euphonious effect in a poem; moreover, we will explore some aesthetic principles shared in Chinese poetry and paintings; 4. Revolutions & Revelations: samples of prose fiction, long or short, that offer a tip of an iceberg in decoding the so-called oriental myth or riddle; 5. Market Economy wrapped in a socialist garment: We will explore Deng Xiaoping's famous redefinition of "Socialism with Chinese characteristics" and his epoch-making reform;
To help understand the Chinese culture, there is a movie session on each Friday afternoon from 1:30 to 3: 30pm. Great films include Hero, The Emperor and the Assassin, Confucius, Red Cliff, Mulan, The Last Emperor, The Soong Sisters, The Painted Veil, The Founding of a Republic, and Getting Home. In case of a schedule conflict on Fridays, these movies will also be available on course reserve so that students can enjoy watching them at leisure.
Student learning goals
Develop critical insight into Chinese cultural, intellectual and political history;
Introduce major philosophical and literary and artistic works, ancient and modern;
Introduce students to fundamental ideas reflected in Chinese language;
Develop an appreciation of the relationship of man to nature in Chinese art;
Create an intellectual community in the classroom for the discussion of Chinese art, history, and culture.
General method of instruction
Lectures, discussions, group presentations, field trip to Seattle Chinese Garden, and Chinese tea tasting and food sampling, etc.
Class is conducted in English. There are no prerequisites. Students should be open to exploring different ideas and points of view. The course is counted as elective VLPA/I&S, open to all students.
Class assignments and grading
Assignments and Assessment
Worksheets 20% (.8) Knowledge Tests 20% (.8) Quizzes 20% (.8) One Research Paper 20% (.8) Teamwork 10% (.4) Project/Presentation 10% (.4) ------------------------------------------------------------- Total 100% (4.0)