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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Xiaolin Duan
HSTAS 452
Seattle Campus

Chinese History from Earliest Times to 1276

Traces the development of Chinese civilization form earliest times through the Song dynasty. Examines social, cultural, political, and economic history.

Class description

This course will provide a broad discussion of Chinese society and culture from the beginning through the Song dynasty, with more time devoted to the later period. It examines the early development of Chinese civilization and how such evolvement prepared China for its later and modern growth. Themes to be covered include: the religious and philosophical traditions; the state/society structure and mechanisms; the economic development and medieval urban revolution; the interaction with the foreigners; the evolvement of both elite and popular culture as seen from literature, art and objects.

Student learning goals

Cultural Pattern: explore what makes Chinese civilization specifically Chinese, and how the set of values, practices and institutions were invented and evolved through the time.

Historical Thinking: Thinking like an historian. Learn to compare different time periods by concluding their similarities and emphasizing their unique characteristics

Academic Skills: How to read historical texts and secondary scholarship critically. How to write intelligently and persuasively on historical issues.

General method of instruction

This class is lecture-discussion class. About one-third to one-half of the time will be devoted to student-led discussion of assigned readings. Assigned readings for discussion are both the primary and the secondary sources.

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

Class attendance, participation, and short “reading observations" Map Quiz A mid term and a final exam Essay student presentation (optional)


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Xiaolin Duan
Date: 02/05/2014