Search | Directories | Reference Tools
UW Home > Discover UW > Student Guide > Course Catalog 

Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Hsiaowen Cheng
HSTAS 457
Seattle Campus

Women in China to 1800

Gender in Chinese culture, women's situations in the patrilineal family system, and the ways women's situations changed as other dimensions of China's political system, economy, and culture changed from early times through the nineteenth century. Offered: jointly with GWSS 457.

Class description

Women and Gender in Pre-modern China

This course aims to analyze gender ideologies in pre-modern China through the family, law, technology, and literary representations, introduce the changing situations of women as the political system, economy, and culture changed over time, and looks for the voice of the silenced and the agency of the oppressed. We will pay particular attention to the issue of sexuality and the body as a channel to explore pre-modern sources in contrast with modern categories of and assumptions about gender and sexuality.

Student learning goals

Examining Chinese history through the lenses of gender and sexuality.

Critically analyzing historical materials and interacting with modern scholarship.

Reflecting upon modern representations of “Chinese women” and the usefulness of pre-modern Chinese sources for contemporary concerns.

Writing short, analytical essays about history.

General method of instruction

Lecture and discussion of assigned readings and students' papers.

Recommended preparation

No prerequisites.

Class assignments and grading

Assigned readings, class discussions, and three 5-7 page analytical essays.

Grades based on written assignments and participation in discussions. Ability to analyze issues, utilization of sources from readings and lectures, development of new ideas, and making sophisticated arguments will be the criteria for evaluation.


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 Hsiaowen Cheng
Date: 10/23/2009